Best Ayam Masak Merah in Penang

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Gone are the days when Ayam Masak Merah was only served as a traditional dish during Malay weddings and special occasions. Literally translated as 'red cooked chicken' in English, this is a dish of tender pieces of pan-fried chicken simmered in an aromatic crimson-red gravy of tomatoes, chillies, ginger, onions, garlic and a spices that triggers an appetite of gargantuan proportions instantly. Served with biryani, tomato or plain white rice, it's befitting as the best companion for a complete meal. Is your belly begging to dig into the best ayam masak merah in the food capital of Malaysia? Consider your wish fulfilled as we present some lip-smacking spots below. 

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  • #1
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    Restoran Tajuddin HussainPork free d90bfb235d64e73ff14d8ad65b89aaab71a3af43962907cb9cd494af0a63fa21Alco free 9fb1f2c65edc2c1eaf4e8b24402d108dd33cc2bc71f0fb0022a54c3c390a66c8

    Nothing screams Penang food more than nasi kandar and this humble restaurant in Little India has patrons from all over the country flocking for a taste of their ware. During peak hours, it’s a battle to nab empty tables, however it’s definitely worth the wait. With myriad curries and dishes to choose from, ensure that you do not miss their Ayam Masak Merah. This is a crowd favourite with tender pieces of chicken in a robust casserole of tomatoes, chillies, ginger, onions and spices - packed with flavours from the ingredients slowly simmered for that perfect crimson-red colour and rich consistency.

    Tips

    Parking is scarce, walking a short distance is required.

    Things to expect

    One of the best curries in the island.

    Best with

    Teh Tarik

    Price

    RM5.00 to RM10.00

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    Restoran Tajuddin Hussain View restaurant

    45, Lebuh Queen, 10200, George Town, Penang
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    042625367

    Closed Now
    Every day
    11:00AM—03:30PM
    Every day
    06:30PM—10:00PM
    More info
  • #2
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    Kassim MustafaPork free d90bfb235d64e73ff14d8ad65b89aaab71a3af43962907cb9cd494af0a63fa21Alco free 9fb1f2c65edc2c1eaf4e8b24402d108dd33cc2bc71f0fb0022a54c3c390a66c8

    This prominent nasi kandar restaurant which operates 24 hours will have your craving for a plate with punch of spices satisfied at any time of the day. Opt for their famous nasi minyak with sides of dalcha – a popular Indian stew. Their fiery Ayam Masak Merah gives life and colour to the mellow oiled rice; the meat is moist, tender and loaded with special spices.  To amp up the heat, add a dollop of their chili chutney condiment.

    Tips

    If you opt for plain white rice, a mixture of curries is wiser than going with dalcha.

    Things to expect

    Authentic nasi kandar with ample seating.

    Best with

    Assorted mamak stall drinks

    Price

    RM6.00 to RM12.00

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    Restoran Kassim Mustafa @ Lebuh Chulia View restaurant

    12, Lebuh Chulia, 10200, George Town, Penang
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    042634592

    Open Now
    Every day
    24-hours
    More info
  • #3
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    Nasi Kandar BeraturPork free d90bfb235d64e73ff14d8ad65b89aaab71a3af43962907cb9cd494af0a63fa21Alco free 9fb1f2c65edc2c1eaf4e8b24402d108dd33cc2bc71f0fb0022a54c3c390a66c8

    Beratur” simply means "to queue up". This unassuming joint draws curiosity with long queues of nasi kandar enthusiasts that allure you to be a part of it. If you think waiting is tough, be ready for the most challenging part as you face a smorgasbord of mouth-watering dishes. It’s close to crime leaving without tasting their Ayam Masak Merah. Meticulously fried and braised with a select concoction of hand-ground herbs and spices, the tender meat is coated in a rich and robust gravy that leaves a fiery aftertaste.

    Tips

    It's located beside Masjid Kapitan Keling.

    Things to expect

    Long queue that's worth the wait.

    Best with

    Teh Tarik

    Price

    RM5.00 to RM10.00

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    Nasi Kandar Beratur View restaurant

    98, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling , 10300 , George Town, Penang
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    042613984

    Closed Now
    Every day
    10:00PM—09:00AM
    More info
  • #4
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    Passion HeartAlco free 9fb1f2c65edc2c1eaf4e8b24402d108dd33cc2bc71f0fb0022a54c3c390a66c8

    This comfy and colourful cafe is widely adored by Penangites as a Mecca for cakes. Before hopping onto desserts, drill down their local delights on the menu till you spot Nasi Lemak. Cleverly giving tomato rice and biryani rice a break, their succulent Ayam Masak Merah is served with a mound of coconut rice, anchovies, hard-boiled egg, papadam and fresh greens. The chicken is first pan-fried till golden brown and then coated with the mildly spiced concoction - a perfect pairing with the fragrant coconut rice of nasi lemak.

    Tips

    Leaving without gunning down their homemade cakes would be a huge mistake.

    Things to expect

    Comfort food with reasonable price tag

    Best with

    Mee Rebus, Cakes

    Price

    RM12.90 to RM20.00

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    Passion Heart View restaurant

    83 Muntri Street, 10200, Georgetown, Penang
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    0164431336

    Open Now
    Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
    12:00PM—10:30PM
    More info
  • #5
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    Zest Bar & Cafe

    Housed in Glow Hotel with an innovative interior of artistic photos and vivacious furniture,  Zest Bar & Cafe's buffet has a booming reputation among Penangites, and this includes one of the best Ayam Masak Merah in town. Bathed in a thick gravy packed with herbs and spices, the tender pieces of chicken are so good; you’ll be going for seconds and perhaps even thirds!

    Tips

    Give a call to check on the menu as they change it frequently.

    Things to expect

    A wide buffet spread.

    Best with

    Assorted smoothies

    Price

    RM45.00 to RM60.00

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    Zest Bar & Café View restaurant

    101, Jalan Macalister, 11400, Georgetown, Penang
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    042260084

    Open Now
    Every day
    07:00AM—12:00AM
    More info
  • #6
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    Shariff Nasi Kandar GelugorPork free d90bfb235d64e73ff14d8ad65b89aaab71a3af43962907cb9cd494af0a63fa21Alco free 9fb1f2c65edc2c1eaf4e8b24402d108dd33cc2bc71f0fb0022a54c3c390a66c8

    A renowned push-cart stall which has recently moved to Gelugor Food Complex, Shariff Nasi Kandar Gelugor brings together their impeccable curries with nasi kandar buffs.  With plenty of side dishes to pick from, the Ayam Masak Merah clearly stands out. Rich in colour and spices, the juicy meat is infused with a subtle balance of spicy and savoury. Stick to the traditional formula of coating the piping-hot rice with a medley of curries that tickles your nostrils with the heavenly aroma.

    Tips

    Get in early as it runs out fast.

    Things to expect

    Authentic nasi kandar meal.

    Best with

    Teh Tarik

    Price

    RM4.00 to RM10.00

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    Shariff Nasi Kandar Gelugor View restaurant

    Pasar Dan Kompleks Makanan, Jalan Permai, Taman Brown, 11700, Gelugor, Penang
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    0174586786

    Closed Now
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
    05:30PM—09:00PM
    More info
  • #7
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    Hameediyah RestaurantPork free d90bfb235d64e73ff14d8ad65b89aaab71a3af43962907cb9cd494af0a63fa21Alco free 9fb1f2c65edc2c1eaf4e8b24402d108dd33cc2bc71f0fb0022a54c3c390a66c8

    Campbell Street is never a calm street. How can it be when you have the oldest nasi kandar shop in Penang tucked along? Think biryani, think Hameediyah! This fabled restaurant has been plying the trade serving one of the finest mamak meals that has a unique taste that will leave an ever-lasting imprint on your palate. Keep an eye out for their Ayam Masak Merah among the many pots of hearty fare. Huge chunks of chicken coated with a rich and spicy gravy, which gets you exploiting every shred of meat till the bone.

    Tips

    Parking is scarce, get in early.

    Things to expect

    The best biryani in town.

    Best with

    Assorted juices, Mango Lassi

    Price

    RM8.00 to RM20.00

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    Hameediyah Restaurant View restaurant

    164A, Lebuh Campbell, 10200, George Town, Penang
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    042611095

    Open Now
    Every day
    10:00AM—10:30PM
    More info
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