Feast Your Senses on the World First Amazing Food Museum

Penang is best known as the food capital of Malaysia and it is one of the best cities in the world for street food. To celebrate Malaysia food’s heritage and its food capital, Penang opened the World’s First Food Museum in November 2015.

The Wonderfood Museum is located in the core of Georgetown or Penang Old Town.  It is a museum that not only embraces the food cultures but also celebrates Penang’s art culture.

With no expectations, we visited The Wonderfood Museum to learn more about Penang food. With eyes wide open eyes and hungry bellies, we enjoyed a salivating visit.

If you’ve ever wondered, what a food museum is like, feast your senses on a tour of the world’s first amazing food museum!

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Entrance Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestVisit the Wonderfood museum in Penang

Celebrating Penang Food Cultures

The food in Malaysia is a wonderful collision of flavors that includes Malay, Chinese, Peranakan and Indian flavors. When we first arrived in Penang, we were surprised to find the different cultural influences stirred into one delicious “melting pot.” Indeed, we discovered 9 reasons why you should feast on Penang food.

Right from the start, the museum introduces you to the uniqueness of Malaysian traditional cuisine through the different communities.

There is a Chinese saying that says “food is the basic necessity of all mankind”. Therefore, the best way to get to know a country or her people is by knowing the local foods.

This museum brings you into Malaysian food and the cultural diversity from its multi-ethnic population.

“You have to taste a culture to understand it”  – Deborah Cater

Indian food is brought to life in wall art that shows the different traditional Indian foods.

Indian Indulgences Food Museum Penang Authentic Food QuestIndian indulgences

To discover more about India and the rich culinary heritage, a visit to Rajasthan, one of the most colorful and vibrant states in the country is a must. Known as the former “Land of the Kings”, you’ll find majestic forts, golden sand deserts, wildlife, authentic cuisine and much more. Book a Rajasthan Tourism Package, for an awe-inspiring trip.

Peranakan food which is a blend of Chinese and Malay cooking is highlighted on a beautiful centerpiece, with dishes, desserts, spices and the traditional cooking pots.

Perakanan Buffet Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestA tempting spread of Peranakan dishes and desserts

The flavors of Malay are hung on a giant wall tapestry. The names of the traditional Malay dishes are sketched out including dishes, snacks, and sauces. Next to it, are replicas of the actual dishes.

With the wall hangings right next to each other, you can easily identify each food and then see the realistic version of the food.

Malay Flavors Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestMalay flavors including dishes, desserts and snacks.

The Chinese foods and temptations are presented in a similar manner. On one wall are the sketches of the foods and desserts. And, right next to it are realistic representations of each of the dishes.

ChineseTemptations Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestA range of delicious Chinese foods

Walking through this section and seeing the sketches of the food and the realistic dishes right to it, helps you understand the different cultures and their contributions to the overall delicious Malaysian cuisine.

Super Realistic Giant Food Sculptures

Stepping into this section is one of the most sensorially stimulating culinary journeys. Everywhere you look at are some of Malaysia’s and the world’s most amazing foods in a visually stimulating manner.

With the giant and ultra realistic food replicas you are literally taken into the food.

Penang Asam Laksa, one of our beloved and best Penang foods is presented as giant bowl of soup that invites you to dive into.

Penang Asam Laksa Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestGiant bowl of Penang Asam Laksa

Cendol, the ice dessert, is tempting in its giant form. In the heat of Penang, the thought of taking a big slurpy bite to cool off is the first thing that comes to mind.

Cendol Food Museum Penang Authentic Food QuestGiant Cendol

Sweets from Penang and around the world are featured in their own separate room. The colors, flavors and scents make you want to lick one of the giant lollipops on display.

Sweets Room Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestThe "sweets" room

Food in Quotes

Throughout the museum are quotes about food hanging on the walls. These quotes reference the importance of food in daily life and in building community. They are all presented in a visually interesting manner.

Quote Love Food Food museum Penang
Hungry Quote Food museum Penang Authentic Food Quest
Quote Love Food Food museum Penang Authentic Food Quest

Food is Art

The world’s priciest foods are displayed as replicas in an opulent setting. In this lavish room are the most expensive plates of food ranging from $1,000 and up.

Expensive Food at Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestThe most expensive foods in the world in one setting

On the table is a replica of a pizza for $4200, created by Scottish chef dedicated to James Bond.

Named the Pizza Royale 007, this 12-inch pizza is filled with lobsters marinated in cognac, caviar soaked in champagne sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, prosciutto, venison medallions and vintage balsamic vinegar.

This incredible pizza is topped with 24-carat edible gold flakes.

In 2008, Paris pastry shop Ladurée teamed up with Marni fashion house to create a delectable pastry that fuses food and fashion. They created two-bite sized chocolate macarons made of 100% premium ingredients. To lavish it even further, each macaron is covered in sheets of precious and edible gold.

One box was sold for $100.00.

Gold macarons Food Museum PenangThe most expensive macarons in the world

This Golden Opulent Sundae was sold for $1,000.00 It is made with Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice cream and Amedei Porcelana dark chocolate from Tuscany, the most expensive chocolate in the world. Taking it further, this sundae features 24-karat edible gold and dessert caviar topping.

Sundae Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestOpulent Sundae made with the most expensive chocolate in the world

Art comes to life as food in the very creative illustration of the world famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Looking at how different ingredients are placed creatively on the table to recreate this famous painting is simply amazing.

Mona Lisa Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestArt is food...the Mona Lisa ingredients

This room is quite fascinating as it elevates food to an exclusive art form. Food does more than satiate the body, it can be a multi-sensorial experience presented in a very delectable fashion.

The Dark Side of Food at the Food Museum Penang

The Wonderfood Museum also puts a spotlight on the negative impact of excessive food and habits.

One of the most shocking exhibits showcases the consequence of shark finning, an issue that is common in Asia and one that few Westerners might be aware of.

In China, shark fin soups is a luxury item and its demand has dramatically increased with the recent wealth of the Chinese population. As a result, sharks are hunted for their fins and this hunting results in the endangering of the shark species, causing a threat to the ecosystem.

Shark fins Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestShocking Sharks exhibit to raise awareness of the dangers of shark finning

The museum also tackles food waste, another negative consequence of food. This enlightening exhibit brings awareness to food waste the waste which is a leading cause of hunger worldwide.

Food Waste Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestThe paradox of food waste and hunger on the spotlight

The exhibit also touches on the current threat to our society around obesity, diabetes, and the excess of sugar in processed foods.

Sugar Poster Food museum Penang Authentic Food QuestThe many deceptive names of sugar found in our foods
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Summary

The Wonderfood museum is one of the most interactive and fun learning experience you will have in Penang!

You get to understand the Malaysian food culture through art and realistic replicas that will leave you hungry.

The museum takes you on a culinary experience that shows the power of food in bringing people and communities together. Furthermore, the pleasurable and artistic side of food is balanced with the dangers of waste excess.

Don’t miss this the food museum Penang on your travels to Malaysia.  While the visit will take about one hour of your time, you will be left with lasting and satisfying memories.

On your way out, grab a food guide and map on recommended places of where to eat the local specialties. The museum experience will leave you hungry and the map will be your best guide to eat what you looked at and touched on the inside.  

Food Guide Food Museum Penang Authentic Food QuestYour food guide for Penang

Practical Information

Wonderfood Museum

Address: 9, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10200 George Town

Hours: Everyday from 9 am to 6 pm. Last visit at 5 pm.

Fees: RM25 per adult (about $5.95 USD)  and RM15 per child ($3.55USD).

 

Have you visited a food museum before? Tell us which one in the comments below.

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Savor the Adventure!

 

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40 thoughts on “Feast Your Senses on the World First Amazing Food Museum”

  1. My first visit to Georgetown was in 2014 so I missed the 2015 opening! I love Georgetown and its street and building art! And how the quiet sleepy side streets converts into a giant street food party where everyone knows everyone!

    Laughing at that giant chendol LOL!

    Reply
    • Totally agree, Carla, eating on the streets is really one big giant outdoor fest. With incredibly delicious food 🙂 What were your favorite foods? Check out the museum on your next…a really fun and interactive experience!! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  2. Wow, this is my kind of museum! I love how realistic all of the food looks. And I can’t believe how expensive that pizza was! I love pizza, but I could never spend that much. Even if it has gold! lol

    Reply
  3. What a great way to celebrate Malaysia food’s heritage; I’m honestly surprised that this is the first food museum of its kind – it’s a brilliant idea! I love the flavors of Malay giant wall tapestry – what a unique display! It’s fantastic that they’ve gone to great lengths to make sure every type of cuisine which makes up Malaysia’s rich food scene has been represented in some way.

    I love the food in quotes, and how they have incorporated art throughout the museum with food. Though also a very good opportunity to highlight the dark side of food – obesity, diabetes, and the excess of sugar in processed foods is becoming a huge problem throughout nearly all societies, so I’m glad that the museum is raising education and awareness, as well as celebrating their cultural identity through food.

    Sounds like a really fun and interactive experience!

    Reply
    • Thanks Meg for your feedback. A really unique concept for a museum. We totally agree, Wonderfood museum did a great job of showing the role of food in society -the good and the bad. The artistic displays and food quotes made for a fun experience. A must visit if your travels take you to Malaysia. Cheers.

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  4. What a great museum, such a great way to learn more about Malaysian food! And the name Wonderfood is fabulous too. Shocked a bit that there are 56 names for sugar – wow. I’ll have to remember this museum when we visit Penang, thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    • You are right Claudia, we were just as surprised to see the many cryptic names for sugar as well. Quite eye opening 🙂 Indeed, if your travels take you to Penang, the Wonderfood museum is a great place to learn about Malaysian food and culture. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. This sounds like such an interesting museum! I love that there are so many different, unique facets. I think it’s really interesting to have the dark side of food on display as well, probably quite enlightening. This is definitely on my Penang list now!

    Reply
    • The museum did a great job of presenting the positives and negatives of food. It makes you think holistically about food and the role it plays in society. It’s definitively a must-visit in Penang!! Thanks for stopping by Paige.

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  6. haha this is amazing, a food museum – I would get so hungry walking around here looking at this amazing food 😀 but saying that I have just added it to my to do list in Malaysia 😀

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  7. What an interesting idea for a museum, but I kept waiting to see if they give you samples. I guess not! I’d be wanting to try all the different foods they displayed!

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  8. I think it’s SO true that you need to taste a culture’s traditional foods to truly learn. I’m not a museum fan typically, but this is totally my kind of museum! I love how the displays are set up, and I think it’s fantastic that the museum gives you a map that shows where to try these foods!

    Reply
  9. Somehow, I always read your posts on a tortuous empty stomach! After reading your posts on food in Penang, I’ve been researching flights so it looks like I’ll be back at it again after this read! I’m seriously drooling over the Lakhsa! This museum looks like an interesting way to learn. I love the diagrams/wall hangings showing the cultural influences on Malayasian food. It’s been added to the Penang musts list, but only after I’ve gotten good and full on some of those delicious dishes.

    Reply
    • That’s funny Jackie, we suffer the same hunger pangs while writing the articles. Torturous indeed 🙂 Penang is certainly with worth visiting. The museum is a great place to start and then prepare to eat…and eat!! Cheers.

      Reply
    • That’s awesome that you lived in Malaysia as a kid. Was it in Penang? I’m sure much has changed, but the food is still as delicious. Fortunately, delicious food surrounds the museum, making it easy to eat after the experience. Cheers.

      Reply
    • Indeed lots of fancy dishes on the expensive food table. Many are familiar like hamburgers, macarons, ice cream and more. It’s the unique ingredients and quality products that make them stand out. A real treat to see 🙂 Thanks Maegan.

      Reply
  10. What an interesting museum and perfect place for it since Malaysian cuisine is such a mix of different cultures. I appreciate that the museum also highlights some of the different problems that come with speciality foods.

    Reply
  11. I love the food diagrams! One of the hardest parts of trying a new style of food is picking which dish to choose. The diagrams would be so helpful to learn about the different foods and how to eat them.

    Reply

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