This lovely Island of Penang is famous for its hawker food - Laksa, Hokkien Mee, and Char Kuey Teow - to name but a few. However, as this book will demonstrate, Penang has far more culinary delights to offer then hawker food alone - far, far more.
The idea of Great Dining started when, as a food writer and restaurant reviewer, people began asking me where they could go to eat something other than Laksa or Char Kuey Teow; where they could go for good western food; or which outlet was big enough to host a large party etc. And it wasn't only visitors to the island who asked, but many Penangites too. It was then that I realised that there wasn't such a guide available - and that we needed one!
So this book was put together not just to answer those questions, but also to give more useful information about eating out in Penang. For example, the Fast Facts panel has been designed as a quick reference to help you make your dining choice - before ringing up to reserve a table.
The author's intention is to reveal information about an outlet, its characteristics and some of the personalities behind it. One man's meat can indeed be another man's poison, so deciding what's good and what's not is really down to individual taste. Although the author sometimes ventures an opinion, you must try the restaurant for yourself to make the ultimate decision.
About the Author
Helen Ong is a freelance writer who describes herself as "passionate about food". Part Peranakan and part sin khek (newcomer) her interest in cooking began early in life when she had to help her mother and grandmother, both excellent cooks, in the kitchen. After many years abroad, Helen has now returned to live in Penang where she works closely with the local food and beverage industry, helping to promote this both within Malaysia and to the rest of the world. She has a regular column in one of the national Sunday papers and writes weekly restaurant reviews for the gourmet guide section of one of the dailies. Helen also writes for a number of other publications.