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Penang run-down

Penang is one of the better Asian restaurants in Boston, I think.

Here's a run-down of some things I've gotten there, along with the grade they earned once safe inside my gullet:

Curry Mee with Young Tau Foo
Grade: A
One of the most surreal, outrageous and compelling things one can eat in Boston. It's a fragrant curry-broth soup with two kinds of noodles, big dog-ear flaps of fried tofu skin, fish-paste stuffed inside bitter gourd slices, fish-paste stuffed inside eggplant, some random bobbing fish balls, green onion, fish-paste stuffed inside some other sort of vegetable and... and.... Dude, I actually have no idea what this dish is, but I've now eaten it hundreds of times and it's a part of me. A very special part of me.

Assam Ikan Bilis
Grade: B
It's best not to stare at this dish for too long. It's a zillion tiny anchovies in a very tangy tamarind-onion sauce. Good to share, but I doubt you'll want more than five or six bites because the tiny fish are very chewy and the jaw quickly tires of them.

Satay Bean Curd (appetizer)
Grade: B
Unremarkable but refreshing and inoffensive. Good for mild-tempered conservative types and young teenagers.

Chow Kueh Teow
Grade: A
One of the best noodle dishes in Chinatown. Smoky and rich; tastes like the noodles themselves were mesquite-grilled.

Ipoh Bean Sprouts (appetizer)
Grade: B+
A very pleasant appetizer for the man who just can't get enough bean sprouts (did you not know he existed?)

Achat (appetizer)
Grade: C+
Turmeric-covered vegetable pickles; I think there's a good reason I've forgotten these, but I can't quite remember it.

Penang Pad Thai
Grade: B+
This is a boring choice at a place full of gutsy options, but it's undeniably a fine version.

Indian Mee Goreng
Grade: B+
Full of flavor, but a little "ketchupy" for my taste.

Mee Siam
Grade: B+

Seafood Scrambled Egg Chow Fun
Grade: B+
Slightly smoky chow fun noodles drenched in a warming, soupy egg broth with some shrimp and squid lazing about. Gross in its way, but deeply comforting, especially in the winter.

Clay Pot Pearl Noodle\
Grade: B+
Similar to the above, but with thinner noodles.

Asam Laksa
Grade: A-
PUNGENT. Try it at your own risk, but at least once in your lifetime. The waiters will try to warm you away from it. But be bold, my friend.

Prawn Mee
Grade: A
A marvelously rich shrimp broth with two kinds of noodles. One of the top soups in this town, for my money.

Seafood Tomyam with Rice Noodles
Grade: B-
Skimpy on the seafood and a touch too sour, but I've never liked this soup anywhere so I'm not a good judge of it.

House Special Fried Nasi Lemak
Grade: A-
Mild, light, subtle and clean-tasting, without the slightest hint of greasiness. A new frontier for the greaseball genre of fried rice.

Shrimp with String Beans Malaysian Style
Grade: A
The most perfectly-cooked string beans; the most perfectly smoky shrimp; the most addictive dried shrimp-paste "sauce".... For the sake of all who live, just eat this my friend.

Shrimp with Lady Fingers Malaysian Style
Grade: A
The same as they above, but with okra instead of string beans.

Penang House Special Squid
Grade: A-
Tangy and pungent. It's squid in a sauce similar to the Assam Ikan Bilis sauce. Not very filling, but unusual!

Sambal Shrimp
Grade: B+
Shrimp in tangy sauce with onions; same basic genre as the House Special Squid but not quite as good. Too many onions.

Fried Ice Cream
Grade: B-
Breading a bit too thick; ice cream all melted inside. Why taunt us!!?

Grade: A
A dada dessert: kidney beans, corn, wiggly stuff, chewy stuff, shaved ice, coconut sauce, more wiggly stuff, whatever just get it.

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  1. Fantastic rundown! I know at least a few quadi-scientific hounds here who will dig this post, besides me. Thanks!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: yumyum

      agreed. Nice reminder of what Penang offers and that they do a good job. The smoky wok hei is better here than at most Ctown places since the Chinatown Eatery places closed.

    2. Far OUT! This place is almost never discussed on CH, so your post is terrifically helpful. We used to frequent the one in Harv Sq but i don't think you mentioned my personal favorite- a wedge of deep fried tofu, cut open and stuffed w/ slivered cucumber, bean sprouts and peanut sauce. (I always added soy sauce because it was too sweet for me otherwise.)

      And what about the deep fried nest of taro, filled with veggies?Love that taro.

      And they used to sometimes have a wonderful dessert of cubed taro and black rice in coconut milk.

      Btw, for historical architecture fans, the only extant HHRichardson office bldg is attached to the right side of Penang and was just restored (look up at those windows to apprecate it.)
      thx again, jeff.

      5 Replies
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Great tips, especially on the architecture!! Do you remember the name of that fried taro veggie dish? I think I'll try that next time. The taro dessert also sounds fantastic. I actually live in Cambridge but I moved here after the Harv Sq location closed. Why did it close, anyway? It would have very little competition among Asian restaurants in the immediate Harvard vicinity, and I would have predicted it'd be a huge surefire hit-- good thing I don't play the stock market, heh!

        1. re: eatinjeff

          I went to Penang in Chinatown for the first time in the mid-90's, and it was an eye-opening experience for me, as much as going to Siam Garden was in the 1980s.

          I eagerly awaited the opening of the Harvard Square branch, which took far longer than expected, maybe a year behind schedule. It was good, but not as good as the Chinatown mothership. Then there were some shenanigans and the name changed to Rendang, with exactly the same menu, as if there was some family strife or something. And then shortly after it closed. Don't know why, it did pretty good business, maybe the rent was too high?

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            I don't know about shenanigans, but the family who owned the Penang in Harvard Square (and I believe still owns the Penang in Boston, as well as several other branches) sold the Harvard Square branch to new owners, which is why the name changed to Rendang. I don't know why they subsequently closed, but it's hard to run a restaurant. In Harvard Square in particular, all good restaurants eventually become medicore gastropubs and/or bank branches. I am waiting for the "bank of america house tavern" to open someday. =)

            1. re: lipoff

              Unlike, of course, those idiots at the Bombay Club, which had a perfectly decent business for many years in Harvard Square, decide that "downtown" is a better bet given their pretensions, and are goners within a couple of years.

          2. re: eatinjeff

            sorry jeff; i have no idea why it closed. it was there a 'long' time, relatively speaking. sorry don't knw the name of any of the dishes; you'd have to look thru the menu, or ask them (maybe some are off the menu but they still do them.)

        2. Thoroughly enjoyed your post as it reminded me how much I enjoy Penang and it has been awhile since my last visit. I always liked starting my meal with the roti and sometimes splurged on the stuffed version. In the summer I am driven there for their watermelon beverage and I always order some sort of shrimp dish

          1. Great post. I haven't been in years. Must try the Laksa. I have 2 to compare it to. Sydney Aus restaurant 25 years ago and #1 Noodle House last week. Why do they try and steer you away? Spice level? Too rich w/ coconut and people expect Pho like broth?

            6 Replies
            1. re: trufflehound

              The laksa is admittedly intimidating to look at: it's covered in a brown layer of mackerel shavings and looks like... I won't say, heh. And it's not overly spicy, but it's very highly spiced and pungent-- like something off the "Authentic Thai" part of the menu at Brown Sugar. It's also quite sour...!

              1. re: trufflehound

                Trufflehound, the laksa you had in Sydney is more likely to have been the 'curry mee' than the 'Assam laksa' on Penang's menu: in Aus, 'laksa' refers to curry laksa/curry mee, and Assam laksa is called by its full name to distinguish it. And, as someone who fell in love with curry laksa while living in Sydney, I have to disagree with Jeff and say that Penang's is just not that good. It might be different if I hadn't had it elsewhere, but the curry laksa at Penang (like No. 1 Noodle House, the only other place I've found curry laksa in Boston) tastes very thin to me - the flavour isn't deep enough or savoury enough.

                I can't fault Boston for this too much, seeing as there isn't a Malaysian population here to speak of (there's a Malaysian food thread running at the moment, for more info on this topic); but it's a disappointment to me because when the weather is cold and raw, a big bowl of curry laksa can warm me like nothing else.

                1. re: TimTamGirl

                  I'm glad for this info-- I've never had this dish anywhere else, so I wasn't sure if what Penang makes is authentic, representative, or even remotely acceptable to people who actually have experience with other versions..!

                  1. re: eatinjeff

                    I haven't had anything else at Penang, so I can't comment on the rest of the menu, but the laksa was a huge disappointment to me: it's my favourite food in the whole world, and in Sydney it's *everywhere* - enough that there are restaurants that specialise in it - so it's tough not having a passable version available. I've tried working with a chef friend to re-create it at home and we did a decent job, but were hampered by the fact that she'd never had it before and I don't have enough of a food vocabulary to describe exactly what was missing... and the smell of the shrimp paste in the curtains for weeks was a bit of a disincentive to trying again. :)

                    1. re: TimTamGirl

                      That's really interesting, I never knew that about Sydney! I hope you'll let us know if you find a good rendition anywhere in the region (or even in nyc). Is it normal for the soup to be covered in those mackerel-shavings, or was that strange touch an "artistic" liberty of Penang's?

                      1. re: eatinjeff

                        I never took to Assam laksa myself - it's curry laksa that I cry for - so I'm not best placed to say if the mackerel shavings were par for the course. I will say that Penang's curry laksa/curry mee surprised me by being as seafood-heavy as it was: I'm used to prawns and chicken as the norm, with multiple variations available; Penang's only version had fish, fish balls, and shellfish. It might just be that they're very into seafood.

              2. Thank you for the yummy post which reminds me that I need to go for my fix of House Special Squid and Roti. I do really like the food here and I'm glad to see it get a little love.

                1. Great post. Penang is one of the things I miss most about living near Chinatown. I used to alternate between the Prawn Mee and Asam Laksa.

                  1. What an entertaining read, with many compelling reasons to go there soon!

                    1. Thank you for the kind words and suggestions, everybody!! (Keep 'em coming! :] ) I'm delighted to hear about other things to try there, and about the architecture next door too, which will be a great chatting-point for my guests on those days when the place is so crowded we all have to bunch up outside to await a table. It's funny: I posted this rundown on "That Other Website" (the one that rhymes with Smelp) a couple weeks ago under my cobwebby alter-ego account there and I haven't gotten a single reply; on here I got 8 replies with suggestions in less than 24 hours! :D

                      1. May I add the roti and Hainanese chicken rice to your excellent list?

                        The roti is not the best roti in the whole world, but roti is so delicious that a B+ roti is still a very delicious appetizer.

                        Their Hainanese chicken rice is the reason why I would go to the Penang in Harvard Square often when I was an undergraduate. A meal in itself!

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: lipoff

                          The Hainanese chicken rice does look excellent; very popular among the Chinese customers there. It seems like Chinese Penang diners also tend to get a milky-looking soup with vegetables there, but I can't figure out what it is and I haven't asked yet (I prefer the mystery, for some reason!). I thought it might be the fish-heads in carnation milk broth, but I don't see any fish-head in there...

                          1. re: eatinjeff

                            jeff, i'm guessing this is a coconut milk broth. it would be interesting to hear otherwise but i believe that cow's milk is rarely if ever seen in East and SE Asian savories.

                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                              It is indeed strange (for the reason you mention), but there's an item on the Penang menu described as "Deep-fried fish head served with carnation milk broth"; I don't know Malaysian food well but I'd certainly never heard of such a thing before. I've never ordered it though cos fish-heads floating in milk sounds a little gross to me...!

                              1. re: eatinjeff

                                That fishhead soup is delicious! Give it a try; it may look odd, but it's quite nice. The head bits are meaty, with cheek flesh still on, and the fish sauce and condensed milk gives the broth a salty, fishy richness.

                                RE: The chicken rice - I sorta wish it were more chicken-y.

                                1. re: Prav

                                  I finally tried it! On first inspection it appeared even more gross than I feared, but it ended up tasting much better than expected. It does take a minute to adjust to what's in the bowl, though: it's a broth of curdled milk (with the whey), with tomatoes, pickled mustard greens (!), ginger, noodles, and fried fish heads.... In other words, it looks like what's left in my sink-basin after I finish doing dishes. But the fish-heads are really nice and meaty and the broth is quite mild and soothing..!

                              2. re: opinionatedchef

                                It is supposed to contain a bit of evaporated milk (Carnation is the brand that we commonly have in Singapore and Malaysia). It's not based on coconut milk.

                            2. re: lipoff

                              I have a low bar and am easily pleased by the most marginal Malaysian cuisine, but Penang is (usually) quite a bit better than that. Recently had an excellent version of the Hainan chickie rice of which you speak.

                              Nice round-up, eatinjeff. I don't see it on their online menu, but you can axe em for a pepper crab which they do a delightful version of (see turrble pic below). Also bak kut teh for those special Sunday mornings. I like their vegetables too, particularly kangkung belacan, maybe my favourite greens in Chinatown.

                              1. re: Nab

                                nab, i love it when you and other CHs take the time to post photos, but would you plse ID these for us?and would love to hear any descriptions- particularly of those greens. thx much.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  1 - hainan chicken rice
                                  2 - pepper crab
                                  3 - bak kut teh

                                  Prav - you should revisit the HCR at Penang, they can be a bit inconsistent, but the one I had recently was most suitably schmaltzy, and on a similar note, their nasi lemak is also pretty slick, almost as good as Yoma's coco-rice !

                                  OC - the greens, kangkung, are simply sauteed with belacan, chiles, spices, and soy. An order of that and some HCR makes a fine meal.

                                  ETA: oops, that is actually not Penang's bak kut teh above (it's from another place in Chicago), but Penang's is quite similar.

                            3. Nice job. Can someone remind me or tell me the name of my favorite dish there? It's jumbo shrimp in a thick, almost black sweet (but not very) and salty sauce.. Some sort of black bean sauce, I'd guess, but I always have trouble finding it, and have orderednthevwrong dish on at least a couple of visits.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: justbeingpolite

                                That does sound good-- I haven't tried that yet; I hope someone will put a name to this one..!

                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                  I have the same issue with getting the right jumbo shrimp dish. I always have to ask them.

                                  I think it's 12. 14, or 16 on this menu..under Penang Chef's Specials


                                  Sorry I can't be more helpfulbut I'm in the same boat..:)

                                2. Your title is misleading. I read it with run-down as an adjective. You obviously mean to use the noun rundown.


                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: KevinJF

                                    You caught me red-handed! And I thought my ingenious ruse would go undetected... ;)

                                    1. re: eatinjeff

                                      I had visions of dirty restrooms, so did not read the original post for the first two days.

                                      Happy Holidays!

                                      1. re: KevinJF

                                        Yikes! Now I'm worried this happened to many others too; Penang is actually quite a clean and nice-looking place and far from run-down, so it would be terrible if I inadvertently started up some negative rumor... I'm glad for the heads-up cos I'm writing another rundown at the moment and I'll know to omit the hyphen when I post it..! Happy Holidays to you as well :)

                                        1. re: eatinjeff

                                          maybe a different word entirely? lol. like synopsis, overview or summary?

                                          i procrastinated clicking this thread too for fear of being utterly dismayed. places do go downhill.

                                    2. re: KevinJF

                                      zomg! i worried thus was an adjective too. it's been a while since i visited and was worried!

                                      i like to start with the oyster omelet and this thread reminds me i need a fix!

                                      1. re: KevinJF

                                        Happened to me, too. I didn't click on the thread until today thinking I'd see a bunch of babbling on about how "clean" Chinatown is expected to be, etc., etc. 36 posts and I couldn't resist. Glad to see it's actually a post about how good the food is.

                                      2. Thanks for compiling this list!
                                        In addition to your list, I'd add some of my grades for dishes that I love.

                                        Beef Rendang/Beef Rendang Rice
                                        Grade: B+

                                        Chunks of slow-cooked beef soft as butter, coated in a thick, spicy sauce that has a very complex flavor profile.
                                        I like having rice accompany this in order to soak up all of the rendang sauce. It's a sentimental favorite of mine and I'll fully admit that sometimes it's great and other times I wonder about freshness. I've deducted points for inconsistency, but when it's good, there's nothing I'd rather eat.

                                        Chicken Satay
                                        Grade: A
                                        Chicken marinated in spices, then grilled on skewers. Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dippin'
                                        Takes a few minutes to make (10+ mins sometimes).

                                        Singapore Noodles
                                        Grade: B+

                                        Light and fluffy, flavorful, and slightly spicy noodles. A solid choice.

                                        Nasi Lemak
                                        Grade: C+
                                        Serviceable nasi lemak, not the first thing I think of when I sit down at Penang but it's good if you're introducing the cuisine to a friend.

                                        Mango Chicken
                                        Grade: C for food, A for presentation

                                        Seems like a dish you'd find inside an American-Chinese restaurant. Shredded mango slices and chunks of chicken served inside a hollowed out mango. It's cloyingly sweet but some folks like that. Rice is a must to accompany this to offset the overwhelming sweetness.

                                        Grade: B
                                        I regard this as a "healthy" and light option at Penang, where most of the food is fried and/or very rich.

                                        Grade: A
                                        Delicious, when available. It's a flatbread stuffed with minced lamb, onion, and egg cooked on their griddle.
                                        Served with a nice spicy dipping sauce.

                                        My grades for some of your choices
                                        Curre Mee
                                        Grade: B-
                                        Great broth but too many items crowding the bowl (and it's a huge bowl). I agree that it's a great thing to have when you're sick or when the weather's bad outside. Everyone must have their own version of Curry Mee/laksa and I preferred the first I ever had at Aneka Rasa to Penang Chinatown's rendition.

                                        Assam Laksa
                                        Grade: B
                                        A servicable assam laksa, not too distant from bowls I've had at the source. Not spectacular but hits the spot when you have the craving.

                                        Roti Canai
                                        Grade: B
                                        This is decent as a light appetizer/snack and is what I order often. For me, the sauce here is the standout with the roti (bread) best serving as a vehicle for delivering that sauce to my mouth. The roti can sometimes be too thin resulting in a brittle, flaky bread although sometimes you can throw it all into the dipping sauce and spoon it out. I've never regretted ordering this even though it's not always executed well.

                                        Mee Goreng
                                        Grade: C+
                                        My model for this dish is one I ate that was both sweet and spicy. Penang's is just sweet without enough heat to make things interesting. It's not a bad choice, but not one that suits my palate.

                                        Char Kway Teow
                                        Grade: B-
                                        I like this dish despite my reservations on the freshness of their seafood- your description is good otherwise. I typically will only eat the noodles in this dish when I get it. If Penang used fresh seafood and cooked it properly, this would be an A.

                                        I love Malaysian and Singaporean food and have traveled to both countries a few times just to eat there in addition to trying places in NYC that have/had a good reputation. I like Penang because it represents this food here, but I preferred the former Allston outpost known as Aneka Rasa and will often cook my favorite dishes at home. Having said all this, I'm up for a chowdown at Penang any time!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: fragolino

                                          Interesting post! Wished you all can post some pics of the food.

                                          I'm currently on Penang island itself - Christmas vacation here this year. I've put up some threads already on the China/SE-Asia board: hope those can provide an insight into some authentic Penang food.

                                          1. re: klyeoh

                                            I'm well acquainted with your contributions to this site and appreciate them very much! You are one lucky dog to be where you are now!

                                            I couldn't read and write all of this without going to Penang for something, so I went I had a dish that I'd previously given a low mark to - the Mee Goreng. I've included a picture of it, even if I felt like a goofball taking it!

                                            The latest grade I'd give to the mee goreng is a B. There was good flavor in the noodles which was improved when I got some hot sauce to put on them. Noodles weren't as thick as I'd like them to be. The sauce was pretty "wet" at least compared with my gold standard mee goreng. The wetness doesn't detract from the deliciousness of the flavors but that "ketchupy" adjective someone used earlier definitely applies here. I'd say that the hot sauce is essential with this dish, though I wish they'd incorporate it with the sauce so that it'd be fried onto the noodles.

                                            Roti Canai
                                            Grade: B+
                                            Unfortunately, I gobbled down the roti canai before it occurred to me to snap a shot but the roti was just as expected- slightly greasy, in some places flaky and substantial enough to soak up the delicious spicy dipping sauce that accompanies it. Roti gets a grade of a B+ for being a little too greasy for my liking.

                                            1. re: fragolino

                                              Thanks, fragolino, really appreciate your return visit and update (and pic)!

                                              Just sharing my thread for the best mee goreng I'd ever had in Penang:

                                          2. re: fragolino

                                            Fantastic list!!!!!! It's great to hear some suggestions and ideas from someone with more experience in this type of cuisine. I've printed your rundown to take with me later this week on my next trip...!

                                          3. Craving Malay food, we ate at Penang after coming home from a trip to Penang last December. We were spoiled on that trip food-wise so, of course, we were very disappointed in our meal (roti canai was probably the best thing we ordered; assam laksa was dull, etc...). I chose not to report back. Based on these new reviews, the cravings are once again hitting me...Maybe we should give it another shot!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: digga

                                              Another trip to Penang - I ordered the murtabak and char kway teow - pics of each are attached.

                                              Murtabak: B
                                              Good flavor between the meat and egg filling which held together despite my frequent dipping into the curry sauce.
                                              Another good appetizer.

                                              Char Kway Teow: D
                                              seafood was rubbery in texture and too fishy in taste.
                                              The noodles were very "white". I asked what happened to their gravy and was offered soy sauce to mix in :-( Everything else was good- the noodles, egg, and sprouts so the dish wasn't a total failure but nothing like what I'd expected and had previously.

                                              I like Penang's appetizers and the beef rendang, but am struggling to find another entree that's consistently good.
                                              Maybe a meal made up of apps is the way to go here.

                                              1. re: fragolino

                                                It's the consistency as you've noted.

                                                I don't know if it's simply the style of different cooks ('white' is a style of ckt), but based on the OP's post I revisited their version and found it far better than what memory served. In fact, I'd nuked some for a snack and when I returned to my house hours later the kitchen still reeked of its smoke.

                                                Obviously, there is no defending inconsistency in the freshness of food, though.

                                                1. re: fragolino

                                                  I think the "char koay teow" you had sounded quite close to Penang-style "char koay teow", which would be a pretty "dry" preparation, and hence no gravy. It's also pretty pale in color as only light soysauce (and sometimes Chinese fish sauce) is used. Comparatively, the "char koay teow" we have in Singapore has a moister consistency, and tended to be dark in color (through addition of thick, dark soysauce).

                                                  As a comparison, see my recent thread on one of the top "char koay teow" spots on Penang island:

                                                  No excuse for the rubbery, fishy seafood which you had ; that's nasty - real Penang food uses only super-fresh ingredients. And the only seafood they should use are cockles, shrimps and, sometimes, fresh crabmeat.

                                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                                    klyeoh and Nab thanks for educating me. I guess I'm the fool here for thinking their rendition was lacking - I just prefer a different style.

                                                    Next time around, I'll ask the wait staff about the seafood in the CKT - maybe they're flexible with its preparation. I'll report back.

                                              2. This thread got me all excited so we went today in the late afternoon.
                                                We had the:
                                                - taro nest filled with chicken, veggies and cashews
                                                -fried tofu wedges filled with sprouts , cucumber and peanut sauce
                                                -- prawn mee
                                                - green curry seafood claypot
                                                - frog in ginger scallion sauce

                                                -coconut milk with black sticky rice
                                                - coconut milk with cubed purple taro and yam

                                                Many yrs ago, when Penang was in Harv Sq, the first 2 dishes were my favs. Unfortunately, based on today, i would never return to Penang or recommend it to anyone else. My Love enjoyed his claypot which i did not taste, but every other savory had major problems.
                                                The taro nest was a shadow of its former self, half the size and fried in very oversaturated oil.The filling had no flavor whatsoever beyond that of the veggies and dry dry chicken. O.K., maybe a few drops of soy? in water.
                                                The tofu was sparkless, though there are great textures and potential .
                                                The Prawn Mee was an absolute horror. Someone likened this to laksa?? Wow, they must have had something very different from what we had. This soup base was nothing but intense unseasoned unadulterated shrimp stock, and Ugh at that. I am even now plotting if and how I can save it .
                                                The frog was chopped into marble size pieces,bone and all, and had a ginger flavor of 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.

                                                Both desserts were delicious, but aside from them, I honestly have not ever had Asian food this flacid and flavorless. Fortunately, my spirits were able to be bolstered later on ,by our Winsor Dim Sum take-out: shrimp and taro fritters, shrimp stuffed eggplant, baked pork bao.Yum.It may be that I just ordered 'the wrong things'; the 'safer' items, but nonetheless,I'm done w/ Penang. (But all the more for those of you who love it.)