Answers from Our Experts (1)
Allergy sufferers shouldn’t have too many problems in Penang. Food allergies are not nearly as prevalent in Asia as they are in the west, and so not many people understand them — or what can happen — so you’ll want to be sure to ask lots of questions about ingredients. Fortunately, because nearly everyone in Penang speaks some English, you won’t have too much trouble making yourself understood. If you have a gluten allergy, you’ll find plenty of delicious seafood and grilled meat dishes. If you have seafood allergies, stick to meats and breads; noodles may have prawns, so check before you order. Those who are allergic to dairy will run into fewer problems, as the use of dairy is not prevalent; coconut milk is the closest most dishes get. If you’re allergic to eggs, you may be safe with noodles but not with breads, especially at Indian restaurants. When in doubt, ask, and if you’re able to, get your hotel concierge to write down your allergies in Malay and Chinese just in case.