This is the first time I used my new phone to snap photos. Forgive the poor quality as I have not had the time to setup the camera settings to my optimum liking.
My American counterpart has been in Penang for 2 weeks, and he wanted to buy us dinner to thank us for all our hard work and being hospitable to him. We were tasked with finding a nice restaurant that serves halal food. The resident halal food expert suggested that we come to Restoran Pen Mutiara.
This restaurant is located right next to the Jabatan Perikanan (Department of Fishery) in Batu Maung, 200 meters from the Penang Second Bridge. Or is it Second Penang Bridge?
The restaurant is a Malay cuisine styled seafood restaurant. The seafood here is guaranteed 100% fresh. After all, the restaurant is right next to the Department of Fishery and Batu Maung’s fishermen jetty. Fishermen’s daily catches will have to go through this restaurant before going anywhere else. If it is not fresh here, then it will not be fresh anywhere else.
I came here once with some friends about 5 years ago. Back then it was a relatively new and modest Malay seafood restaurant. It was getting popular because of the fresh seafood and air conditioned environment.
Today, it has transformed into a fine dining restaurant.
Thankfully, the food is as good as I remembered. We did not do any ordering, that task was left to the resident Malay food expert.
The dishes, starting from the top right in clockwise manner:
- Kailan ikan masin – Chinese broccoli with salted fish gravy
- Sayur campur – Mixed vegetables
- Telur bistik – I don’t know the English name for this, there probably is none. Bistique egg? It is basically omelette with minced meat and frozen vegetables topping
- Udang sambal – Prawns in spicy dried shrimp paste
- Ulam – Malay salad appetizer
- Kari isi ikan – Fish meat curry, we requested without fish head because we are a table of 5 lazy men. The American went to choose the fish that he fancied, we did not see, so did not know what type of fish was served.
The American was bragging all day about his spicy food intake capability. He was talking about how the last time he came, he had a spicy soup that none of the Malaysian guys were able to take.
I suspect it was just a case of the Malaysians being polite and pretend to let him look good. Or maybe they were just a bunch of wuss. Well, he did okay for an American, he did not so much as flinch with the curry and sambal. However, he took a bite on the cili padi infused mixed vegetables and realized he still has some way to go to reach the “Malaysian” spicy food eating level.
The bill came to slightly over RM 200. Definitely more expensive than usual Malay food prices, but definitely worth it. The food was very good.