HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Penang?

Any thoughts? I've been meaning to try because their menu looks yummy, has anyone visited? It's Malaysian by Farragut North.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. there is also one in Bethesda. It is very good. if you like that kind of food you should definitely give it a try!

    2 Replies
    1. re: elegantelliot

      The one in Bethesda is great. Especially with a big party. Alot of great food.

      Penang is the food capital of Malaysia, which is big foodie country. Malaysians love to eat, and they do it right!

      1. re: jp4401

        Last time I checked, the menu was the virtually the same at both locations, but the prices were definitely cheaper in Bethesda. The owner once told me that he pays much less in rent than his relative pays for the DC location.

    2. Not a fan, but their lunch specials are a good value. I think there are definately better places to go!

      1. Its not bad - just not really memorable. I would go to Nooshi futher down 19th if you are looking for asian food

        8 Replies
        1. re: anunez

          or Malaysian Kopitiam down M from the DC location near the strip bars (total dive looking place but was quite good the last time I was there a few years ago.

          but Penang is decent and a bit more...groomed.

          1. re: hill food

            Yeah, Penang is fine but nothing special.... just like Mai Thai. Haven't tried the sit-down Nooshi, but I've heard great things about Malaysia Kopitiam. I've heard much better things about the Bethesda Penang than this one.

            1. re: kallisti

              I got delivery from Nooshi last week when Spices wouldn't deliver to my apartment and it was super good. I usually get take out from Mai Thai but Nooshi is certainly going to get thrown into the mix now (mostly because I can get a pan-Asian menu. Basil chicken and spicy tuna roll when I'm in the mood to mix up my cuisines).

              I haven't tried Penang. It's right down the street to my apartment, so I guess I should check it out. I always thought it was like a trendy P.F. Changs. Is this some place you could dine by yourself (which I often do) or is it kind of sceney?

              1. re: Elyssa

                Actually I just had Nooshi's tofu pad thai today (takeout) and I did enjoy it -- much more tofu than I was expecting, too. I can't say I'm a big pad thai connoisseur though (doesn't it always taste good?) so I don't know what that says about the place.

                I usually get their premade takeout sushi, which is certainly not something to go out of your way to get, but it scratches the itch when I can't go to Sushi Taro (which is most of the time).

                I've only been to Penang for lunch (I work on N), so I can't say what it's like for solo diners, sorry.

              2. re: kallisti

                I second your opinion. I have never been overly impressed with anything I have had at Penang- granted I have only had lunch. Seems like then just pour a pre made sauce over whatever meat your dish comes with. Go if you want to give it a try but too many other places (inlcuding Nooshi as another hounder said) to settle for this.

                1. re: xena1441

                  Dinner in my opinion is MUCH MUCH better than their lunch.

                  1. re: ktmoomau

                    I agree~ lunch is OK but I've had some very tasty dinners there. I forget what it's called - but there's this one dish that's amazing. It's mixed seafood and vegetables in some kind of hawaiian potato that I forget the name of - but it's amazing.

                  2. re: xena1441

                    I have to agree. The food is ok but I've only been a handful of times. I do love their Roti and I get it with peanut sauce. Delicious!

            2. I love Penang. The Roti Canaii and the Calamari (Squid) are to die for! If you only get those 2 things, it is worth going!!!

              1. I really like Penang, and would go more often if it were a bit cheaper. The roti is delicious, and the beef rendang is also yummy. I like the decor, it's very sleek and trendy. I actually think it's one of the best Dupont area options.
                Malaysia Kopitiam was underwhelming on my one visit last year, but I would be willing to try it again.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hamster

                  MK did sort of put me off by the picture menu, (what is this Indochine IHOP?)

                  but...

                  I rarely order beef in a SE Asian place, a friend did and I had a taste, dang good. But it has been a while.

                  1. re: hill food

                    A lot of the appetizers are unusual, and I think the photos are very helpful. The mee goreng (the national fried noodle dish in Malaysia) is very good at both Penang and Malaysia Kopitiam.

                    Roti is served for breakfast in Malaysia & Singapore, usually cooked on a griddle in front of you. My friend & I liked it so much we ended up eating it for breakfast nearly every day while we were there.

                2. I haven't been in a few years, but liked it. I'd agree that Malaysian food of similar or better quality can be found at other places for better prices, but I really like Penang. Atmosphere is great, and (if they still have it) the cocotini is a wonderful cocktail. Nice for a night out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AllyA

                    Which other places? Malaysia is one of those foodie nirvanas & I'd be curious to check out the best the area has.

                  2. I'm a big fan of Penang. I like the decor, the price is reasonable (not cheap but not expensive... not too bad for the locale) and I've NEVER had a bad dish. I've been multiple times and really enjoyed the experience. Agree with hamster, wanted to love malaysia kopitam... didn't. will try it again, but regarding penang, it is tried and true, IMHO.

                    1. Blehh. Chain with overly sweet, nothing special food. You can do better as other posters indicate above.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: lawhound

                        Where? Where, where, where, where, where? Since you (and other posters) keep on mentioning "other places", how about some specifics?

                        The only alternative that's been proposed so far is Malaysia Kopitiam. Anyplace else?

                        1. re: noamb

                          That's what I want to find too....and a good Singaporean place would work, too!

                          1. re: baltoellen

                            what's the word on Straits of Malaya on 18th across from Lauriol?

                            1. re: hill food

                              Eh. I tried it once and found it unimpressive. I would say I like it the least among the three (Penang and Malaysia Kopitiam). I would not go back.

                      2. Penang is not spectacular, but it is pretty solid and consistently good. Definitely give it a shot.

                        1. In general, I think Penang and Kopitiam are perfectly good, BUT --- sometimes I just can't get the curry laksa noodle soup from Kopitiam out of my head and I have to make a beeline there from my office. I've ordered many things there on many occasions, but every time I don't order the laksa, I regret it, because it's that good. I usually go with the pork rib option, in which the meat comes cleanly away from the bone.