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Restaurants & Bars 12

Penang problem

Allan Evans | Oct 15, 1998 02:32 PM

Lunch at the original Penang seafood restaurant
on Prince Street. Their stellar Roti canai came
with a thin, diluted curry, missing all of the
thickness, expressive contrasts of flavor, and
tiny fragments ofturs, save for he obligatory
chickenjoint with attached sinews. The roti bread
was very sugary. New menus seemd uniform: perhaps
they have supplanted the old one? Yes. Missing
was their masterpiece grilled skate wing with
tamarind sauce. The only similar grilled ray came
with a horrid sweet & sour tomato sauce (ketchup
& chili sauce combo). The underlying funkiness of
the fermented wing was minimalized by the sauce,
rather than blending with the old tamarind. When
I asked an unhelpful waitress (probably glum due
to the wages they scrape out) what had happened
to the original dish. No one was willing to
explain or mention the old menu. Worse - a plate
of fried squid came, which would have been subpar
in a 2nd rate pizzeria ($9 for about 20 tiny
chunks). The grilled ray was offered for $13 as a
special and was more a stingy ray than a stinger.
Colossal disappointment! Perhaps Gary Cheong and
other experts can stop by and see if either the
menu has been standarized or all their locations
or whether Penang is suffering from the syndrome
Jim describes plaguing Greek restaurants.

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