LunchPenang Delight Cafe
Penang Delight Cafe is a small restaurant located in the same neighbourhood as Universal Bakery and Golden Oscar Cafe. It’s a restaurant that identifies as authentic Malaysian cuisine. We can’t speak to its authenticity, but we were curious to see how Penang would stack up to other Malaysian restaurants in Vancouver.
(Above: Penang Asam Laksa — Hot and Sour Noodle Soup with Sardines. )
Inside, the restaurant’s seating is cramped, but the wood paneling and Malaysian decor with intricate, colourful patterns is pleasing to the eye. We arrived during the lunch rush, when select dishes are offered at $1 less than the regular price. Although Penang was buzzing with activity, we were seated promptly and service was efficient.
We started with a cold drink — grass jelly soya bean. Grass jelly is a jello type substance made from a plant belonging to the mint family. It is known to have a cooling effect on the body. Because of the grassy taste, it’s an acquired taste, but the combination of the milky soy and ice made for a refreshing and interesting beverage.
(Above: Number 11)
Tre had the Penang Asam Laska: a spicy, hot and sour broth with laska noodles, sardines, cucumber, pineapple, onions and garnished with mint leaves. The broth had a subtle kick, but wasn’t all that spicy. The sourness, however, was less subtle.
For myself, Curry Laska: a mixture of yellow noodle and rice vermicelli with fish balls, bean sprouts, fried tofu in a coconut curry broth. The broth was comforting and familiar, but didn’t stand out particularly amongst other laksas I’ve tried.
(Above: Grass Jelly and Soy Bean drink.)
Next, the sweets, starting with Kuih Dadar: a vibrant, green crepe flavoured with pandan juice, stuffed with grated coconut and steamed. It was steeped in palm sugar. They looked pretty, but our jaws grew tired from the overwhelming volume and dryness of the grated coconut.
Lastly, Malay Kuih: a steamed gelatinous dessert topped with grated coconut and milk that resembles a Chinese dessert often served during dim sum. This dessert arrived looking messy, like it fell off the plate first and was quickly rescued, but the flavour was nice and the texture more pleasing than the Kuih Dadar.
(Above: Malaysian Dessert — Jello-like, topped with crunchy coconut shreds.)
Our bill included taxes and tips came to just under $40 — which felt pricey for a menu serving lunch specials. The meal had its ups and downs, but Penang would serve well as as a trusty back up plan.
Perfect for: Malaysian cuisine on the East side.
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