Padang Brown Food Complex

Padang Brown Food ComplexPadang Brown Food Complex (29 April, 2015)

Padang Brown Foox Complex (GPS: 5.41407, 100.31669), previously Padang Brown Hawker Centre (Tapak Penjaja Padang Brown), is one of the older hawker centres in George Town, Penang. It occupies the ground around the Brown Memorial, between Perak Road and Anson Road. The hawker centre operates in the evening, and is quite deserted during the daytime. It is one of two hawker centres at Padang Brown, the other being the Padang Brown Johore Road Hawker Centre.

There are a lot of stalls at the Padang Brown Hawker Centre, arranged in two curving rows. On the side next to Perak Road are mostly Chinese hawker stalls whereas those on the opposite row has a mix of Malay and Indian hawker stalls along with some Chinese stalls. The hawker centre is one of the oldest ones in George Town. It was opened on 26 April, 1966, by the then City Council of George Town, and was known as Dato Kramat Stalls, or Gerai-Gerai Padang Brown.

For many decades, Padang Brown was synonymous with good street food. You just have to mention "The Padang" and any Penangite worth his salt will know which padang you are talking about. But of late, the Padang is plagued with hygiene issues - the horrendous number of flies!

Padang Brown Food Complex is on the map of Perak Road


The Padang Brown Hawker Centre underwent a revitalization makeover at the end of 2014. This involves sprucing up the two rows of hawker stalls and re-finishing the central courtyard. A new signboard was also put up at the entrance of the hawker centre.

I root for the newly renovated Padang Brown Food Complex. I hope that they have taken care of the flies issue, and that what comes in droves are customers, not bugs.

Padang Brown Hawker CentreNew Padang Brown Hawker Centre signboard (25 April, 2015)

Padang Brown Hawker CentrePadang Brown Hawker Centre after renovations (25 April, 2015)

Padang Brown Hawker CentreNew outlets at Padang Brown Hawker Centre (25 April, 2015)

Padang Brown Hawker CentrePadang Brown Hawker Centre (25 April, 2015)

Padang Brown Hawker Centre before the makeover

Padang Brown Hawker Centre at the height of renovation.

Dato Kramat Stalls signDato Kramat Stalls sign (29 March, 2014)

Among the hawker fare available here include laksa, otak-otak, char koay teow, lok lok, Local titbits sold here include or kuih, Nyonya kuih, chye kuih and Ban Cien Koay, fried oyster, nasi kandar, nasi briyani, nasi tomato, mee goreng, mee rebus, sup tulang, sup ekor (oxtail soup), roti canai, murtabak, and many more. You can also find stalls selling desserts such as ice kacang and cendol.

Tim's Taste Test

29 March, 2014: Having not been to the stalls at Padang Brown for many years, I decided to come to try out the food. I first came on the evening of Thursday, 27 March, but was disappointed to find that all the stalls were closed. So my wife and I decided to come back during lunch. This time we arrived at noon on Saturday, and saw a number of stalls operating.

I didn't read the Facebook comments in my Penang Hawker Food Facebook Group carefully, if I had, I would have seen a post telling me not to try the yong tau foo. We probably even misread it to "try the yong tau foo", so try it we did. And everything said was right. There were hordes of flies swarming on the items that were laid out in the hot sun. I didn't take a look at how the yong tau food was cooked, as my wife went to do the ordering. I went to order char koay teow.

The char koay teow came in two sizes, RM4.50 and RM6.50. So I ordered two RM6.50 plates, one with chilli for myself and one without chilli for my wife. We saw that other people were also ordering the char koay teow. When the koay teow arrived, we saw that we were each given four big prawns. Oh, lovely!

Padang Brown char koay teowPadang Brown char koay teow (29 March, 2014)

Then yong tau foo arrived in a large bowl. Apparently my wife ordered more than she had expected, and it came to RM17.70. As soon as we tasted the yong tau foo, we found that it was somewhere between "so so" and "not too bad". But the killjoy in the deal were the flies. They kept on pestering us even as we tried to enjoy our meal, that we had to shoo them every now and then.

Strangely, the people in the other tables don't seem to be bothered with the flies, and I do see flies at their tables too. Alas, I can't be like them.

Padang Brown yong tau fooPadang Brown yong tau foo (29 March, 2014)

The taste of the char koay teow is "okay only". The prawns however large they were, were a bit tasteless. My wife explained to me that that is probably due to how the prawns were cooked, which took away its taste. If you asked me, I can only explain that the prawns lacked the sweetness that make prawns tasty.

Having tried the Chinese hawker food at Padang Brown, we won't be returning any time soon. If I do ever come back, I hope to sit at a different area where, with luck, we aren't that pestered by flies.

Tim, Padang Brown yong tau fooTimothy Tye trying out the Padang Brown yong tau foo (29 March, 2014)

Tim, Padang Brown char koay teowTim trying out the Padang Brown char koay teow (29 March, 2014)

Been to Padang Brown Hawker Centre? Share your opinion on Facebook!

If you've eaten at Padang Brown Hawker Centre before, share your opinion of what you like eating there right here, on the Penang Hawker Food Facebook Group! Your input will help others as we discover and enjoy Penang hawker food together!

Padang Brown Hawker Centre before restoration

This is the Padang Brown Hawker Centre before the facelift.

Padang Brown Hawker Centre (16 December, 2012)

The Chinese food stalls at the Padang Brown Hawker Centre (16 December, 2012)

List of Hawker Centres & Food Courts in Penang

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