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Restaurant review: Penang House in Mandurah

Written by 2nd January, 2009

Penang House serves authentic (to me at least) M’sian/Singaporean dishes that’s along the foreshore in Mandurah. The range of dishes found in the menu of this place is quite different from the usual dishes we would see in similar restaurants.

This place was first introduced to our family by a friend who lives in Secret Harbour. This family are originally from Penang, and so I trust that their taste is as close as it will get to getting a true conoisseur’s opinion of the food in this place.

Mom loves the place here for some of their tasty dishes, like the following ones we ordered:

Assam Squid
Sambal Fish
Beef Choy Sum
Stir Fried Vegetables
Gado Gado

Just for those who might be a tad confused to those unfamiliar Manglish/Singlish (M’sian and Singaporean English) terms, here is a breakdown of their definitions (courtesy of Wikipedia!):

Sambal is a condiment popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as the Netherlands through Indonesian influence, and in Suriname. It is typically made from a variety of peppers, although chili peppers are the most common. Sambal is used as a condiment or as a side dish, and is sometimes substituted for fresh chilis; it can be very hot for the uninitiated. It is available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in many countries.

Gado-gado is a traditional dish in Indonesian cuisine, and comprises a vegetable salad served with a peanut sauce dressing. It is widely served from hawkers carts, stalls (warung), and small restaurants up to star hotels restaurants in Indonesia, and in Indonesian restaurants in other countries.

Gado-gado is part of a wider family of Indonesian peanut sauce - salad; with lotek, pecel and karedok. Some of salad’s peanut sauce is made in individual batches, fresh in front of the customers (like the picture on the right - which should say the way lotek is prepared), however gado-gado sauce is made a head of time and cooked in bulk). Compare to Western salads, gado-gado has much more sauce in it (the vegetable should be well coated in the sauce).

My personal favourite dish is the Gado-Gado because of its slightly sweet taste and the crunchy feeling of the bean sprouts when they’re being bunched up and put in the mouth. It comes as a small serve, so if you think you will like the dish, and if you are going in a big group, then be sure to order more than one serve!

Mom’s personal favourite is the Assam Squid - a nice tangy taste with pieces of pineapple, tomato, and cucumber in it, making it a lovely dish to accompany steamed rice. For those who are afraid of spicy food, this dish is not too spicy and is worth giving a try - I haven’t found this anywhere else in Perth, and according to our family friend - is a great dish!

The sambal fish is another dish that is worth trying although I really would have liked it better if it had a more spicy taste to it. Served in a little pot with a candle litted underneath, it keeps the dish warm so that it will stay enjoyable throughout the meal. =) A plus point of this place because it’s the only place I have seen thus far that has this!

The stir fried vegetables were rather tasty with a mixture of many different forms of vegetables - from brocolli to bak choy, from bean sprouts to baby corn, this dish is both pleasant to the eye and to the pallette!

Don’t really know why Mom ordered this when we already had Gado Gado on the list but ah wells, it does mean that I can do a review on more dishes of this restaurant!

Beef choy sum is actually a dish that’s a stir fry of some beef and some vegetables (in this case it was broccoli, baby corn, carrots and some bak choy). Yes, another dish of vegetables (hmm…). The beef was really tender (as with most chinese restaurants in Perth), and the dish is overall tasty, but it wouldn’t be a dish I would order if I had a choice - I would rather order the vegetable dish and beef dish separately (unless the beef dishes all have vegetables served together).

The price of this place is reasonable - for the five plates, it was a total of $68.20, so an average of $13 per person.

It has a good capacity for people, but it will be good to make reservations, especially on Fridays and over the weekends. Tasty food, prompt service, and a great place to be (since there is always the option of walking along the foreshore after the meal).

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T.

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