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Sun Penang for Dim Sum? Pittsburgh

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  • Rick Jul 20, 2008 02:01 PM
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I've heard that Sun Penang has dim sum but I can't find a web site for them. Has anyone tried it yet or does it even exist?

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  1. haven't been yet, but I plan on it.

    http://www.campusfood.com/menu/items....

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mr Siegal

      Chicken feet in black bean and crispy pork intestines ON the public menu... I'm taking that as a sign that there's either a huge Asian customer base or that the region is finally ready for more interesting food. Will have to give this a try soon.

      1. re: Panini Guy

        That's it. Sun Penang has been bouncing around my "try-next" list for a while now, but this post just bounced it right to the top.

    2. wow I gotta try it too!

      1. I went recently. I wish I hadn't. While I'm not much for the authentic dishes, i.e. the chicken feet, I did explore a little. We had the Shu Mai, steamed dumplings, sesame rice roll, steamed pork buns, and an order of sweet and sour chicken as a lunch special (spring roll, salad). The chicken was ok. I didn't like the sauce and there was literally seven small pieces in the whole dish. My gf was ok with it though.

        As for the dim sum, I give them credit for having a selection to order from a menu but they could go a little further and provide some descriptions. I really liked the steamed pork buns. Nice doughy balls with flavorful, tender roasted pork inside. The rest though was not up to par for most average chinese places. My biggest complaint was the lack of dipping sauce. All we got was soy sauce and hot sauce. I asked for other things, and they don't have any. No sesame oil, vinegars, spicy mustards, etc. This was inexcusable in my opinion. Who wants steamed dumplings with no dipping sauce? regular soy doesn't cut it.

        I really wanted to like the place, its nice inside and we were seated and attended to very nicely. Maybe you all that like the more adventurous dishes will appreciate the menu but I will move on to the next dim sum place next time. Probably Rose Tea, right up the street.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Mr Siegal

          Sun Penang also has nice outdoor dining on Forbes Street. It is where the old Pi by Valozzi was.

          While I love Rose Tea, it is not a dim sum restaurant. Rose Tea is Taiwanese and I strongly reccomend the scallion pancake with egg, the pork with baby bamboo shoots and the kim chi hot pot with shrimp.

          The Bubble Teas are also a lot of fun but beware when they say milk, they mean cream.

          1. re: Mr Siegal

            I wonder if they'd be offended if we brought our own condiments? Seems kind of silly to offer as much as they do, but to draw the line at dipping sauces.

            Thanks for the review!

            1. re: Mr Siegal

              I agree with the review of Sun Penang's dim sum -- it was okay. The worst part was that there are no carts to choose from. The servers just bring a single plate by and ask if you want it. Since you don't know the alternatives, you end up saying yes to something you don't *really* want, then before you know it, you're full. Also, the dim sum was a bit mushy, like it had been hanging around in the kitchen too long.

            2. chicken feet and crispy intestines has definately sparked my interest in this place. im not sure if i feel ashamed to call myself a pittsburgher and not know where this place is. i got the part about forbs ave, but thats a long road. can someone please be more specific. thanks

              1 Reply
              1. re: SiksElement

                It's in Squirrel Hill, near the intersection of Murray Ave, basically across the street from the Squirrel Hill Cafe (aka The Cage).

              2. Anyone that's been to both Sun Penang and Golden Palace for dim sum? Was Golden Palace the better option?

                1. I've been there six times over the last year. They started out good, had a brief dip to decent, and have recently been incredible. They have Chinese Dim Sum chefs who are different from their standard Malay / Indonesian food chefs, so they do both sorts of food truly authentically (taste, texture, spices, all are the real deal). I wasn't thrilled by the absence of carts. However, they do now have carts for a short period on Sunday around mid-day. I went back today (after cart hours, when some places would have been glad to stick me with re-heated stuff) and it was...exemplary. Strikingly good. Better (fresher, plumper, more savory. more perfectly balanced--pick every term that could apply) than my favorite place in Seattle, better than our standard tourist place in Vancouver, better than anything I found in the D.C. area. And the bill was under $15 for two of us, as it should be with Dim Sum. (But I tipped $5--it was that good.) Have you ever had a shrimp dumpling that was amazing? I always eat one because someone ordered them, but this time, the shrimp were strikingly juicy but not soggy, and the dumpling had that perfect texture. Their turnip cake is velvety, savory, full of little pork, shrimp and other "treasures" (as it should be) and they have just the right level of golden crunch on the outside.

                  I'm sad they don't seem to have bible tripe. (There's a place on Murray that does decent Dim Sum, and has a "mixed tripe" dish, but they serve larger portions--too big for 1 or 2 person Diim Sum eating--and I'm not wild about the atmosphere or the price.)

                  I'm sad Sun Penang doesn't have the clientele to do carts for more of the week. But the wait was short, the chicken feet were unctuous, garlic-y goodness with a light hint of black bean, the turnip cake was pan-national comfort food, the shrimp rolls were nummy, and the final dish was also perfect. I didn't catch the name, bit it was deep fried dumpling with a little bit of intensely savory pork inside. I remember something like in in Singapore--not the hyper-seasoned and cured red pork, but little fatty crumbles of real pork. The dumpling part is a bit like the outside of those sweet bean sesame seed dumplings that glue your teeth shut--there's sweetness in the dough. It was a perfect "main course" dim sum plate, and it also quieted any sweet tooth we might have had.

                  In the past, I've had the stuffed eggplant, the shrimp / green peppers, and the tofu skin. They're all fine. I live less than a mile away, and I also go here for the non-Dim Sum menu (especially Rendang and Nasi. But that's another post. (The pork intestine is deep fried, unadorned, pretty good, and has enough calories to feed two.)

                  1. P.S. they do serve sauce with dishes that are authentically served with sauce. That included the shrimp dumplings and the turnip cake, but not some of the other moister, more highly seasoned dumplings. Should they offer more? Let me put it this way. In Japan, a lot of Japanese have gone mad for mayonnaise. They serve it with all sorts of things, both Japanese-style foods and what they consider American foods. I noticed a couple of Japanese students were quite put out when they went to an authentically american, and the omlette came without a big stripe of mayo down the middle. Hey--where was the Mayo? I'm not saying it's bad to put mayo on an omlette, or have your own favorite dip for Dim Sum. But I'm not going to call out a restaurant for not providing them, when they seem to be intensely authentic in so many ways. (They bother to put candlenut chips on the appropriate Maylay / Indonesian dishes...and they reliably fry them golden but not browned. That's service.)