Saturday, September 17, 2011
Penang Fare @ Magic One Restaurant, Petaling Jaya
I must admit I've been so busy (and pre-occupied with work) lately that I have been on auto mode with the blog. It only dawned on me today that the blog is hitting a huge milestone....5 million page views. Feels like yesterday that it hit the 3 million marker. Time does fly. Previously, I've marked the momentous occasion with a celebration but I reckon this time round, it'll be a much quieter affair. However, do stay tune for something exciting in October.
Even though I started this blog eons ago (I call them the dark ages!), I have tried to hold onto to the principle that everyone's taste buds are subjective. Blame it on family history, memories, personal dislikes and etc - what works for you may not work for others. Most of the time since the quality of ingredients is in constant flux, this also affects the taste of the food - what tasted good a few months ago deteriorates tremendously with the price hikes.
Take for instance, this new place I was introduced to a few weeks back. The first visit had uncovered Penang hawker fare that we enjoyed immensely. However, a revisit with others saw the assam laksa (RM6.90) chalking up the misdemeanours - "not spicy enough," claimed one friend - "watered down", said another. Despite the negative feedback from others and its inconsistencies, I admit I do have a soft spot for this assam laksa. Its mellow level of spiciness is just perfect for me especially after the addition of the pungent prawn paste. Perfect for rainy nights just like the ones we have been experiencing.
Equally good is the Penang Hokkien mee (RM6.90), a delicious prawn and chicken broth that we polished off the whole bowl of broth, noodles and its topping of fresh juicy prawns, hard boiled eggs and water spinach.
Even though it is not 100% genuine since it is not fried with lard, I thought the char koay teow (RM6.90) was pretty darn good. I also liked the chicken lobak (RM9), that was delicately perfumed with the spices. Its only problem would be the lack of the thick brown sauce on the side.
Not everything though will hit the pleasure mark for you. While the mamak mee (RM6.90) has a lovely wok hei, I felt it was just a tad sweet. The kuey teow soup dish (RM6.90) also failed since the broth just didn't taste like the read deal. Neither did I enjoy the pie tee or top hats (6 for RM9), stuffed with a thinly sliced cabbage instead of the crunchy yam bean. The belacan fried chicken wings (RM15) was pretty decent even though it did lack the pungent belacan aromas.
What I do love is their cendol (RM5.80) as they use this incredibly fragrant gula melaka syrup that uplifts the dessert into something so heavenly we had to order seconds. Admittedly the cendol and the rough texture of the shaven ice may not be appealing to others but for me, that rich aroma of the palm sugar hits the right spot for me.
The menu is not limited to Penang specialties as it serves a mix of Chinese cooked dishes that includes seafood (lobster!), which I admit I didn't find incredibly exciting. However families usually dine here and order those dishes. I'm just perfectly happy to slurp down my assam laksa or Hokkien prawn noodles with a side order of lorbak. Do give it a try and let me know if it fits your tastebuds. Hopefully it does.
Magic One Restaurant
275, Jalan 5/51
(Pork Free. Restaurant is located at the Gasing area, same row as Kavitha's Indian restaurant. Open from noon to 12 midnight. Set lunch from noon to 6pm available for hawker fare with ice lemon tea and free cendol for RM9.90. Full set of pictures are in the Flickr set.
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.