Restaurant Review: Penang Delight Cafe (in Marpole)

I had heard/read a lot of positive comments about Penang Delight, both the original location on Rupert Street, and the Marpole Location on West 73rd Street.  I decided to check out the location in Marpole for lunch.

This location is kinda in-the-middle-of-nowhere.  It’s in a tiny strip mall in the middle of a residential area in Marpole at the corner of West 73rd Avenue and Hudson Street.

Apparently, word gets around, because in-spite of its isolated location, it was very busy.  I think I got the last empty table in the house.

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The menu was quite expansive, and if the names don’t convey enough information, there are photos of the food adorning the walls of the restaurant.

I ordered the Mee Goreng.

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This is a medium thickness fresh egg noodles, stir fried with cubes of tofu, fresh bean sprouts, tomatoe wedges, shredded cabbage, slivered onions, scrambled eggs, shrimp and squid, in a soy and sambal sauce, topped with a mound of fresh shredded leaf lettuce.  It also came with a small kumquat that, once squeezed over the noodles, adds a little citrusy freshness.

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This was excellent.  Probably one of the best examples of mee goreng I’ve had in Vancouver.  The noodles were soft and loaded with savoriness from the sambal and soy.  The bean sprouts and tomatoes were still al dente (for lack of a better word), the shrimp and squid were tender and delicious.  I would order this again.

This was followed by a small order of chicken satay

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This is large morsels of chicken, marinated in a seasoned curry coconut cream mixture, threaded on bamboo skewers, and grilled lightly.  It’s served with cucumber pieces and a curried peanut sauce.  This was pretty good, but not the best example of satay I’ve had.  The chicken was a tiny bit dry (perhaps overcooked by a minute or so), and the marinade in the chicken was barely noticeable.  The peanut dipping sauce was pretty good, nice flavor, a little chunky.

The service was bit of a mixed bag.  My server kept taking my dishes to the neighboring table, who would shake their head and refuse it, only for the server to then realize it was meant for my table. But at least she was pleasant and apologetic about it.

The room is a little on the crowded side, but it seems clean and presentable.

I will probably return to try some of the other dishes that I saw being served at neighboring tables, they looked pretty enticing.

Penang Delight Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Addendum 1 (2014):

On  a return visit, I decided to try the Char Kway Teow

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This is fresh rice noodles, stir fried with bean sprouts, scallions, egg, sliced fish cake, chinese sausage (lap cheong) and prawns.  It’s stir fried in lardons and a sweet dark soy for flavor and color.

This was a pretty good noodle dish, of the better interpretations I’ve had over the years (not too heavy with the soy) and decent aroma from the lardons and the scallions.  The lapcheong provides a little bit of sweetness.

 

Addendum 2 (2016):

On a subsequent visit, we ordered a few familiar dishes as well as a few new ones

Hainese Chicken

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This is a classic chinese dish that originates from Hainan Island, but was imported to Singapore and Malaysia by chinese immigrants and embraced by the new country.  This chicken is made by boiling a pot of water, and turning off the heat, then submerging the whole chicken in the water to poach with sliced ginger, scallions and some salt.  It bathes in the hot water until cooked through, then the chicken is removed and permitted to cool to room temperature.  The poaching liquid is reduced over heat to a broth which is then used to cook rice.

The chicken was chopped and served with a dipping sauce made from dark soy, chili sauce lime juice, minced garlic and crushed ginger.

This was a pretty good chicken.  It was cooked to the right doneness, with some decent flavor and proper seasoning.

roti canai

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Roti Canai is a pan seared malaysian flat bread, made from wheat flour, butter and sweetened condensed milk.  It’s leavened and folded, and fried on an iron skillet.  It was served with a small dish of curry sauce.  The roti was okay.  It’s light, with decent flavor and slightly crisp, but drier and less sweet than most of the roti offerings from other malaysian restaurants in town

blanched spinach

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I don’t remember the name of this dish, but was fresh spinach, dropped in a searing hot iron pot, tossed with shrimp paste, and dressed with crispy fried shallots and thinly sliced purple onions.   It arrived sputtering and steaming, because the iron pot is still hot and resting in a ceramic serving bowl wrapped in aluminum foil. I’m not a fan shrimp paste, so I don’t think I can really appreciate this dish.

Deep fried taro ring with pork and cashews

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This dish is cooked mashed taro root, formed into a ring, and deep fried to crunch.  It’s served on a plate of finely shredded cabbage, and topped with crunchy cashews and lean pork that has been dredged in a thin batter and deep fried and tossed with a sweet and sour sauce (alternately, it can also be topped with prawns or tofu)

This is a wonderful dish. The taro root is fluffy and tender on the inside, but lightly crunchy on the outside.  The pork is lean, sweet and tangy, with a light crisp (at least initially).  I would submit that the pork is too lean.  The cashews provide some nice crunch.

 

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