It’s a familiar scene in George Town, the capital of Malaysia’s northern Penang island. Crowds of local residents and tourists are flocking to a cluster of roadside stalls to order tangy fruit salads and spicy noodles in tamarind soup. Penang is a beloved paradise for street food, after all. But a few steps away from the bustle, the discreet doorway of a nearly century-old building offers a tantalising glimpse into an alternative landscape for food lovers in Penang. Inside, visitors can explore a leafy courtyard with rustic walls of exposed brick - the venue of Patio bar de tapas, a Barcelona-inspired, Malaysian-owned restaurant that’s packed on most weekends. “Try this paella,” Patio’s co-founder Justin Chuah tells us, as his team brings a fragrant pan of Spanish-grown simmered rice crowned with prawns, calamari and clams. “You should also taste our chicken wings infused with Red Bull and jalapenos. And our baked speciality of chorizo, tomato, egg and manchego cheese.” Patio’s slate of temptations illustrates how gastronomy in George Town is fast evolving, with a dizzying new diversity of contemporary eateries concentrated within two square kilometres of George Town’s core.
This is an excerpt of a glimpse into Penang's top restaurants - read the full feature in the November 2015 issue of Going Places, Malaysia Airlines' in-flight magazine.
49F, Weld Quay, George Town, Penang. Sun-Thurs, 5pm-130am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-230am. Tel: +6012-311-0442
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