Penang International Food Festival 2018 - Dining Under the Stars - TOP at Komtar

The Penang International Food Festival 2018 moved up to the al fresco dining area of the 67th floor of the Komtar Tower in George Town’s CBD area this evening. Great views of the city from up there.

View of Gurney Drive (Penang’s main promenade) and the residential towers of Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong in the background.

View of George Town’s “7-Streets Precinct” , stretching from Magazine Road thru to Cecil Street, and the coastal highway leading towards the residential areas of Gelugor, and the industrial estate of Bayan Lepas.

Old George Town - this lattice-like labyrinthian part of the city is the old Chinese quarter and is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, with no high-rises within its collection of centuries-old Chinese shophouses, temples and residential homes.

Dining under the stars on Komtar’s 67th floor al fresco dining area.

Dinner that evening consisted of Modern-Penang dishes:

  1. Amuse-geule: Smoked BBQ lamb jerky, and Hibiscus Tea.

2a) Roasted chestnut soup with garlic croutons, chopped macadamias and micro-cress.

2b) Oxtail soup, which more resembled the spiced “sop ekor” sold by the Indian-Muslim (“mamak”) food vendors in town.

  1. Nyonya-style Nasi Ulam - mixed herb rice, served with radicchio, toasted grated coconut and kaffir lime vinaigrette.

4a) Laksa carbonara - combining squid-ink pasta with Penang-style spiced laksa gravy, with tiger prawns.

4b) Nasi lemak with beef rendang (cooked sous-vide).


  1. “Apom Balik” (sweet local crepe) with chendol agar-agar, glutinous rice balls, red bean puree and Gula Melaka ice-cream.

Personally, I think the views were better than the fusion cuisine offered up there.


Views are certainly stunning, Peter.

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Come visit George Town whenever you can, John. It’s got the best street food in Malaysia, if not the world. :joy: :joy:

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a lot of architecture left over from the British East Indies era, and a rich Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan Baba-Nyonya) and Indian-Muslim heritage.

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Looking forward to the PIFF 2018’s annual Penang Street Food Festival, which will be held on 1 & 2 September 2018.

Wonderful photos!

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The splendid view and dining under the stars does the magic.

What’s the purpose of the festival, to promote MY food? Are food cheaper than normally in a restaurant? Or special events?

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Yes, the street festival brings together famous street hawkers from all over Penang and put them on Beach Street, normally the city’s busy banking quarter but understandably empty on the weekend. I found the prices to be (disappointingly) higher, albeit slightly, compared to the hawker stalls’ normal prices - but I guess the organisers wanted to attract the hawkers to participate.