It's probably a bit of a misnomer: looking for Penang food in Kuala Lumpur. Why not fly 1 hour north & have the real thing in its place of origin? Which was probably why I hardly step into Little Penang Cafe in all the time I've been here in KL.
Firstly, Penang food don't travel well - case in point, those wildly popular Penang food promotions held in Singapore's York Hotel where famous Penang hawkers were plucked right out of their stalls & transplanted onto Singapore to do what they do best - cook their specialities. But somehow, NOTHING tasted as good as those one will get in Penang. Ingredients played a big part - Penang garlic, Penang oysters, Penang beansprouts - all have their own unique tastes which cannot be the same as similar ingredients we get in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
Secondly, Little Penang Cafe is a halal restaurant - and Penang fried koay teow, Hokkien prawn mee, etc simply do NOT taste the same without pork lard, pork sausages or slivers of boiled pork.
Anyway, I decided to pop into Little Penang Cafe on a whim this evening - ordered a Mee Jawa, and a side of Nyonya kueh pie-tee. The latter were absolutely delicious - thin, crispy pie-tee cups filled with shredded jicama, carrots, mushrooms, topped with sweet-vinegary chilli sauce.
The Mee Jawa was also tasty, though I'm not one for those chillied cuttlefish of which a generous amount was plonked by the side of the noodles. The Mee Jawa sauce was light & tasty, and I liked the yellow Hokkien noodles, plus the taukwa (beancurd) which blended beautifully with the sauce. Crunchy, slightly-blanched beansprouts provided a nice contrast in textures, and the shredded lettuce leaves complemented the dish beautifully. The whole thing was garnished with lots of crisp-brown shallots, hard-boiled potatoes, half a hard-boiled egg, and a wedge of kalamansi to squeeze over the dish. Yummy!
And my beverage was a tall glass of iced Sirap Bandung - a pink, milky rose-syrup flavored thirst quencher.
Little Penang Cafe
F001 Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur