At one end of Persiaran Gurney (Gurney Drive) in Georgetown, there is a very large hawker centre that only operates at night. One nice thing about it is the large amount of choice available there. One not as nice thing is that prices are generally higher than at other hawker stalls. Saying that, however, the food is still pretty cheap by North American standards.
Like other hawker places, when you sit down you must purchase a drink. In this case, with so many tables, each section of tables are claimed by certain drink vendors. So you could be sitting at one table and have to order soy milk, and if you’re sitting at the next table over, which happens to be owned by a juice vendor, then you order juice. In my case, I had a delicious fresh squeezed watermelon juice from the stall in the photo.
This next hawker stall sold seafood. The cockles (similar to clams) in the baskets along the bottom of the photo were lightly cooked and really delicious. A friend asked me if those cuttlefish were real; yes they totally were.
Oyster omelettes are yummy and actually are quite easy to make, but fresh oysters are a vital ingredient.
They had assam laksa there too, but it wasn’t as tasty as the one from Kek Seng.
The far end of the hawker centre is slightly separated from the rest of the hawker stalls. This is where you can buy halal food (food safe under Islamic standards). Food is allowed to be taken out of this area, but outside food is not allowed inside. From this area we bought some chicken satay.
I never ate at this stall, but I had to take a photo because the creativity of the sign made me laugh.
My father got really excited over this stall that sold dried squid. The ideal way to eat it, he explained, was to heat it up and eat it toasted. This hawker vendor heated them up over a charcoal fire, and used the fan to… well… fan the flames.
And lastly, I spent a lot of time at the lok lok stall. You pick up a skewer of raw food, dunk it into the boiling water on either side of the stall, cook it, slather on some sauces (hot sauce or peanut sauce in the pots at the bottom of the photo), and enjoy. The vendor counts up the number of skewers you’ve used and charges you based on the number of sticks. There was a lot of choice – fish balls, taro cubes and cockles, just to name a few.
This place is full of tourists due to the proximity of hotels and a large, new-ish shopping mall. Despite that, the food was still of a decent quality if a bit more expensive. On the edges of the area are tables selling crappy toys and even crappier DVD and CD rips. There is lots of atmosphere and lots of food, and if you are too timid to try one of the hawker places in the middle of the city, this place is a good alternative.
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre night market
Northern end of Persiaran Gurney (Gurney Drive), just before the Gurney roundabout, between Sunrise Tower and Gurney Plaza
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia