[Penang, Malaysia] Modern-Penang cuisine at 𝗔.𝗠𝗮𝘇𝗲

Fresh-faced young Penang-born Chong Peng Wei aka Chef Wei currently serves up the most rewarding “omakase” dinner in Penang. A.Maze is a dining gem ensconced in a quiet back-alley off Nagore Square. The tiny eatery can accommodate 8 diners at the most, and Chef Wei works alone. Dinner reservations need to be made 24 hours’ in advance, so Chef Wei can get the ingredients for his omakase spread. We only need to let him know of any dietary restrictions or allergies.

What we had:

  1. Amuse Bouche: Lemon Jelly with Mache, and sea salt; Beetroot and Watermelon Consommé

  2. Beef Salami with Buffalo Mozzarella, Balsamic Reduction, Dried Black Olives and Baby Cucumber

  3. Braised Tea-and-Soy-flavoured Quail Eggs, served with Pastry Nest and Mashed Sweet Potato

  4. Trio of Sous-vide Scallops

  5. Sous-Vide Salmon served with Chacee Sauce, Mizuna Leaves and Dill Milk

  6. Shoulder & Sirloin Steak served with Potato Puree, Maitake Mushrooms, Carrots and Mustard Seeds

  7. Pre-Dessert Palate Cleanser- Olive Oil Sorbet + Jasmine Rice Sorbet + Dragonfruit + Mercato

  8. Deconstructed Black Forest Cake, paired with a Vodka Orange Cocktail

A cup of warm green tea was served at the end with some good whisky jellies. A perfect end to a very nice dining experience.

Chef Wei honed his skills in at least a couple of Singapore Michelin-starred establishments, including the much-touted Michelin-starred Andre’s on Bukit Pasoh Road. He’s returned to his hometown, Penang, to set-up this small, cosy but very sophisticated eatery. Truly A.Mazing!

2-G-5, Bangunan Lip Sin, Lebuh Pekaka 1, Taman Pekaka, Sungai Dua, 11700 George Town, Penang, Malaysia (Updated 9 July 2021)
Tel: +6017-376 3762
Opening hours: 6.30pm to 8pm Tueto Sun. Closed on Mondays


Actually, as much as I like the local food there, I think it’s a healthy trend to have diversity of different types of restaurants. It’s amazing for a solo chef to cook up 8 courses meal for 8. Good work!

Do you recall how much was the meal? Is the waiting line long?

1 Like

One of my local Michelin 1* places used to do a tasting menu that approached 20 courses. About 10 covers and only a solo chef. He’s now cut it back to just 8 diners and, also, recruited a sous chef. It’s listed as a six course meal but with all the amuse bouche, etc, it’s into the teens.


They must have exceptional organising skill, I don’t think they have a big kitchen, and they need to clean up the place too. Gee, me when I need to do a meal for 8 people, just 4 or 5 courses, the aftermath of the kitchen is like an earthquake…


Mine is like that even if I’m only cooking for me.


What is the name of the place and the chef you are talking about?

1 Like

Marc Wilkinson, Fraiche


And my recentish review - [Oxton, Birkenhead] Fraiche


naf - the meal was an absolute bargain: MYR128 net (US$28) per person. I’d paid 4 times more per pax for a less satisfying meal in Kuala Lumpur. But that’s Penang for you.

The eatery was still pretty new when I was there early this month, so no waiting queue at all.


Harters - what amazed me about chefs who worked alone is their ability to remain focused on their work, churning out different courses at different timings for different diners, and yet able to look cool and chat with the guests at the same time! That takes skill!

1 Like

$28pp for 8 courses? Its worth it to fly to Penang just for that. Within Asia of course.

1 Like

sck - It’s always worth flying to Penang to eat - with or without a visit to A.Maze. Singaporeans and Malaysians from other states go to Penang just to eat.

I am familiar with tea flavoured egg. What’s soy flavoured egg? How did the sous vide scallop taste like?

sck - Chef Wei combined the smoky fragrance of tea-smoked egg and the Fujianese/Hokkien soy-braised egg (similar to the ones you also find in Japanese buta no kakuni) - i.e. first boiled, peeled then cooked in a soy-based gravy - to come up with a unique rendition which is both herbal yet with a slight salty tang.

The scallops were barely cooked, allowing the sweetness to come through. I’d actually would have preferred them to be more raw.

Not seeing the “Modern-Penang” elements of the meal. Seems like the standard continental modern/nordic-esque style of cooking.

Day 58 of the current Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 COVID lockdown here in Malaysia, and 𝟒𝟕𝟕 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 since MCO started back on 18 Mar 2020. SOPs that curtailed human movement and business trading activities had gone through various cycles of loosening and tightening, depending on the COVID infection numbers.

This whole crisis has been very, very taxing on the restaurant business here in Penang, just as it has been in most of the world.

A.Maze, now located in Lip Sin Garden, has revamped its offerings to target the take-out/delivery business nowadays. No dining-in are allowed in all eateries in Penang under the current MCO 3.0, which is already 2 months-long.

What we had for our omakase take-out dinner set this evening:

Roasted cauliflower soup with croutons & breadsticks - I’m not fond of dining from take-out containers, but the soup was surprisingly tasty: rich and creamy.

Smoked duck salad - refreshing and fruity, the smoked duck slices were complemented by beetroot, mandarin orange and grapefruit segments, crisp lettuce & cabbage, and mango strips, with a light, citrusy dressing.

Curried pork pot pie - a rich casserole of curried pork belly strips, topped with mashed potatoes, and finished off with a buttery latticed pastry crust which I really liked.

Japanese rice seafood paella - this dish used the short-grained Japanese rice, but cooked using Spanish technique and condiments. The taste was okay, but the seafood items - mussels, scallops and clams tasted rather overcooked/rubbery. The large tiger prawns were okay, albeit slightly over-cooked as well. In his typical East-meets-West approach, Chef Wei used waxed Chinese sausages in place of Spanish chorizo.

Baked apple tart - a rather interesting dessert: more a deep-dish apple pie (sans pastry crust) rather than the French-style apple tart I was expecting. Quite cinnamony all the same.

Pot de crème - this one fared much better as a take-out dessert than the apple tart, which had all gone soggy. Tasted rich and creamy, and the blueberry compote cuts into the vanilla-scented curd’s richness. Perfectly balanced flavors.

I am soooo envious of the quality of restaurant takeaway you can get. Here, the only places that have been doing takeaway/delivery have been pretty mediocre. In fact, there’s only one place that we go to in “real life” that we’ve been able to order from (although we have discovered a Thai place that we intend to try in due course).

What I really want to eat is the curried pork pie!

Oh yes, that was the best dish in the dinner set (for two persons), which costed only MYR128 (£22) - very reasonably-priced indeed.

Many dining establishments here are struggling - with no respite in sight. Everyone’s hoping the Govt. will allow dining-in at restaurants soon - but Malaysia just had a new record of 9,180 new cases today, so no light at the end of the tunnel as yet.

Thailand was about to announce a full re-opening, but it faced 7,058 new cases yesterday, so they are also re-thinking their strategy.

1 Like

Whereas, in the UK, the government is about to lift all legal restrictions - distancing (inside & outside), mask wearing, etc. And it is tacitly accepting that new infections may rise to 100k per day (that is not a typo - we are currently at 32k). Whilst the vaccines are weakening the link betwene infection and serious illness & death, it is obvious that a low percentage of a high number still means lots of illness & death. And this so we can be “free” to stand up to drink in a crowded bar instead of having to sit down. Without putting too fine a point on it (or stepping too far over the “no politics” rule), this is a fucking nonsense.

1 Like

Those are pretty scary numbers - can the UK healthcare system cope with that many cases?!

1 Like

It’s going to depend on how many of those require hospitalisation. Certainly the vaccines are showing that the percentage will be much lower than previous waves. But numbers could still stack up and there are very early signs of individual hospitals starting to struggle with numbers. We could be in for a scary few weeks. Again.