It’s the eve of a two-week lockdown announced by the Malaysian government to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus here. All non-essential places of work, schools and anywhere that people congregate will be closed. All restaurants and food centres will only be allowed to do take-outs for the next two weeks.
So, we decided to have one last dinner out at L Kitchen on 141 Campbell Street, before the lockdown kicks in on 18 Mar. This family-run eatery stood on the exact site of a now-defunct 1950s eatery, Tong Hong, right next to the Sun Theatre on Drury Lane.
Braised seafood on crispy yee-fu noodles - it’s so easy to get this dish wrong, and most places where I’d had this dish, whether in London or Sydney or Singapore, made a “too bland” version. But this little place in Penang actually got it down pat - delicate flavours from its braised seafood mix (fish fillets, shrimps and squid), just the right amount of seasoning, and served on a bed of perfectly-crisped, aromatic “yee fu” noodles.
Steamed garoupa fillet on hor fun with soy dressing - the fresh garoupa fillets were sweet and firm in texture. The Cantonese-style seasoning was intense - soysauce, ginger and golden-brown minced garlic, with a sprinkling of chopped scallions. The bed of neutral-flavoured wide rice noodles (Cantonese sar hor fun) provided a perfect foil to complement the strong flavours of the sauce.
South Indian fish curry with hor fun noodles - my fave dish for the evening: intoxicatingly fragrant curried fish, paired with sar hor fun: Tamilian curry meets Cantonese noodles. Exquisite flavour and texture. Definitely a dish worth coming back for.
This place served much better food than we expected! Definitely want to come back after the lockdown period to try other items on their menu.
L Kitchen (李月香 粥麵饭)
141, Lebuh Campbell
10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6016-471 6833
Opening hours: 11.30am-3.30pm, 6pm-9pm daily, except Thursday (closed)