Much of the time in Penang it is cheaper to eat out than it is to cook at home, especially if you want some variety with your meal. Buying all the ingredients to make 3-4 dishes for a tasty lunch or dinner can be both costly and time consuming, and that’s without the preparation and washing up!
Many people opt for their favourite food court or hawkers when they eat out and some of places are very popular indeed. One such place is Northam Cafe on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, mid-way between Gurney Plaza and the centre of Georgetown. The cafe is opposite Northam Tower and is not far from Jalan Pangkor (see map below).
One of the reasons this cafe is so popular is its see front location. Sitting down at sunset with a cold beer and range of superb local food is a great way to end the day. Many people think the same and believe me, this place gets busy, especially at the weekends! Go early if you want to grab a sea-front table or go after 8pm and trust to luck.
As I’ve said there is a massive range of food on offer here and all at very reasonable prices ranging from RM 4-10 per dish with most being around the RM 5-6 mark. Bottled beer is about the same as most food courts at around RM 13 for a large Tiger. There is also a good selection of soft drinks and other hot/cold beverages on offer.
By far my favourite here though is a Thai store which has a fantastic array of dishes on offer and if you order them ‘ped’ (Thai for spicy), they are spicy!!! I can particularly recommend their stir-fry chicken with cashew nuts and a superbly flavoured loh-bak (a heavily seasoned meat roll in a delicate, crispy coating similar to a [good] spring roll).
Another thing I like about here is that it has ample off-road parking, in contrast to some other popular food-courts such as Goodall, and the toilets are of a very good standard also. Northam Cafe is a really great place for me and one of my firm favourites and for that reason it gets a ‘Top Pick’ award.
Location Map: Northam Cafe (Pin ‘B’ on map).