Monday, September 19, 2011

Penang Place, Singapore (Getting a spread of Malay food, all in one meal)

Since my time in Singapore was very limited (4 days), my mom took me to Penang Place so that I could sample all my favorite Singaporean food in one sitting. Penang Place is located at the new business center Fusionopolis. It's a buffet spread, but the food is actually really good and authentic. It's also very affordable at SGD22 per person

These are the fixings for nasi lemak. Nasi Lemak means "fatty rice" in Malay. This is because the rice is cooked in coconut milk and pandan/screwpine leaves. The rice is then topped with an array of toppings that include ikan bilis (deep fried anchovies), peanuts, cucumbers and spicy sambal chili.

There are many types of laksas and they are all noodle soups. My favorite laksa is the Nyonya laksa made with spicy coconut curry broth. The version I had at Penang Place was the Assam laksa which tastes completely different from the Nyonya version. The broth is sour and spicy, and made with a tamarind and fish base. The Assam laksa was prepared to order. The noodles were topped with shredded fish, cucumbers, pineapple and herbs. I really liked the tang of the broth.

Rojak is a do-it-yourself dish which mixes fresh fruits and vegetables (mango, pineapple, jicama, cucumber) with spicy Rojak peanut sauce. The Rojak sauce is made with belacan, peanuts, lime and spice.

Chicken curry with potatoes were delicious (I went for seconds). I love Malaysian curry, which is richer and thicker than Japanese curry. The spices used here usually include cumin, coconut, lemongrass and ginger.

The beef rendang flavors were well developed. I loved the tender meat and the very spicy sauce. Otak, steamed fish marinated in spices, was wrapped in banana leaf. I also sampled some char kway teow/fried noodles with cockles and chili. Everything on the plate was rich in flavors. Even the seemingly common spring roll was delicious.

Fresh Cuttlefish with kang kong/water spinach was dropped in boiling water to cook quickly. It was then topped with hoisin sauce and sesame seeds

Other items included a few dim sum selections and Assam fried chicken wings (really good, with crispy fried skin).

My favorite was the dessert section with an amazing spread.

Black glutinous rice topped with coconut cream was super rich. I loved the fibrous texture of the glutinous rice. The dessert was sweet and topped with creamy coconut milk.

There was a large selection of Kueh/kuih which are tiny steamed desserts that usually include sticky rice or agar agar/gelatin. I also tried a deep fried jackfruit which had a very interesting texture. The fruit was soft and fleshly (almost similar to room temperature durian) and was fragrant. They also served puddings, chendol (jello in coconut milk) and ice kachang (shaved ice) but I was too stuffed to try.

I have to say that there was a great representation of Malay dishes at Penang Place. I think this is a great place to dine at if you do not have much time in Singapore but want to sample some of Singapore's famous dishes. I was dining with locals who are really good home cooks, and they too were impressed with the quality of the food.

Penang Place
1 Fusionopolis Way,
Connexis #B1-20/24,
Singapore 138632

1 comment:

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