We stayed in Penang for 4 weeks and loved it!
The food is amazing, especially the street food – and the Nyonya cuisine we also got to know here in Penang.
What to eat for dinner at the night food stalls of Gurney Drive Hawker Center?
You are in for a real treat here.
Have you ever been to Penang?
Penang is a food haven for anyone who loves to explore different cuisines and flavors.
The island is home to a diverse and rich culinary heritage, influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan and Thai cultures. That is also how the local Nyonya cuisine was born here.
Whether you crave for spicy curries, savory noodles, sweet desserts, or exotic street food, Penang has something to offer for every palate and budget.
You can find delicious and dirt cheap classic dishes at hawker centers, coffee shops, restaurants and even roadside stalls.
Penang is a must-visit destination for foodies who want to experience the best of Malaysian gastronomy.
We have been to our favorite Batu hawker center a couple of times now.
However tonight we decide to visit and try out another one because it is also recommended by our Lonely Planet tourist guide. It is near the Gurney Plaza Shopping Mall and goes by the name of the Gurney Drive Hawker Center in Penang.
Gurney Drive Hawker Center (Penang)
We got off the bus here one afternoon by coincidence really but then like many hawker centres around here this Gurney Drive Hawker Center was closed for lunch.
Dinner here starts around 6pm.
So we are off again one evening to find dinner, on bus #101 from Batu.
If you are not sure where to get off the bus, just ask the bus driver to give you a sign.
Most drivers here yell ‘Gurney Plaza’ anyway. Just walk towards the MacDonald’s, then try to cross the streets as safely as possible (sidewalks and crosswalks are rare in Penang, poor pedestrians) and proceed along the parking lot on your left hand side.
Until you get to a collection of food stalls and outside tables.
It is pretty self explanatory.
Just follow your nose and the heavenly food aromas coming your way if you are not sure.
Gurney Drive Hawker Center Food
There was not a lot to do at the first hawker center, so we just kept walking to the second one on the stretch.
It is brightly lit, you really can’t miss it.
So what is in store here at the Gurney Drive Hawker Center?
What dinner delicacies can you feast on?
Well it seems like you can find the best laksa and also the best rojak of the island here!
At least that is what our guide book tells us we should definitely try out here.
Let’s get something to eat!
#11 Asam Laksa
Laksa, that is also the famous Asian noodle soup here in Malaysia.
‘Asam’ means sour. And that sounds just fine to me.
I wait in line, order 1 asam laksa and pay RM3,50 to the friendly girl in charge. I bring the bowl to the table that the hubs has found for us to sit on.
The laksa is piping hot and deliciously hot and sour as well.
It contains cooked noodles, pineapple, fried onion, fried garlic and beef. The hubs also spots a clam in it as well.
Yum, this is pretty far from the creamy classic laksa style curry soup that we had before but I must say I prefer this version though.
#84 Fried Oysters
So right next to the laksa stall is the fried oyster stall.
I have honestly never had fried oysters before and I am a little taken aback by the thought in the beginning.
When it comes to oysters I am convinced the best way to eat these noble creatures is raw. No lemon, pepper or salt. Pure as can be. But I am also curious and I also don’t want to look like an idiot so I should try it to at least know what I am talking about later on.
Besides, the oysters that are used in a fried oyster omelet are frozen or canned anyway. Rarely the fresh ones.
The queue at this fried oyster stall assures me this one is pretty popular here. So off I go again. I order a small portion of fried oyster (RM7).
Don’t expect crunchy deep fried batter-coated oysters here.
As I wait in line I watch the chef in charge prepare them: on a hot plate he mixes the oysters with beaten egg and a flour batter.
He then covers this thick oyster omelet for about a minute or 2, cuts it up and puts it on a plate.
On my cardboard plate sits a generous portion of bits of eggy pancake with a good handful of cooked oysters in it. I taste one and have to admit…
I like it!
#104 Claypot Chicken Rice
It tastes more like cooked mussels.
The chili on the side is a pleasant dipping sauce.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
This next dish not only sounds nice, it also smells and looks good when I walk past this stall.
The hubs orders a portion of the claypot chicken rice (RM7) and the stall owner brings it to our table the minute it is ready.
The rice is flavorful but a tad too soft to our liking.
In it are nice chunks of juicy chicken and a whole fried egg.
Even with the soft rice this claypot chicken is delicious.
Gurney Drive Hawker Center’s “Penang Best Rojak” says the sign above this food stall.
Well we are certainly intrigued.
So let’s check it out and see for ourselves if that is true.
We order a portion of rojak (RM4). And we get a plateful of freshly cut up fruits, drizzled with a tacky looking sauce and topped off with a generous portion of crushed peanuts.
We try this rojak salad but don’t finish it entirely.
We find pineapple, guava, water apple and a kind of jelly sticks – not sure what these are…
But the real let-down is the rojak sauce itself: too sweet for our taste and with a slight licorice flavor.
Our vote for best rojak goes definitely to the one we had at the I Love You Cafe hawker center in Batu.
The one at the Gurney Drive Hawker Center here was a bit of a let down.
Other foods we tried
We also loved the deep fried chicken skin here at the Gurney Drive Hawker Center!
Crunchy and crisp, and so addictive.
It is served with a spicy chili sauce, absolutely delicious!
And what about these stir fried stink beans?
They also come with a spicy onion sauce.
If you have never tried stink beans before, this is your chance!
I love stink beans, check out my stink bean recipe!
Do we like the Gurney Drive Hawker Center?
Yes, there are different dishes to eat than at the Batu center. Things we want to try next time: the CKT, belacan fried chicken and wantan mee.
The Gurney Drive Hawker Center in Penang offers a variety of dishes, from local specialties like char kway teow and laksa, to international cuisines like Thai and Japanese. The food is fresh, delicious, and affordable, and the atmosphere is lively and vibrant.
Whether you are looking for a quick snack, a savory meal or a sweet treat, you will find something to satisfy your taste buds at the Gurney Drive Hawker Center. It is a place where you can enjoy the best of Penang’s food culture and hospitality.
Definitely worth a visit if you ask us, no doubt!
Gurney Drive Hawker Center
172, Solok Gurney 1