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Best Chinese restaurants in Penang

With its relatively large Chinese population, Penang boasts some of the most authentic and exquisite Chinese cuisine in Malaysia. The high demand and requirements of Chinese cuisine here has seen many restaurants come and go over the years. Those that managed to last the test of time had blossomed and seen explosive growth. Local Penangites frequent these restaurants for dinners, occasions, celebrations and events. The round table seating of usually 10 people are perfect for groups, families and company staff to share dishes, conversations and many a story. For a little more privacy, some of these restaurants also offer private rooms for VIPs and big spending customers. Most of these restaurants offer a stage, backdrop and sound system, to cater for traditional Chinese weddings which could accommodate from 30 to 100 tables. So here are the list of the Best Chinese Restaurants in Penang. This list excludes Peranakan / Nyonya restaurants. P / S: This list is based on personal experience and opinion, and in no way biased towards any joint.

Maple Palace Restaurant

Opened in September 2009, the Maple Palace Chinese Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant in Penang, Malaysia that offers exquisite Chinese and local cuisine as well as warm hospitality in a rustic, historically preserved building. Situated in the newly upgraded Maple Gold Club along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah in Penang, the Maple Palace restaurant is easy to locate and reach, with ample parking space immediately adjacent to the restaurant. It is also in close proximity to the beaches of Penang and a variety of local landmarks, as well as a short drive to the bustling city center of Penang.

Maple Palace Restaurant specializes in a wide range of Chinese and Cantonese dishes, all made from top quality ingredients and prepared right here in the restaurant. They are renowned for their famous Cantonese recipes, which have been preserved through generations, now with some new and improved touches of culinary wisdom to create a subtle but astoundingly tasteful difference.

Inspired by the great artisanal foods of Malaysia, China and the world, Maple Palace Restaurant aims to honor the many different Asian cooking traditions as well as to add their own interpretation with their unique culinary skills to serve you with a mouth-watering feast that is both traditional and avant garde at the same time.

Amongst their signature dishes are their Braised Ee Fu Noodles with Lobster, Crispy Peking Duck with Pan-Seared Foie Gras, Sautéed Duck Meat with Pine Nut served in iceberg lettuce and Stir-fried Big Meat Crab with Sipcy Black Pepper Sauce.

Maple Palace Restaurant
47, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 604-227 4542, 604-227 9640, 604-2279690
Lunch: 12.00pm-2.30pm Dinner: 6.00pm-10.00pm

Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant

Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant is well-known among local Penangites as it has been established for years now operating from its maiden outlet at Choo Plaza along Abu Siti Lane. Today, it has a total of 4 outlets in the North Western Peninsular of Malaysia. Aside from the main outlet, it has another a sizable outlet at Gurney Paragon Mall spread across two levels. There are around 30 tables and a private room available on the 3rd floor and close to 10 private rooms on the upper 4th floor. While the outlet at Choo Plaza is a bit dated, the Gurney Paragon outlet is still brand new and well-lit. Furthermore, the private rooms are equipped with karaoke systems, perfect for guest entertainment. The other 2 outlets are located on the mainland at the Prai Exhibition & Convention Center (PECC) in Sunway Carnival Mall and Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Here are some of our favorite dishes from Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant.

1) Jade Palace Choo Plaza Branch 3rd Floor, Choo Plaza, 41, Abu Siti Lane, 10400 Georgetown, Penang. Tel: 04-2275758, 04-2275759, 010-2201863.

2) Jade Palace Gurney Paragon Branch Lot 163D, Level 3 & 4, Gurney Paragon Mall, Jalan Kelawai, 10250 Georgetown, Penang. Tel: 04-2189898, 04-2189191.

3) Jade Palace PECC Branch (Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya) Prai Exhibition & Convention Center, Level 4, Sunway Carnival Mall, 3068, Jalan Todak, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Penang. Tel: 04-3841818, 04-3841919.

4) Jade Palace Sungai Petani Branch PT 23534, Jalan Lengkok Cempaka 2, Bandar Amanjaya, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah. Tel: 04-4412828, 04-4413548, 04-4412395.

Chinese Recreation Club Restaurant (CRC)

Better known as CRC Restaurant, this Chinese restaurant is quite popular among local Penangites. This restaurant is part of the Chinese Recreation Club which is formed since 1892 to provide facilities for physical, intellectual and social activities. It began with the dream of a group of adolescent Chinese sportsmen in owning their own field to play football during colonial times. The club’s increasing popularity lead us to one the best sports club in northern Malaysia.

CRC Restaurant has been doing well over the years and it opened another outlet just across the road along Jalan Pangkor, aptly named the “New” CRC Restaurant. Back in the old days, the old CRC Restaurant was a top choice for couples to hold their Chinese wedding ceremony as it can hold up to 50 tables. However, due to limited parking space availability and aging ambiance, patrons seem to shy away from CRC Restaurant nowadays. That said, there are still a handful of loyal supporters who swear by their unique and amazing dishes. Even though under the same management, some people still prefer the Old CRC Restaurant over the New CRC Restaurant as it is believed that their food quality is superior. Amongst their signature dishes are the Curry Indonesian Prawns with Steamed Buns (Mantou), Steamed Cod Fish, Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Ribs and the delicious cold dessert of Honeydew Sago.

New CRC Chinese Restaurant (中華 海鮮 餐廳)
22 Pangkor Road
George Town
10500 Penang
Tel: 04-227 8777

Old CRC Restaurant (中華 海鮮 餐廳) 3 Jalan Padang Victoria
10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang Tel: 04-228 9787

Starview Restaurant Penang

Even though it has relocated several times, Starview Restaurant still has a close affinity and loyal support amongst Penangites. Before settling in its latest location at the former Federal Theater at Dato Keramat Road, Starview Restaurant opened its outlet at Burmah Road, followed by New World Park. Its popularity has seen its restaurant consistently fully booked for Chinese New Year and other major celebrations. In fact, like most other popular restaurants, it has two seatings during these occasions.

Loyal customers flock to their restaurant to sample their signature Peking Duck, fish steamboat, Abalone specials, suckling pig, wok fried prawns with butter and curry leaves, and the Hong Kong style steamed Grouper, ending the meal with the favorite dessert of Nian Gao ( Chinese Sesame Pancakge) and red bean soup.

Starview Restaurant Penang
341, Dato Keramat Road
George Town, Malaysia 10150
Tel: 04-226 6544

About The Author


Born and bred in Penang, and stuck in a 9-5 job. After years of backpacking, slowing down the pace now and enjoying the finer details in life. Food and wine (WSET 2) are a major part of my life and has a huge influence on my travel style.