I AM NOT SPECIFICALLY a food blogger, but Robyn Eckhardt is. A friend I trust in all matters of Asian cuisine—we’ll call him Eldma—pointed me in the direction of Ms. Eckhardt’s blog, Eating Asia, which she has been running with her photographer-husband for enough years to make any journo jealous. They’re quite good at what they do, and so when V and I decided to return to George Town, Penang, a city we remember as one of our favourites in the world, and which also happens to be where The Asian Eaters have decided to plant themselves, I did not think twice about signing up for their food tour.
Alas, the duo is Eating Turkey this week, but Robyn pointed me to her self-guided food tour published in the Wall Street Journal a few years back. It is comprehensive and a bit overlong, but has undoubtedly boosted some local spots’ popularity among tourists. (There has been a marked increase in white-person traffic at Lean Thye’s morning rush hour, I suspect; a man asked how I found it, and I showed him the article on my phone. “Ahhh,” he nodded in understanding, and, despite knowing little English, knew this much: “The Wall Street Journal.“)
All the food is good, sure, but certain personal tastes will make some seem better than others, which isn’t always fair because it’s all very decidedly different. But as far as a walking tour of one of the most romantic, affordable, sophisticated and diverse cities in the world, our stomachs regret nothing. Below are some of the sights you might come across if you follow her lead, and give a taste of what Penang has to offer.