Web Site: http://www.penangcuisine.com
200 Route 10 West, East Hanover NJ
334 N. Main Street, Lodi, NJ
Malaysian food is one of my favorite cuisines of Asia. There are only a few Malaysian restaurants in New Jersey, and virtually all of them are owned by the Penang Restaurant Group, which operates five locations, two of which are in Northern New Jersey. Penang also has branches in New York, Maryland, as well as in the Raleigh/RTP area, although I haven’t been to any of the others.
Malaysian food is a melting pot cuisine of sorts, in that it incorporates elements of Native Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. However, it should be noted that most of the Malaysian restaurants in the United States are owned by Chinese Malaysians, which come from several distinct ethnic sub-groups. The Chinese represent the second largest ethnic group in Malaysia, approximately 23 percent of the population.
Many Chinese Malaysians have emigrated to the United States due to the fact that they are subject to persecution and quotas (such as not being able to enter institutes of higher education). As with any group of immigrants, some of these people open restaurants. Penang is one of those businesses owned by Chinese Malaysians, so the cuisine is highly representative of those groups, which include the Cantonese, Fujian, Teochew and Hakka peoples, among others.
Here’s the dining room in the East Hanover location. It has kind of a “EPCOT Malaysia” look to it, with bamboo decorative accents and such. I happen to really like this location because it’s in the same shopping center as Kam Man Food, which is a HUGE Chinese supermarket with lots of fantastic Asian produce and everything you could possibly need to cook just about any kind of Asian cuisine.
Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
This is Penang’s String Beans, which is sauteed with pickled vegetables as well as small dried shrimp.
Shrimp Puffs Wrapped with Bacon.
“Szechuan Bean Curd” which is sort of a Malaysian Chinese take on Ma Po Tofu.
Penang particularly excels at its noodle dishes. This one has shrimp and squid in it.
This is a sauteed squid dish, of which I forgot the name.
Thai Basil Beef
Ipoh bean sprouts. Simple, and yet delicious.
Here’s the Lodi location, which we visited recently on Valentine’s day. The Lodi branch has more of a New York trendy restaurant feel, and also has a full liquor license.
I love these cast iron teapots.
Green Tea-Tini. Rachel ordered one of these and I practically had to carry her out of the restaurant, they are extremely strong.
Tofu Nyonya, one of our must-order dishes whenever we go to Penang. Fried tofu with pork and lots of basil, in a rich sauce with red onions.
This is a squid curry which we thought was excellent.
Lady Fingers with Belacan — Stir-fried Okra with Spicy Shrimp Paste. The funkyness of the fermented shrimp condiment with the chiles goes great with the crunchy and slightly slimy okra.
Thai Basil Chicken.