Mixed delights at Penghulu Seafood

Mixed delights at Penghulu Seafood

With name like Penghulu Seafood, we weren’t sure what to expect. Malay food at best with Asian nuances, probably, we guessed.

We weren’t far off, as Leslie, who also owns Esan Thai Kitchen near door, ventured that it’s a mix of Chinese food with influences from Malay, Thai and Vietnamese cooking with chef Wan Yee Kwong helming the Muslim-friendly kitchen. 

The signature Penghulu Crisp Fried Thai Style (Lai Sa Fish in Chinese) was a good start to lunch, its flesh sliced then coated in flour, then fried till crispy. The talapia slices were rearranged into a whole fish, and came with sliced onions, chilli, curry leaves and fried garlic. Different from the usual fish presentation, takes skill to debone the flesh and then assemble it back again. I think I liked this dish the best.

Malay-style Ikan bakar (grilled stingray) marinated in turmeric was also very good, juicy and aromatic, though lacking a good sambal to go with it.

Beef Noodles came with tender and juicy pieces of beef tenderloin, doused in eggy gravy. A Wat Tan Hor fan, I was happy.

The E San Seafood Tom Yum had well-balanced and mellow flavours, and decent amount of seafood, but was too mild for my liking. Seems most customers prefer this version, but I’ll def dial up the spice on my next visit. 

Garlic Mixed Seafood with Kailan featured springy sotong and prawns in a Thai-style sauce – sweetish, sour and spicy – quite delectable; similarly, Pattaya Chicken cooked in ‘oil bath’ came with piquant flavours of sliced onion, fresh coriander, Thai chilli, fish sauce and lime juice was tasty too.

Hard to go wrong with spicy and robust flavour of the Belacan Four King Vegetables comprising long beans, petai (stink beans), eggplant and okra, while Chilli Prawns drenched in a tomato-chilli sauce reminded me of Singapore’s chilli crab. Crowd-pleaser Salt and pepper Deep-fried Soft Shell Crabs disappeared fast while Teochew-style Steamed Jenahak (snapper) offered clear, understated notes.

Soft shell crabs

I chose Thai Pumpkin Custard from E San Thai next door as I enjoy the soft steamed pumpkin and discreetly sweet custard centre. At the moment, Penghulu shares the dessert menu with E San Thai so other options such as Red Ruby and Mango Sticky Rice are also available.

Generally, food here is a step up from the coffeeshop ‘dai chao’, sizeable portions in comfortable settings. Prices are reasonable and it’s nice enough place for a family dinner, or to bring guests.

Add: G-G-3A, Block G, Jalan PJU1A/3, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. call: 011-5633 6377