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Penang Restaurant

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by Jonathan Phoon (subscribe)
I love trying new food and new restaurants. My other passions are Origami www.weekendnotes.com/origami-classes-japan-australia-friendship-association/ and Pokémon www.weekendnotes.com/pokemon-center-tokyo/
Published March 6th 2015
Malaysian cuisine in the city
Penang is a state in Malaysia and living up to its namesake, Penang Restaurant on Gilbert Place serves a good range of Malaysian cuisine. The dishes served here consisted of a mixture of traditional Malaysian street food and more unique dishes using Asian ingredients. The Chicken Satay had the lovely char-grilled flavour that we associate with the dish. Although the peanut sauce was a bit watery, it still had the right intensity of peanut flavour to be a good companion to the dish. The Spring Rolls were fried to golden brown and the soft vegetable filling contrasted nicely with the crisp outer wrapping. It came with a serving of sweet chilli sauce to dip the spring rolls in if you like a bit of zing.

Penang Restaurant, Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, Adelaide
Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls


One of the unique dishes served here is the Penang Double Vege Kailan Crispy Kailan. Kailan is a leafy green vegetable used in Asian cuisine that is also known as Chinese broccoli. A portion of kailan is stir fired with your choice of crispy garlic sauce or fried anchovies and another portion is shredded before being deep fried. The deep fried kailan contrasted wonderfully with the softer stir-fried kailan and the garlic sauce helped to bring out the flavour of the dish.

Penang Restaurant, Double Vege Kailan Crispy Kailan, Adelaide
Double Vege Kailan Crispy Kailan


Penang Restaurant serves a good variety of Malaysian drinks, one of the most notable being Teh Tarik, which is considered to be the national drink of Malaysia. Literally meaning pulled tea, it refers to the process of repeatedly pouring a mixture of black tea and condensed milk to give it frothy top. It also serves to cool the drink down to a comfortable drinking temperature and mix the milk into the tea. The taste is quite unique, somewhat comparable to coffee despite being made from tea. Although usually served hot, you also have the choice to order it chilled.

Penang Restaurant, Teh Tarik, Adelaide
Teh Tarik


The beef in the Sizzling Black Pepper Beef was tender and cooked to perfection with the various vegetables adding wonderful texture to the dish. The flavour of the dish was rounded out by the pepper sauce without overwhelming the flavour of the other ingredients.

Penang Restaurant, Sizzling Black Pepper Beef, Adelaide
Sizzling Black Pepper Beef


While the squid used in the Salt and Pepper Squid was tender, the coating was a bit soggy. The salt and pepper mix complemented the squid perfectly with a bit of zing provided by the pieces of chilli. The Sweet and Sour Pork had chunks of deep fried pork that was cooked just right, accompanied by a sweet and sour sauce that brought out the flavour of the dish without drowning out the flavour of the other ingredients. If you prefer, you have the option to have it made with chicken or fish instead.

Penang Restaurant, Salt and Pepper Squid, Adelaide
Salt and Pepper Squid


Penang Restaurant, Sweet and Sour Pork, Adelaide
Sweet and Sour Pork


We bought a meal deal for four that allowed us to have an entree, a main and a wine each. We chose to swap the wine for drinks instead. Unfortunately, the deal did not allow us to order any of the Malaysian street foods that Penang Restaurant is noted for. We enjoyed their Penang Laksa (noodles in spicy fish broth) and Bak Kut Teh (pork ribs in herbal soup) during a previous visit and wanted to see if the dishes are still good under the new management. Guess we will have to pay another visit again to do so.
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Why? To get the opportunity to taste Teh Tarik
When: Mon – Fri: 11am – 2.30pm, 5pm- 9.30pm, Sat, Sun and Public Holidays: 5pm – 9.30pm
Phone: 08 8231 2552
Where: 22 Gilbert Place, Adelaide, SA 5000
Cost: About $16 per dish
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