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Penang Village Malaysian Restaurant

The Penang Village Malaysian Restaurant,
56 Faulkner St
Manchester
Lancashire
M1 4FH
Tel: 0161 236 2650

We made a special trip into Manchester to visit our favourite restaurant in Chinatown, Pacific, for its excellent lunchtime buffet. We were somewhat miffed to discover that the buffet did not start until one o’clock and we would then be pushed for time to get back to pick children up from school.

So a quick change of plan and we opted for the Penang Village, which offered a lunchtime buffet for 6.50, which seemed good value. We had never been there before, so we thought we would give it a try.

So in we went, past the Egon Ronay recommended 1994 sign, up the stairs covered in a somewhat jaded carpet and into the first floor restaurant. We were greeted by the young waiter and shown to our table efficiently enough.

We ordered some drinks, I had Tiger Beer, Linda had Diet Coke. We looked over the buffet, somewhat smaller than Pacific, in fact a lot smaller – perhaps on a par with Beijing for choice.

We picked a selection of starters, including spring rolls, some form of reformed seafood crab meat claws, vegetable filled pastry and prawn and sesame toast. All except the ‘crab meat’ claws and the sesame toast were stone cold, the sesame toast was luke warm and the ‘crab meat’ claws were warm. I think with a little investment in warmers the starters would have been a lot more appetizing. As it was we were definitely not impressed. Neither of us tried the sweetcorn soup.

I then decided to try the beef satay sticks. Linda took one look at them and chickened out. They were also stone cold and as tough as leather. I actually couldn’t bite them off the sticks. The cold satay sauce was pleasant enough in taste, but not in temperature, but all in all not in the least bit acceptable.

Onto the main courses, there was plain rice, egg fried rice, noodles with mixed vegetable noodles, mixed vegetable curry, karai chicken and beef in blackbean sauce. I sampled each of these and they were indeed far superior to any of the startes. Freshness and heat seemed to be a key element in this.

The boiled rice was good, the egg fried rice even better. The vegetable noodles were pleasant enough and so were the curries. The karai chicken was tasty and well spiced in a coconut sauce (a little like a Thai curry, but not so pungent). The beef in blackbean sauce was also acceptable, but not at all special. I had another Tiger Beer with the main courses. There was also a selection of gateau or fruit salad for desserts but we had had enough and settled the bill which came to 19.10.

In summary, jaded appearance and jaded food, which only in parts reached an acceptable standard, even for 6.50. If Pacific can do it for 5.95 and create a showpiece, why can’t other restaurants do the same. What we got today put me off ever going back.

Not recommended, and if Egon Ronay went back I expect he would want his sign taken down too.

Phil. 

 

Eatanddrink Ratings

Penang Village Malaysian Restaurant

Total Score: 42%
Quality: Below Average
Service: Average
Facilities: Average
Ambience: Average
Value: Average

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