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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Penang Seafood Restaurant, Kuching

Now *this* is more like it!

The previous night's meal at Rock Road Seafood Restaurant was unfortunately underwhelming.  But at that meal, our good friend Mike started planning to introduce us to another restaurant the following night.  He said that he'd swing by before they closed and make the reservation.

So the following evening, after we took our friend Elizabeth on a short jaunt to Satok Market, we arrived at Penang Seafood.

Penang Seafood, Kuching

Penang Seafood Restaurant Kuching

Is it Any Good?

I remember driving past this restaurant sometime early after our move to Kuching.  I remarked to Annie that, "It can't be any good, if it has to proclaim that it's from Penang." The sentiment being, if any restaurant has to say that its food is from someplace else, it inevitably is NOT as good as that someplace else.

Yet, here we were, at a place chosen by Mike who eats out a lot here in Kuching (and elsewhere). I trust his opinion on such matters. And checking his blog, you'll see that he has visited this place many, many times. So maybe my first inclination about this place was wrong.

Soup's On

After settling our drinks, the dishes started coming out of the kitchen. First up was this pork bone and red bean soup. After the bowls were ladled out and distributed, I took a sip: Delicious!  Very rich, clear flavors.

Pork Bone and Red Bean Soup

pork and bean soup at penang seafood restaurant

Next came the fried long beans with minced pork. A dish like this can be oily or overdone but the beans still had some crunch to them and the minced pork was alluring.

Fried Long Beans with Minced Pork

fried green beans at penang seafood restaurant

Now *this* dish was out-of-this world yums.  It's a patty made with ground pork and dried salted fish.  I thought it was too salty but it was so addictive, I couldn't stop eating it!  Even now, my mouth is watering.

Fried Ground Pork and Salted Fish Patty

pan fried ground pork mixed with salted fish at penang seafood restaurant

Here is one of my favorite dishes to eat: Chinese Pickled Pig's Feet. Typically eaten by new moms, this dish of pig trotters braised in Chinese black vinegar beguiles me with sweet, salty, savory and sour notes.  Best thing about it is how tender the pork is. What's his secret, I wonder.

Pickled Pig's Feet

pickled pig's feet at penang seafood restaurant

The only dish that didn't wow us was the midin. We had it belacan and salad style at Rock Road the previous night. Mike's wife ordered it belacan-style again, but I guess the kitchen had a mix-up and it came out sauteed with Chinese red wine.  The midin came out limp and unappealing.

Midin in Red Wine

midin in red wine at penang seafood restaurant

Contrasting the previous night's Butter Prawns, we were served these assam prawns. The large shrimp were fried and coated in a sticky, tamarind-based sauce. Very nice, and tasty!

Assam Prawns

marmite prawns at penang seafood restaurant

The last dish that came out was the piece de resistance, an assam curry fishhead. And it wasn't just any old fishhead. Mike had brought it back from his recent trip to Sibu, and placed it in the care of the chef that morning.  These were very clearly Penang Nyonya flavors.  Spot-on! Great depth of flavor, and the fish itself was tremendously good.

Assam Curry Fishhead

assam fish head at penang seafood restaurant

The Damage

As you can see, we devoured everything on the table, save for the red wine midin.  That assam curry was good to the last drop!

empty dishes at penang seafood restaurant

Is it Any Good?

I was wrong. It *is* good. And good to know that we can get Penang food right here in Kuching. They even have assam laksa and char koay teow on Saturday mornings!  Definitely worth going back.

Thanks for the introduction, Mike!

Penang Seafood
Jalan Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui, near the intersection with Jalan Tabuan

Aloha, Nate


Bits said...

Wow! So much of good food.... I am drooling now!

Pete said...

All the food looks good to me....delicious

tru10000 said...

Wow, it all looks so good. We need to go to Malaysia for a food vacay! How are hotel prices in Kuching?