Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Little Penang Kafe @ Suria KLCC

I've walked past this café many times (and noticed that it's usually packed) but have not gotten round to trying it as I'm always after some other food when I'm here. 
Little Penang Café @ Suria KLCC offers (it seems) authentic Penang hawker food as well as traditional Nyonya specialities, with a "kopitiam" ambience, in a shopping mall environment...the 'Best of Penang' under one roof, so to speak.  They have other branches in Mid Valley and The Curve.

Although the interior had this "kopitiam" vibe, I was not too thrilled with their seating, which were rather cramped together (with some tables just inches apart), as they were trying to fit as many tables as they could in the café (I know the rent is not cheap but give us a little 'breathing' space, please)!

What better thing to order other than a famous Penang street food, from a place that boasts of serving authentic Penang hawker food, a bowl of Assam Laksa @ RM12.20.  It contained shreds of "kembong" (mackerel), pineapple, cucumber and onions and topped with fresh red chillies, "bunga kantan" (aka torch ginger) and "daun kesum" (Vietnamese mint or laksa mint).  It was served with "har ko" (a thick shrimp paste).

When a bowl of assam laksa doesn't make me go like this >_<, that can only mean one's seriously not good!  It was neither sour nor spicy enough (even after I added all the har ko).  It tasted one-dimensional, it looked better than it was a big letdown.  In the menu, it was described as a mouthwatering rice noodle dish which you'll keep asking for more...well, not me!

Even the ones from my neighbourhood "pasar malam" (night market) tastes better.

As my son is not into Penang noodles at all (like assam laksa, curry mee, prawn mee, etc.), his choices were rather limited.  In the end, he went with the Home-style Fried Rice @ RM12.20.  The rice was fried with bits of long beans, carrots, egg and prawns and came with a fried egg and some crunchy "ikan bilis" (dried anchovies) on the side.  

Does this look any good to you?  Taste wise, it fell flat, I think I can cook a better fried rice than that (and certainly a better fried egg)...and that's saying a lot coz my cooking ain't that good!  Even a Thai-styled fried rice that you order from any coffee shop (fried by a foreign worker) tastes better than this.

I also ordered the Red Ruby @ RM6 as it's one of my favourite Thai desserts but it was nothing like the ones I ate in Thai restaurants.  Though the shaved ice was nicely done, it didn't have much of the "santan" fragrance plus it was so shockingly sweet, it was practically inedible.  The only things edible were the crunchy water chestnuts (coated in tapioca flour) and slices of fresh "nangka" (jackfruit).  

As for the rest of the dessert (which was left untouched), you can literarily 'drown' in its was akin to drinking sugar syrup :|  If you're not a PST (Pretty Sweet Thing), you'll soon be after drinking this :D

The best thing of the night (pun intended) was my Barley Lime @ RM4.....T_T...and that's pretty pathetic, to say the least!

My Personal Opinion

I came without much expectations as I know it's not easy to replicate the authentic taste of Penang street food.  In fact, many places try to replicate the taste of Penang but fail miserably and Little Penang Kafe is one of them.  Although I've not tasted many of their dishes, the ones I did taste were so mediocre, I'm not enticed to try more.

I can't fathom why the place is always full coz I can get way better (and cheaper) assam laksa elsewhere (like from O & S in PJ).  Even the ones from my neighbourhood pasar malam taste a lot better than this.

To sum it up in 3 words.....won't be back!!

Little Penang Kafe
Lot 409-411 4th Floor
Suria KLCC
Jalan Ampang
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2163 0215


  1. I used to eat here when I was working in KLCC 7 years ago. I always order their set lunches which were quite good. They are always full because in klcc their prices are one of the lowest and their set lunches are really value for money.

    1. Maybe their food was good 7 years ago...but not anymore!

    2. But I see many people still eating there in their Midvalley outlet so the set lunches should still be ok. I like their fried fish set lunch. Wonder if it is still available now.

    3. Probably the low prices is what's contributing to the crowd...not necessarily the taste! And yeah, the Acar Fish Set is still around.

    4. Oh, so the Acar Fish Set is still around. That one is nice. Well, I think different people different palate because I just read a link saying the assam laksa here is nice.

    5. Yes, different people do have different palates (though majority still rules). It's just that there's always something better than the one we ate...we've just not found or tasted it yet! Try the assam laksa for yourself and see how it tastes (like compared to the one in O & S).

      Following the link above, I realised that you're a food blogger yourself...and more established too! It's great that you have family & friends (judging by the comments you receive) who are just as passionate as you are about food & blogging (I wished I had the same kind of support group).

    6. O & S is one of the best assam laksa so of course the other one cannot compare to it but when one is working in KLCC there is no way to go to O & S to eat assam laksa so the next best thing will just have to do. :)

      I wouldn't call myself a food blogger, just someone who blogs about food for fun and I don't even have that many hits as you did. They are my online blogger friends, we leave comments on each others' blog frequently.

    7. Understood...I eat for convenience too.

      Hey, I'm just like hits are just as puny (my Facebook Page is even worse and I'm thinking of unpublishing it). It's good that you have family/friends (or blogger friends) to support helps to motivate you to continue blogging.

    8. They are a friendly bunch especially and so if you leave a comment at their blogs, they will surely return you the favour. :)


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