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The Food

If Penang is known for anything, it is food. Malaysians love their food and some of the best comes from this city separated from the mainland by a 10km bridge. We met a friend on the bus, Enrico, and he pointed out a few highlights in Georgetown, including Kapitan, which he said was the best Tandori in Penang.

I like the idea of tandoori, marinating meat in a yogurt-based sauce of garam marsala, cumin, cayenne, ginger and garlic and then throwing it into a 900 tandoor; but every time I’ve had it at home the chicken comes out dry. So we had some doubts but decided to try it anyway…

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Kapitan had an extensive menu and everything is halal (a process similar to Kosher) so no pork. I don’t know how those millions of people can live without pork but that is another story. We ordered a couple Tandoori sets that included fresh made garlic butter naan (also using the tandoor), sauce, dahl and mint paste for a whopping 10 Ringgas (3.6 ringgas so the dollar) and waited about 5 minutes for them to arrive.



The chicken was amazing. Juicy and full of flavor and very tender. Nobody else was really using utensils and so we dug in with our hands, breaking the chicken into small pieces and wrapping it in the naan before dipping it all into the mint paste and sauce. We stopped talking and just ate.

A couple of Kenyans from England sat down next to us and we chatted with them for the rest of the night. They were vacationing in Malaysia and had already been to Kapitan once for lunch. They liked it so much that the came back for dinner. Something we would do ourselves on the next night.

Warm Almond Milk

Warm Almond Milk

We noticed a little vendor cart next to the restaurant. The couple told us that Kapitan was also well known for their frech almond milk. We had to try so we ordered up a glass. Sure enough, it tasted like almonds. A little sweet and flavored with cardamon, it was a nice change from water and beer – basically the two liquids I survive off of here as wine is both expensive and generally not very good.

We still weren’t full and so we ordered the boneless butter chicken. Basically, they take the breast of the tandoori chicken (not my favorite part of the chicken but it’ll do) and serve it in a rich red, yogurt sauce. It was also delicious.

I wanted to order more things but we were already very full. We decided then that we would need to come back some other time. At around midnight, the Kapitan still doing a good business, we walked home to our crappy room and closed our eyes – trying to forget about the dirty place we were in and keep our thoughts on that glorious chicken…

The next night, we got the tandoori again but also the chicken biryani…

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani


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