Posted on 09 / 18 / 2011
When we arrived at this restaurant the outside appearance had us slightly on guard - it looked a bit cold and cementish. We ventured inside and asked for the a la carte section before being directed back outside and up an elevator which is positioned inside a brownish glass doorway to the left of the main entrance.
The ambience upstairs was neat and well presented - typical upscale Chinese restaurant vibe. It was largely empty except for 4 generations of a huge local family who seemed to be gathering there for their Sunday feast (how cool that they eat vegetarian on such occasions!).
The menu here was not extensive and mainly Chinese in style (nyonya). It featured a lot of mock meat, which after a chat with the very friendly and helpful waitress we got comfortable with eating - they make most of it on premises and don't use any MSG in their cooking.
With a bit of help from the waitress we identified the most 'Malaysian' options, which comprised of a handmade mock meat rendang, some kind of vegetable sambal dish, otok otok (handmade mock meat chunks cooked in banana leaf) and a seaweed soup (this one is Chinese but we wanted the seaweed for its nutritional profile), accompanied with some brown rice.
What came out of that kitchen was truly awesome. Each and every dish was so naturally flavourful and interesting, we savoured every bite and came away truly satisfied that we had tried some of the best of the local cuisine. The mock meat was very obviously not of the factory variety and did not feel overly meaty (we don't enjoy the taste/texture of meat). The waitresses were so friendly they kept coming past and showing us some of the dishes they were serving to other patrons, just so we could see what they eat. Many of the dishes they prepare need to be ordered a day in advance and are only for parties of 8 or more, so they weren't available to us. As we dined more and more local families came in for their Sunday feasts and we could easily see why this place was chosen to host such events.
On our way out we decided to check out the fast food section downstairs. Again, the lady there was so friendly. She asked how our meal was, talked us through the mostly noodle and rice menu and even told us about the vegetarian festival due to start in Penang next Monday (26th Sept). We are soooo coming back here soon to try the laksa and satay. Can't wait!
tasty healthy food, friendly service, clean spacious restaurant
the usual cold chinese restaurant vibe, could be more vegetable dishes