Penang – Teochew-Cantonese Dinner at CRC Chinese Restaurant (中華海鮮餐廳)
CRC Restaurant is one of the oldest and most popular large, standalone Chinese restaurants on Penang (the others include Starview at New World Park, Maple Palace on Northam Road and Corner Club on Gurney Drive). These restaurants usually play host to Chinese wedding receptions and other large-scale dinners, so one needs to call ahead to make sure that the restaurants are not fully-booked out for some private function.
Dinner for us yesterday evening:
- “Sang choy bow” – scrambled eggs with sharksfin, crabmeat, carrots, scallions and crisp shallots. Tasty, but a bit drier than I’d have liked here. But the fresh lettuce “cups” were nice & crunchy.
- Prawn curry, served with fried bread. Very spicy, with plump prawns – absolutely gorgeous. This is a must-try dish here.
- Red snapper, steamed Cantonese-style - perfectly-timed a la minute steaming here. The fish was very fresh and sweet. 10 out of 10.
- Steamed tofu topped with sautéed minced pork, shrimps, mushrooms and salted fish in dark soy sauce. I loved tofu, but didn’t like the bland-ish topping here. Besides, combining pork with shrimps didn’t seem to work at all. Avoid.
- “Dongpo” pork served with steamed “mantou” buns. The version here inexplicably incorporated “mui choy” (preserved mustard leaves), which gave the dish, IMO, an unwelcome salty tang. Didn’t like this.
- “Pei pa” duck – freshly roasted, crisp-skinned pressed duck, served with “hoi sin” dip on the side. It’s very well-prepared here, with perfectly, crisped skin on moist flesh.
- Dessert: Peanut soup with red-bean pancakes. This was an unmitigated disaster: the peanut soup lacked any peanut aroma or taste, was very bland and salty – probably made by adding water to some powdered substance from out of a box. The red bean-filled pancake looked anaemic, and lacked the glossy, brown sheen of a properly deep-fried pancake. Never, ever order this dish here, ever.
Overall – pretty disappointed with the dinner here. I know Penang lagged behind KL, and even Ipoh, in terms of Chinese fine-dining – but we must have ordered some wrong dishes at CRC Restaurant for it to be so bad. Prawn curry and steamed fish were the only stand-outs.
CRC Chinese Restaurant (中華海鮮餐廳)
22 Pangkor Road
Tel: +604-227 8777