Penang is a heaven for supper lovers, and if Gurney Drive is your destination, there isn’t a better place for these few yummy late night dishes than at Song River, one of the old school bangalow turned kopitiam eateries that has been gracing the 1-mile sea side road for decades.
ikan bakar stall does offer quite a few choices of fish, Haze & my sister
During our stay at Penang over Chinese New Year, we were lucky to be within walking distance from this place, the photos on this post were compiled from a few visits. Though I’d love to eat all these in a single seating… only my limited stomach space saves me from doing that.
The first must-have at Song River is the ikan bakar/ikan panggang (grill fish). As with most other places, you get to choose from 3-4 different types of fishes as well as prawns or squid. My go-to choice is always sting ray.
ikan bakar – positively hot
The wait time at this stall can sometimes be quite substantial, but the honest (or sometimes very blunt) operator will usually tell you up front: “have to wait 30 minutes wan”. Fine with me.
The grill fish here tastes almost completely different from anywhere else. The fish is covered in a special sauce that has a strong presence of fermented beans, belacan, chili, and shallots. The flavor is so intense that very little of the sauce on the side (which is probably made from similar ingredients) is needed.
This will leave the weak with inflamed tongue, but definitely worth it!
Song River bbq chicken wings
While waiting for the ikan bakar, you should grab some bbq chicken wings as appetizer.
For RM 2.20 a pop (or was it RM 2?), this is also one of the best chicken wings in town. The operator has perfected the BBQ timing to give the skin that crispy texture that you get just before screwing up and burning the whole thing (I usually mess this up).
This while the meat is tender, juicy, and the accompanying chili sauce is yummy too. They also serve BBQ drumstick and thigh.
cuttle fish with kangkung, classic Penang “junk” food
And while you’re at it, why not some cuttle fish with kangkung too?
The version here is not shabby either. This plate was RM 10 and came with plenty of cuttle fish with kangkung soaked in delicious prawn paste and chili sauce, good stuff.
You usually won’t need to wait for more than 5 minutes for this dish.
and this is how you have supper in Penang 😀
All that is missing from these supper is of course, some ice cold beer. Damn it I am missing Penang food again.