Judging Restaurants – Penang

Penang is located at 1837 M Street NW. I was impressed with their outdoor couches but I have no idea about the food. You can see their menu here. Any fans? Any must order items? Are the outdoor couches as comfortable as they look?

7 Comment

  • How long have they been open? I had no idea they had reopened after the fire they had there.

  • The food is classic DC- very mediocre for the price. Thankfully there is a much better Malaysian place around the corner- Malaysia Kopitiam on M Street NW between 18th and 19th.

  • A friend of mine’s husband works at the Malaysian embassy and echoes the sentiment of the previous poster, Ed–mediocre. Apparently there is another location (I think Bethesda?) that has different ownership, and according to him and his embassy friends the food at that location is much better. And apparently the Washingtonian agrees with poster Ed, since Kopitiam was on the most recent best cheap eats list.

    THAT being said as a disclaimer, I’ve eaten at the Dupont Penang and enjoyed it. Granted, I’m not from Malaysia and it was my first experience with Malaysian food, so you may/should take my opinion with a grain of salt. I actually found the food to be relatively inexpensive for a sit down restaurant in Dupont, especially since the interior is kinda ‘snazzy.’ And by snazzy I mean snazzier than the neighboring establishments (you know, when you leave Rumors for Sign of the Whale because THAT’s classier…)

    As far as recommendations go, this was the list my friend provided me as someone trying Malaysian food for the first time:

    Roti canai (pronounced chanai. Roti means bread)
    Roti telur-(that the same as roti canai, but made with eggs)

    Char Koay Teow
    Mee Goreng

    Kari Ayam (basically, chicken curry)
    Beef Rendang (very traditional Malay dish)

    Rice dishes:
    Nasi Lemak (very traditional. May even be called the National dish.)
    Malaysian Nasi Goreng (Malaysian fried rice)

    Kangkung Belachan
    Sayur Campur

    Ice Kacang with Ice Cream (very traditional)
    Chendol (very traditional too)
    Fried ice cream (can’t go wrong with that, right?)

  • This won’t answer the question (much), but anytime I’m on that block & hungry, it’s gotta be Malaysia Kopitiam or NUTHIN’!

    • That actually answers this question perfectly. Penang is overpriced and the portions are tiny. Malaysia Kopitiam is insanely good…Lo Bak with the Curry Laksa Beef Noodle Soup might be the best dish in all of DC!!!

  • huge fan of the happy hour and outdoor seating, although I must admit that I haven’t been back since they reopened so have not yet had the pleasure of dining on the couches.

  • The Penang in Bethesda is and always was much better–actual Malaysians run the place. This one was bought by a a restaurant groupt that runs local Indian places. http://www.tandoorinights.com/. When I went back after the reopened, the service was terrible and the food was unrecognizable. I like MK’s prices, but to me, the food is never quite as good as it should be.

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