One night…

I arrived in Penang after 4.00 p.m. on Thursday and it was rather cloudy that day, with rain at certain places along the way from Sungai Petani. There wasn’t any jam on the bridge, thank goodness but there were a few police road blocks along the way, probably because of the Pematang Pauh by-election. I stayed at the Cititel Penang along Penang Road…  

Penang Road and Komtar

One thing that I noticed instantly was that the road was not as congested as during my previous trips. That could be due to the increase in oil prices, so unlike before, people are now no longer as reckless in zooming here and there at any time of day like there is no tomorrow. I also found  out that some of the shops have closed down, like one cake shop/bakery right across the road and also a shop selling clothes and souvenir Penang t-shirts.

I have been staying at the Cititel Penang all this while…

Cititel Penang

…and I am quite used to the place already. This is the hotel lobby…

Cititel Penang lobby

…and as you can see, it is a lot nicer than the one at Mid Valley in KL. For RM140.00, I would get a much bigger room like this…

Cititel Penang Room 1Cititel Penang Room 2Cititel Penang Room 3

…with a view of the sea.

Cititel Penang seaview

I had a better picture in one of my earlier posts, taken on a nice sunny day with blue skies and everything nice. One peculiar feature of Cititel hotels is that there is a ceiling fan in the room and the security is very good. You would need to use your room card to go up in the lifts to your floor. But what I like best about this hotel is the hawker stalls across the road at this place called Red Garden… 

Penang Red Garden

There are so many stalls there that one would be really spoilt for choice. I had this plate of char hor fun (RM4.00) which is something like kway teow except that it is not cut into thin long strips…

Penang Red Garden char hor fun

…and this plate of ikan bakar (grilled fish)…

Penang Red Garden ikan bakar

The last time, with my family, we had ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret) and it was really delicious…but that evening, they only had very big ones, so I opted for this piece of stingray instead. It was very nice too and cost RM12.00. It appeared to me that they just marinated the fish with curry powder and grilled it on a banana leaf on a hot plate…but what made it absolutely tasty was the sambal that came with it! I loved it!!!

No sooner had I had my fill than I saw the lok lok satay stall just opening for business. Gee! I haven’t had that for ages but I was already too full from the feast I had. Guess that will have to wait till my next visit as this time around, I was just staying for only…one night!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

26 thoughts on “One night…”

  1. The Cititel Hotel in Mid valley is way too small. I had to get a bigger room the last time I was there with my mum and daughter. I now prefer to stay at Boulevard Hotel in Mid valley. Pricer but has a bigger room.

    Yes, the size of a double bed only and hardly any room to move…and the queue at breakfast really long…and the situation at the cafe a real havoc! This one in Penang is nice…not like that, at all.

  2. I called it “Wa Tan Ho” instead of Char ho fun. That’s how we called it in Ipoh!

    Hey! What a coincidence! I just commented in ur blog and came back…and u’re here!!!…It’s just so-so, nothing great! I think I prefer char kway teow…

  3. We went to Penang once only n it left a lasting impression on me. People there are very friendly n even here i also find the people from penang very approachable too!I find their mannerism are quite similiar to Sarawakians. The stingray looks nice n I actually quite enjoy eating them n if cooked the right way is just yummy or else can be fishy.

    The people in Sungai Petani are nice too. The stingray was very delicious…no fishy smell at all. They have some places selling that in Sibu too…very nice as well but a bit different and the sambal is not as nice as this one that I had!

  4. I’ve stayed at this hotel too….many many years ago. Depending on where one goes, I think the food in Penang is a tad over-rated. One good thing is that in Penang we can speak our hokkien and they understand almost perfectly!

    I’ve eaten quite a lot of things at this Red Garden place and I found everything to my satisfaction (unlike Gurney) but some Penang people say there are better places elsewhere…

  5. Wah! The lobby is bigger than the Midvalley one!

    Definitely…and the Main Street Cafe is bigger and nicer too, and they have a Japanese restaurant, a convenience store, a florist and so on all on the ground floor…a health centre, a spa pool and a karaoke lounge on the first floor. Big place unlike the one in KL.

  6. Thank god that you a safe..
    I guess you had a great time with your daughter..

    Thanks. Yes, I had a great week there with her…

  7. hehe good post… (or else… hehe).
    the stingray is mouth watering! yum yum…

    you should try many other foods too… but yes it was only one night stay…
    remember penang is a food heaven!
    you can get anything good at a very cheap price.
    remember one thing… if you buy nasi kandar or pasembor… if you can’t speak malay with penang’s slang and accent… don’t speak at all… just point at this and that… so they won’t overcharged you!

    According to the SP taxi drivers, the Penang nasi kandar shops with branches there like Kayu, Nasimir, Pelita…memang all very expensive and they said that I should avoid those and go to the local ones. Well, hope to go to Penang again someday…and eat, eat, eat! LOL!!!

  8. welcome back…
    hehehe..was scared that u’ll fall prey to the lures of good food (but the food here is even better..haha)
    grilled fish…mmmmm… i like

    There’s a stall outside a coffee shop along Lanang Road – Fat Mum’s. The ikan bakar is nice…grilled coated with sambal, not curry powder. Night time only though!

  9. Oooooo ikan parek. Can’t wait for the puasa month. Then Fiq n I will have sting ray every other day

    Only one week to go…

  10. Well gundot, I might bump into you when you buy your ikan parek. I also like going to the ramadan stalls at satok

    Here the customers mostly Chinese and while they fast and grow thinner that whole month, I grow fatter…and fatter…! Hahahahahaha!!!!!

  11. I heard Penang’s lok lok satay is very nice … I should plan for a trip there soon 🙂

    I think in Penang, you cook everything in simmering satay sauce and eat. I prefer those I had in Singapore (Newton Circus) where you cook the stuff in boiling water and they provide the satay sauce for you to dip it in and eat.

    P.S. Btw, what’s wrong with your blog? Whole day, can’t access! 😦

  12. why are your pics small?

    It’s a three-column theme so I post the pics according to the size of the column so as not to upset the format/layout…but it seems that it comes out differently if you are using a widescreen laptop (like when I am using my daughter’s laptop) – the two columns on the right stay the same and the text will occupy two columns on the left while the pics will remain their usual one-column size. I don’t know why it turns out like that. I am thinking of changing to a one-column theme in order that I could have bigger pics…but I haven’t got down to that. Ur first time here, I see. Do drop by again…despite the small pics!!! 🙂 🙂

  13. Wow, suituapui, u really know where to get good food.. but Penang is always famous for its variety of food. Nice & delicious post..

    The readers like to see food…food…food…and I also love to eat!!! That’s why you see a lot of that in my blog. Nice meeting you, and do watch out for the next post tomorrow. Will link you in my blogroll!

  14. hehe if you want to go to nasi kandar… let me order for you… i promise you wont get pricey nasi kandar… 🙂

    you should also try bryani clay pot at kapitan… or tandoori there. finger licking good.

    if you are into laksa… laksa gamma is the best!

    Next time I go, I’ll get you to be my food guide…and don’t lah come so late! Old man must sleep early to stay looking young! Hahahahahahaha!!!

    you named it, you got it 🙂

  15. Actually I prefer nice mixture of tomyam food. It’s really tasty in some places here in Penang.. my saliva comes out oredi..

    Just go and eat! And next time I go over, make sure you bring me along! Don’t worry, you’re so thin…so can eat as much as you like! As for me, I’m beyond help liao! LOL!!!

  16. I love Penang! Food is nice, and the place just makes me relax. Maybe it’s because I only go Penang for holidays. But have never stay at Cititel – Looks good and in Penang, I like to stay in rooms with views of the sea.

    Definitely nicer than KL on both counts. Only thing is the cutthroat taxis – RM10 to anywhere in the city centre and RM30 to Queensbay Mall. KL to Mid Valley not come to RM10…but that was before. I hear the taxi drivers in KL are back to their old tricks again since the hike in petrol prices.

  17. KL to Mid-Valley MYR10/-! Man! We got slaughtered big time! From our hotel in Mariott to Mid-Valley, the driver told us we had a limousine, was expecting long stretch one, but got a Merc 180c and was charged MYR30/- that was few yrs back, from there we learnt our lesson!LOL! So STP u can really make your ringgit stretch like a very long rubberband from the sound of it!

    You so high class and so rich mah, take hotel limo! Hahahahahaha!!!! I’ve a taxidriver friend in KL too, from the radio show…and I’ll get him to take me anywhere. Very nice guy and very dependable!…I hear that the KL cab drivers have gone back to their throat-cutting using the petrol price-hike as an excuse, refusing to use meter and charging RM30 for what was normally a RM6 ride!!!!

  18. My! The perks that u get STP! Dealing with KL cabdrivers, really have to stock up my panadol! When we try to negotiate the price when getting into the taxi sometimes they reduced it but purposely refused to turn on air-cond n u get to sniff their B.O. which is even more potent
    than Christian Dior ‘Poison’! LOL!

    Next time u go KL, get my friend’s number from me. He took me and my daughter all the way to Kajang…and he refused to let me pay for the ride or the satay!!!! But he was so kind and considerate that he would help me across the drains like some old man! Hahahahahahaha!!!!! I said 6.30, at 5.30 I saw him waiting outside the hotel liao!!! Very nice and friendly and so dependable!!!!

  19. haha, seems like almost everyone goes to the same places in penang 🙂

    It’s just a small island…so everybody ends up in the same places, I guess! LOL!!!…I did not manage to go for the Phua Chu Kang ang tau cendol along Penang Road this time around!!! Yum! Yum! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

  20. I’ve stayed in that hotel as well.. yeah, definitely bigger than mid valley cititel. My most memorable moment in Penang was when this really old beca man offered me and my colleague from Johor (this guy is as big as me) a ride around town. The two of us had to squeeze into the really small beca seat and i was amazed how the old man could cycle up and down the hills with such heavy passengers. haha.

    Maybe body size big only, inside a whole lot of…hot air!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  21. O.o.. i love grilled fish with samba, have u try the one near the Sibu Expo Centre ? It is pretty good. Wow.. Kway Teau, not my usual but like it all the same but too bad with the prawns..Haiz… you know lar, old people, allergic to seafood. Haha

    Haven’t eaten there before. Must try someday then!!!

  22. I plan to go to Penang this month. May I know how u book this hotel? From what I saw in the website, it’s about RM300++ per night.. Are u book it through agent? Can u pass me the agent contact?

    I booked online. You will have to wait till there’s an offer/promotion. I think there is one right now at around RM185 – saw in the papers yesterday. Cititel at Mid Valley is over RM200. I did not go through an agent…but you may wanna try and compare rates. Sometimes it may be cheaper e.g. Bintang Warisan in K.L. I book through Wah Tung in Kuching… Dunno where you are from. Maybe you wanna try Tune Hotel – Air Asia’s cheap hotel – location’s pretty good…

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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