There is a part of me that cannot believe I travelled all the way to a hospital to eat Penang food. It already sounds strange. And I am a person not very fond of even stepping into a hospital.
Penang Street is a casual dining restaurant which just launched its flagship store at National University Hospital’s medical centre. Errr… so have a fatty laksa after you are done with your medical check-up? (To add to the surprise, there is a Uniqlo few steps away.)
The recommended dishes are the Penang Char Koay Teow ($8.80), Assam Laksa ($8.80), Nasi Lemak ($9.80) Beef Rendang ($11.80), Penang Cendol ($5.80) and Buah Long Long Juice ($3.80).
While the Assam Laska seemed mild in terms of its sourness and spiciness, it was easily the best dish we tried for its savoury gravy and generous portions of fish.
The Penang Char Koay Teow on the other hand, lacked that very one element that would make CKT distinct – the ‘wok hei’. I cannot finish an English equivalent, so I would just say there could be that charred hot uplifting flavour that a decent plate of CKT should have. But I must acknowledge it is just too hard to replicate in this setting.
The Cendol arrived looking nothing like what was presented in a menu, in fact it was a blob of brown. The consolation was they were not stingy with their rich gula melaka, which gave the dessert that kick.
To be honest, I love the furniture and ID here more than anything – the white walls, lemon yellow and sea blue chairs, and floral tiles. Service was friendly and staff would say “terima kasih” all the time.
I can safely say that we will start to see more Penang Streets opening around the island. What is that Hokkien saying that goes “No fish, prawn also good”? I actually assured my friends (whom I dragged along to NUH) if the food was no good, it would be my treat.
Yah, I ended up picking up the tabs this time.
One@KentRidge, National University Hospital Medical Centre, 1 Lower Kent Ridge Road, 01-09 and 01-19/20 Singapore 119082 (Kent Ridge MRT), Tel: +65 6334 6023
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm Daily