Travel review: Penang restaurant, Princeton

Dad and I are finishing off our series of New Jersey reviews by sharing the restaurant that serves the best Malaysian food outside of Malaysia

There is a chain of restaurants with the Penang name in New Jersey but this one on Nassau Park Boulevard just off US1 in Princeton is independent from them

They have Chinese chefs in the kitchen but they understand the important points about Malaysian flavour profiles. The menu is littered with classic Malaysian hawker dishes (read a little guide about Malaysian hawker food here)

Dad usually has fresh coconut as his drink. Notice the spoon to be used to scrape off the fresh coconut flesh to eat from the inside of the shell

Penang 2

Roti canai is the perfect starter and one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. The soft bread is torn to dip into curry sauce

Penang 4

Their version of popiah (soft spring roll) is nice but is unconventional in smearing it with sauce that dad feels muddies the flavours

Penang 9

The next dish is the reason dad and I come here every year. Dad’s favourite hawker dish is char koay teow, fried broad rice sticks. The version at Penang is wonderful – aromatic, charred and heady with garlic

Penang 1

This is curry mee (noodles). A complex seafood-based coconut broth is the star

Penang 3

The claypot egg noodles add savoury meat and vegetables to crispy egg noodles

Penang 5

The Indian mee goreng isn’t quite right. They haven’t got the combination of heat, sweet, salty and sour correct

Penang 6

These are coconut jumbo shrimp with crispy shards of coconut batter coating the prawns

Penang 7

Penang is well worth the trip. Hope you get a chance to taste the char koay teow here one day

Penang Restaurant
635 Nassau Park Blvd, Princeton, NJ 08540


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