Malabar Restaurant (Dine and Chill) @ Lebuh Cintra, Penang.
***The restaurant is no longer in operation.***
Heritage Hotel and Restaurants are mushrooming these days, the recent one I had visited was this Malabar Restaurant situated at one of the busiest streets in Georgetown, Penang- Lebuh Cintra. Malabar Restaurant offers home cooked Thai and Nyonya style cuisine, which will be cooked by the owners' mom and aunt (mom's recipe). Aside from being a restaurant, Malabar restaurant has a total of 8 guest rooms and a balcony which can be used as barbecue corner at first floor which can be rented for private functions or gatherings. The restaurant has a really cozy and homely ambiance, and it has free WiFi for their customers too. Parking can be problematic at Lebuh Cintra, try to find yourself a parking space near Kampung Malabar. Its should not be too hard to locate this restaurant, its right beside the corner of the junction turning into Kampung Malabar. It is always good to dine in such restaurants like Malabar Restaurant that does not add any extra charges (service charge and government tax) into your bill.
As mentioned, Malabar Restaurant has a total of 8 guest rooms to be used as hotel rooms. Everything was well renovated and has a very comfortable and cozy ambiance. Every room has erected with an air conditioner too and most importantly, the prices are very reasonable. The only V.I.P. room costs Rm98 per night, which has an attached bath room while the other standard rooms cost around Rm58 per night (sharing toilet).
Loh Bak or Chinese Five-Spiced Pork Rolls (卤肉, Rm8 for 2 pieces). The taste was perfectly okay for me, just that the texture was a bit dried out and chewy. The Loh Bak does not work with the chili sauce in my opinion, I would go for the original taste instead, the chili sauce will ruin the Five-Spice taste within the pork rolls.
Otak-Otak (鲤鱼包, Rm4 each) was a hit among some of us, the flavorful otak-otak was full of the aroma of coconut milk and the texture was just alright. There were not a lot of fish meat inside but its perfectly okay considering the price. It goes well with some white rice.
Deep Fried Belacan Chicken or Inche Kabin (Rm12) was another hit. The well marinated chicken was deep fried till perfection and every single bite of the chicken was full with the Belacan (shrimp paste) flavor. Some complaint that the chicken was a bit too salty but they were perfectly okay for me, especially when its supposed to go with some white rice. Great texture, great flavor, recommended.
Asam Pedas Ikan (Sourish Asam Fish, Rm8 for two fishes), the flavor soup resembles sweet and sour taste where it gained its sweetness from pineapple cubes and sourness from the assam paste. The soup has successfully blended well with the fish too, a very appetizing dish indeed.
Chicken Soup With Herbs (Rm26) was one of my favorites of the day. Naturally prepared, with chinese herbs such as Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root), Wolfberries, Dried Longan, Chestnuts, Chinese Dried Dates etc. The soup was more to the sweeter side due to the ingredients used (most of them bring natural sweetness) and lacking of a pinch of salt, but it feels very down to earth and natural to me due to the ingredients used, particularly the herbs. The after taste was very strong (from the soup), the chicken meat was very tender and juicy as well. It would be much better if they could marinate the chicken or at least let the chicken to absorb/simmer the essence/taste from the herbs and maintain the temperature up to a certain level to preserve the flavor so that one can enjoy this flavorful and aromatic chicken warm throughout the whole meal.
Pork Trotter With Vinegar (猪脚醋, Rm16) was okay, its more to the expensive side considering the portion. The taste was decent and the vinegar was flavorful and thick. Some were saying that the soup was lacking of the vinegar taste.
Fried Kangkung/Water Spinach (Rm9) was decent. It was just another ordinary plate of stir fried water spinach with sambal udang/prawns to me.
Thai Style Roast Chicken (Rm11) was definitely expensive for me considering the portion. Its just a chicken thigh, roasted and brushed with gravy/sauce. The sauce was a bit sweet and it tasted like Ayam Percik that we can get at Ramadhan (Islamic month) market. It was not some taste that I was looking for.
Stir Fried Thai Style Mayonnaise Prawns With Broccoli (Rm22). The mayonnaise sauce was not good enough in my opinion, I just do not like the texture and the taste especially when it comes together with broccoli. The prawns were fresh enough to bring out the flavor, but the sauce just was not right and appropriate in my opinion.
Malabar Belanda Eggs (Rm4.50 for two) The eggs were perfectly cooked and the egg yolk was well maintained with the liquefied texture. The egg yolk will just oozes out with a single poke and it works perfectly well with white rice. The eggs were then topped with some deep fried onions, assam sauce, soy sauce and some chopped green chilies. It looks ordinary but simplicity is the best.
Thai Style Beef Koay Teow (Rm9.50) was disappointing especially the soup was quite salty. The herbs flavor was very heavy for the soup, as for the beef balls, they were not as chewy as I thought they will be. Maybe too much flour has been added and causing the beef balls to lose their chewiness. Portion-wise, was quite big tho.
Kasturi Lime With Soup Plum Drink (Rm2.80) was absolutely stunning. All the Kasturi Lime were preserved by the owners themselves, and the sweet and sour taste were just nice and perfect enough to quench my thirst, best especially during hot weather.
Steamed Pumpkin With Coconut Milk Custard (Rm3.50) was definitely something that I have never tried before. The taste was very similar to Kaya (Malay Coconut Jam), but the dessert was way too sweet for me. Its like having a scoop of Kaya without spreading on top of the bread. The flavor from the pumpkin was not being delivered successfully as in it was not distinctive enough for me to taste that it was made of pumpkin. It would be much better if they could reduce the sweetness of this dessert, especially in this health-concerning society these days.
Taste: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 5.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 26 & 28, Lebuh Cintra, 10100, Penang (right beside the corner of the junction turning into Kampung Malabar).
Business Hour: 11:00am to 10:00pm; Closed on every Tuesday.
Contact Number: 604- 263 8266