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Tag / song river

Penang is often know as the heaven of hawker foods, from char kuih teow to asam laksa, and kuih teow soup to nasi kandar. However, you don’t often hear people talk about ikan bakar, also sometimes known as ikan panggang as the locals like to call it, and that I think, is a grave mistake.

Here are top three different grilled fish places I think you should check out if you’re in Penang.

Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak

If you fancy a little drive to the southern end of the island, ikan bakar Adnan bin Hassan at Kampung Teluk Tempoyak is definitely a place worth checking out. There isn’t many choices of fish to choose from as they’re sourced from the local fishermen, but there are siakap, kerapu, jenahak, ikan merah, and bawah talang to go with prawns and crabs.

I also particularly like the way their fillet the fish with sambal on the inside for easy access to those tender and absolutely satisfying meat. Starting from RM 35 to about RM 50 per KG, these grilled fish isn’t heavy on the wallet either.

Just one thing, you gotta be quick to grab your share before your mates.

better get your share before your friends finish them all
better get your share before your friends finish them all

Address:
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan
Medan Selera Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
11960 Bayan Lepas, Penang
GPS5.277330, 100.287968
Tel019-413 2572
Hours: 6pm – 11pm (Closed on Mondays)

Ikan Panggang stall at Song River, Gurney Drive
Ikan Panggang stall at Song River, Gurney Drive

One of my favorite “kopitiam” ikan panggang (more appropriate since it’s not strictly grilled) stalls is the one at Song River, Gurney Drive. The fish is covered in a special sauce that has a strong presence of fermented beans, belacan, chili, and shallots. Together with the sambal, this makes for an excellent treat.

There’s always quite a selection of different fishes and squid, but my favorite is stingray since the meat soaks up the paste easily and there’s no fish bones to deal with.

The same restaurant also offers great chicken wings too.

full flavor with plenty of chilli and garlic
full flavor with plenty of chilli and garlic

Address:
Song River Cafe
65 Persiaran Gurney,
Georgetown, Penang
GPS5.432392, 100.31738
Tel012-488 8275
Hoursdinner and supper

East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang
East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang

For those who love something slightly different than just fish, squid, or crabs, East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court is a place you must visit.

On top of the usual fish and squid, there are different types of shellfish and even vegetable for grilling. My favorite here would be their grilled scallops. Topped with garlic and spring onion, then grilled to perfection, this is an absolute must try for anyone who loves scallops. At RM 5 a pop, it’s quite reasonably priced as well.

Grilled brinjal is done with similar toppings and tasted fantastic, while the slightly spicy long bean might perhaps give you an illusion of having consumed enough vitamin C for the trip.

BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans
BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans

Address:
East Coast BBQ
Sungai Pinang Food Court
Jalan Sungai Pinang
Georgetown 11500 Penang
GPS5.400029, 100.325711
Tel04-281 0943
Hoursdinner and supper

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 at Song River, choices
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
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
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
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 :D
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.

Address:
Song River Cafe
65 Persiaran Gurney,
Georgetown, Penang
GPS5.432392,100.31738
Tel: 012-488 8275
Tel: 017-477 7938 (chicken wings)