This was our last night in Chicago, and we were considering dinner options when SY remembered this restaurant, Penang, that serves Malaysian/Singaporean food. Problem is it’s an hours’ drive away. I suppose living in London has really spoilt us, because distances between places we hang out are never very far. We’ve never had to travel for an hour to get our dinner, so we were quite hesitant to go ahead with the suggestion to go to Penang and having SY take an hour driving us there, and another hour driving us back. It just seemed like a real waste of time. However, it seems that going to such extraordinary lengths to get dinner isn’t uncommon around these parts, so after a lot of reassuring on SY’s part, we finally agreed to go.

It wasn’t a difficult drive, but then again, we weren’t the ones driving in the dark and the rain. When we got to Penang, we saw a board listing the daily specials, and knew instantly what we were going to order.

We had a serving of roti cannai, which was far better than any we’ve had in London – crispy and tasty. Unfortunately, there was only one piece per portion, definitely not enough to satisfy the craving of 3 roti-prata-starved Singaporeans.

For our mains we had a fish head curry, which was really good. (For one, the fish wasn’t salmon – take that Malaysian Kopitiam!)

We also had a sambal stingray, and it was also fantastic – very aggressively seasoned and well cooked, with a ton of sambal, just the way we like it. The side of sambal kangkong we ordered was also one of the best we’ve had outside Singapore.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal in Penang. This is easily the best restaurant serving South East Asian food outside of South East Asia that we’ve been to so far. There was one very glaring unauthentic aspect of the meal unfortunately – the fortune cookie given to us at the very end. Tsk tsk tsk.

Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7/10


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