Date of Visit: 12th October 2017
If I had to pick my favourite region for cuisine it would be Malaysian. I love the food – packed full of flavour, spices and always smells amazing. The food combines Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine, what’s not to like. I’ve been to Malaysia 3 times and I love eating food over there.
Most of the Malaysian restaurants in London are in the Bayswater area and I have been to most of them, my favourite restaurant for Malaysian is Banana Tree. In fact, it’s one of my favourite places to eat and I still have never given it a review here!
Okay, sorry I have waffled on again, Penang is located in Shepherds Bush and is a few doors down from the popular Meat Co. So not an ideal stop to draw the halal crowd with such a heavyweight competition so close.
The restaurant is spacious and had a modern and comfortable atmosphere, like a nice cafe.
I started the night with Mocktails, something I no longer order much, but I decided to go for some.
Both were not up to Scratch for me, the strawberry did not have the right balance of sweetness and taste to it. The pina colada suffered the same fate, too much pineapple. Average would be a word to describe both drinks. 5/10
The crispy squid, light and crispy with a decent portion size as well. Not always easy to get right, but the squid was not rubbery and tasted good and went well with the sauce that came with it. 7.5/10
The chicken satay was really good. It wasn’t dry as what usually happens with chicken breast but tender and had good flavour. The peanut sauce was always really good and enhanced the way it tasted. 8/10
Honestly, I can’t even recall this dish. Brilliant blogging right?
My favourite Malaysian dish is beef rendang. I always get it whenever I see it on a menu. Having also tried and failed at cooking it myself I know it’s not easy.
But I saw it on the menu here on its own and served alongside the nasi lemak, one of the most popular of Malaysian foods so I thought I’d get that.
The beef tasted good and I liked the texture and consistency, although I felt it lacked enough depth in flavour. 6.5/10
We also got a roast chicken, however for some reason this was sent out cold. It certainly was not hot enough to enjoy, I did have one bite and from what I had the chicken was tender, soft and had a nice subtle flavour, but it was sent back to the kitchen. If it wasn’t cold I’d give it a higher score. 6.5/10
In its place, I ordered the chicken clay pot. A very impressive looking dish. The menu describes this as stir-fried chicken fillet, served with soy sauce, ginger, chilli and basil. However, what I tasted was an over sweet dish made primarily of Szechuan peppers. The balance of flavours was totally off. I have a sweet tooth but this was too sweet to enjoy. It felt like a Chinese dish and not a Malaysian one. As mentioned before, food from Malaysia has different influences, but this felt straight off a Chinese menu. 4/10
To finish, a typical Malay dessert of fried banana and ice cream. They used an overripe banana which gave a good intense flavour and it was a nice simple dish to finish off the meal. 7/10
Overall, I think I should have tried a few other items such as the Singapore crab. The service was friendly but a little inattentive at times, we had to ask for the dessert menu after waiting for ages. The key dishes lacked authenticity and didn’t really feel like a true representation of traditional Malaysian food.
*I was invited to review, the meal was complimentary