Boston >Food & Dining > Penang
685-691 Washington St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211142.350758 -71.063593
Neighborhoods: Chinatown, Central, Chinatown / Leather District, Downtown
AWFUL EXPERIENCE ALTOGETHER – This does not even deserve a one star rating.
The dining experience at this place was awful to say the least. The only item that was good was the Roti. One goes out to dine to relax and enjoy their meals. Here at this place you felt rushed, conjested, and we were subjected to the most discourteous service. Another atrocious thing was they determine what the tip is (more than 15%) and they include this when they give you the final bill. In addition their tax that was included also exceeded the 6.25% mandated by the state. This is highway robbery and one should report this to the authorities.
WE WILL NEVER GO HERE AGAIN and we DISCOURAGE ANY OF OUR FRIENDS as well.
AWFUL, AWFUL PLACE.
must-go for malaysian – love their skewers (chicken or beef) w/peanut sauce, roti (thin crispy pancake w/dipping curry sauce), hoinan chicken rice (make sure you get the rice cooked w/chicken oil), indian meen goreng (sp?). the sizzling beef dish (the spicy one--they have two versions) is good too, albeit spicy.
i used to love a dish--not sure if it's called "buddha's delight"--but i love the "nest" that holds the food coz it's made with mashed taro that's shaped as a bowl and deep fried. some places do it right but theirs is a bit off on quality. it doesn't have the taste of taro and it's too starchy; either they mash with too much corn starch to cut down cost or they haven't figured out how to maintain the right consistency.
bak kut teh (must have if you ever go to southeast asia)... had better. should go heavier on the herbs, but i understand sometimes food and taste need to localized to suit different people's stomaches.
red bean shake is good too. ...wait, is this a place where i had a fried ice-cream? if i had it wasn't bad either.
Hygiene problem...hairy food – I am a regular at Penang, until a few days ago, I order 2 take out. When I got home I started to eat and soon found a short hair in my rice...eww but thats not it...Then, my father was eating the veggies and pulled out a long hair from his mouth from the other take out box!!! Erk! Be careful and watch your food. I love the taste but not the hair.
Worst Service ever in my entire life – The food is decent, but the service is completely awful. The waiters are rude .. they kept coming into our table trying to rush us when we kept telling them that we are not ready. And if you are looking to just try out their desserts you better not because they will start yelling at you, telling you that you must order entrees in order to get a table. Apparently because they were really busy when there were a couple of tables in the open. The waitress was pretty rude about it. What a bad day!
Insect in our Curry – I went to Penang in Boston Chinatown this past weekend and was very upset with the service and how they handle our situation. We order Roti with Curry sauce and when I scooped up the sauce, I found a coc*roach in the curry. We presented it to the waiter and he showed the manager. The waiter came over and continuing serving us like nothing happened. We requested for him to change our plates as some of us already place the curry on our plates. It took almost 10 minutes for us to get new plate, but not without getting up and getting another waiter to come over to give us the plates. The appetizer was never removed from our bill, we actually paid for something we didn't even touch. This is completely upsetting. On top of that already lost our appetite of eating when finding the coc*roach in our curry. We never received a simple apology or even appropiate service throughout our meal. This was extremely disappointing as I agree that I do enjoy the food there, but I will have to revisit the idea of ever going to such a place.
Popular eatery spices up Chinatown with a little Malaysian panache. – The Scene
Bamboo poles and exposed brick may clash architecturally, but it's an honest try at recreating tropical Malaysia in untropical Boston. Diners range from theatergoers taking advantage of quick service to big groups staking down a table for 10.
Malay is the South Pacific's mother cuisine, and Penang offers a reasonable facsimile, complete with Chinese overtones. Be forewarned that Malaysian cooking uses ingredients that some westerners find startling (whole fish and chicken feet), so heed the English menu advice about consulting your server. But even the squeamish can have a great meal. Just order most plates from "chef's specialities." Jumbo prawns--maximum flavor if heads and shells are left on--in a seaweed-based brown sauce are rich and crunchy. For a Chinese-like, hot stir-fry dish, opt for masak lemak: a choice of meat with sweet peppers, onions and carrots in a chili sauce.
This place is always busy...and for good reason. – I've been to Penang five times in the past year. The food is always excellent. The wine list is too small and they have no hard liquor license, but the food really speaks for itself. Usually the service is very quick, but on my last visit it seemed extremely slow. The staff is not talkative, but always nice. This is a great spot for a large party!
Penang Can Be a Pain – I have been here numerous times over the past 3 years, received prompt service and relatively quick seating. Recently, I ate here with my boyfriend and his family. We ordered 4 Roti Canai (a must if you go). After waiting for 20 minutes, ordering, AND receiving our main courses, the waiter finally realizes that they gave our Roti Canai to the table next to us (whom hadn't ordered yet, let alone even been seated for more than 5 minutes)!!! We were VERY dissappointed, frustrated and downright angry. If it weren't for the excellent food and decent value, I would never ever go back again. They did finally realize that they gave OUR dish to the OTHER table AT NO CHARGE and they didn't offer a discount or even so much as an apology TO US. First time I was ever dissappointed here, haven't been back since. Contemplating ever returning.
They shoved me out the door... – I had an enjoyable experience eating at Penang--the food was good and cheap too--until they literally shoved me out the door as soon as I was done eating. I got my bill, then ten seconds later someone comes to get my check, then three more waitstaff came by--all within a span of 1.5 minutes. Let me at least get my purse first! I'd understand if they had people waiting, but no one was waiting and there were still quite a few tables empty. I've never been treated that way by any restaurant. It ruined my experience.
Resting on its laurels..... – Granted, Penang does serve decent food at very fair prices, but it's starting to rest on its good reputation. Be warned: You WILL have to wait 20+ minutes in its very cramped lobby, mashed up against the lobster tanks and running waitresses.
Their Roti Canai is good and definitely worth ordering, but the Pandan Chicken made McNuggets seem tender and delectable. The Beef Chow Fun and Asparagus Chicken Malaysian style were also good, but delivered by a very hurried and rude waiter. We were keenly aware that he wanted to turn our table as quickly as possible, and when he brought us the wrong dish, refused to exchange it for us. There are still many reasons to go there - but appreciation for their customers is not one of them. Perhaps it's time to give Pinang in Fanueil or Pho Pasteur in the Theatre District a try.
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