With food court prices and a simple upstairs setting, this Malaysian offers a greatest hits package of dishes and a mean pandan waffle.
Penang Kitchen opened a few months back replacing Taiwan Yes and Ten Ren Tea before it. It's a difficult space to make work as a restaurant with long narrow spaces on two levels.
Order and pay at the counter downstairs and they will send you upstairs to the dining room with a table number and sometimes a docket to give to the chef.
It's not the killer hawker style Malaysian we all seek but it's pretty good value at $10 a dish. It's often quiet upstairs so it's a good escape from the hullabaloo of George Street if that's what you're up for. There's also some super cheap takeaway from the bainmarie of love downstairs which looks worth a crack. The super nice ladies will also whip you up a fresh waffle, ice drink or tea.
Our favourite dishes so far would be the har mee and the curry laksa.
Curry laksa (chicken) - $9.90. Nice'n'spicy. The colour of the soup looks quite red, it's a layer of chilli and oil covering the usual more orange milky broth.
Har mee - $9.90. Nice'n'prawnie broth, some larger pieces of pork than you will find elsewhere and a few good sized prawns.
Hor fun soup - $9.90. A clean, plain broth with flat rice noodles, prawns, pork and fishballs. This dish is also referred to as Kway Teow soup.
Nasi lemak with prawn (or chicken) - $9.90. Very coconut-y rice with egg, dried fish'n'peanuts, sambal and prawns cooked in a sweet spicy paste that's easy on the chili. Nasi lemak is one of those dishes that is different everywhere we go and we love all variations of it.
Some icy sweety drink we ordered off a picture downstairs - $5.50. Some kind of fruit cordial slushy, pretty nice.
Char Kuey Teow - $9.90. The classic dish of stir fried noodles. Didn't have that 'breath of the wok' magic and the noodles seemed a little wet, but still had a good flavour. Ask for chilli and Chinese lap cheong sausage if you want it thrown in as well.
Curry chicken - $9.90. Plenty of chook for your dollar and couple of bits of potato for food luck. It's pretty hard to go wrong with curry chicken.
The Hong Kong style waffles are great - $5 bucks each and made fresh. The Hong Kong style waffles are the ones on the left of the cooling rack above - the bubbles are filled with fillings - egg custard, sesame, chocolate, peanuts and pandan. We went for pandan of course.
Penang Kitchen is at 696 George St, Sydney, just past World Square. It's surprising with all the backpacker activity in the area, it isn't more popular.