The Malaysian island of Penang is on several lists of great places people should visit during their lifetime; and, it is second on CNN’s list of “The 17 Best Places to Visit in 2017.” It is easy to see why. The island has a myriad of different things to do from exploring the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown to a walking tour through the new Entopia Butterfly Farm to parasailing over the Straits of Mallaca.
Penang is a honeymoon destination for Saudi couples and a winter
getaway for Europeans. There are Europeans in itsy-bitsy bikinis and Arab women in swimsuits that covered them completely except for face, hands and feet; some are very colorful. There are women in abayas, some with face veils, mixed with guests clad in a variety of other outfits including saris and hijabs. Usually it is only the women who are so attired but there is an occasional male in a dishsdasha.
With such a diverse clientele chefs need to prepare food to suit all their guests. All the food is halal. The breakfast is impressive: eggs, pancakes, grilled tomatoes, cheese, soups, salads, fruits, bread pudding, curries, rice, and even a fava bean dish called foul which was very good. And, so is Jingha Masala. However, it can be very hot which we are not used to. A while back we had a guide in Penang who took us to lunch at a typical hawker stall place (think food mall) and he had his food so hot he was sweating. When I asked why he eats such hot food he said “I sweat and it evaporates making me feel cooler.” Hummm, not sure it is worth it!