If you are ever taking a
stroll down Penang's very popular Chulia Street, then I'm sure
without doubt you will notice a bright canary yellow building peering
out of the side street Jalan Pintal Tali just off of Chulia. This
uniquely coloured piece of heritage architecture is the home to
quaint little restaurant called Sri Malaya.
Upon stepping inside out
of the sweltering Malaysian heat, a cool refreshing wave rushes to
meet you and the warm lit interior invites one to pull up a chair.
Pleasant latin music plays subtly through the restaurant, a nice
change to the loud annoying tunes some places blast at you.
I think one of the most
impressive things about Sri Malaya is its interior. Upstairs above
the main dining area, the whole floor is impeccably designed as a
living area. Although this is unused, it reflects on the well thought
through simple yet elegant design of Sri Malaya's colourful interior.
The fruit blended
smoothies are all made with fruit as fresh as it will get, brought to
Sri Malaya straight from the market. While you sit in the cooling
aurora of the place, the whirr of the blenders crushing the ice can
be a slight discomfort disturbing the quiet tranquilness, but
gratefully, this is only momentary and at the end of it you get a
smoothie exploding with freshness and flavour. Fresh fruit smoothies
aren't the only drinks on the menu to replenish your thirst, there
are wines, beers, tea, coffee and simple fruit juices to choose from.
Skimming across the food
menu, there is a mouthwatering selection of Malaysian, Italian pasta
dishes and Western dishes. Penang Passion were not lucky enough (nor
had the stomach space) to sample every meal Sri Malaya had to offer
but instead three platters were selected with the help of
recommendations of house favourites.
It seemed so soon after we
ordered that our dishes were placed before us in the fastest of
fashions, it was almost unreal how speedy the food arrived. The
appearance of the meals reflects on the attention to detail Sri
Malaya pay to the presentation of their food.
The mixed seafood curry
laksa noodles arrived colourfully presented in a large white bowl.
The prawns were massive and an aroma of spices wafts up to intoxicate
one's sense of smell. The first impression of the laksa is that it is
like that of Penang curry mee; it is not too spicy and the prawns
taste fresh, their juicy and there is plenty of flesh on them to
The carbonara fettuccine
with smoked salmon and wild mushroom was a creamy delight which gave
a new and interesting taste to the typical carbonara dish. The smoked
salmon was of course fresh and the amount, generous.
The braised lamb shank was
presented colourfully, draped in gravy and decorated with peppered
steam vegetables. The succulent lean meat fell from the bone easily
and was thankfully not a tough morsel to chew.
Unfortunately for Penang
Passion, we were unable to sample some of the cakes that are served
at Sri Malaya due to the fact that they had sold out. I am sure their
cakes and brownies must be good if they were already sold out so
early on the evening. Even though the desserts were all sold out, we
were still offered a fresh platter of fruit to cleanse the palette.
Overall, Sri Malaya is an
impressive and pleasant place to dine. Price-wise, for the amount of
food you get and for the quality it is very reasonably priced. It is
a place that is appropriate for any time of day or not, offering
hearty meals for the hungry, rehydrating drinks for the parched and
delicious desserts for the sweet-toothed and peckish. Its location
just off of Chulia Street on Jalan Pintal Tali puts it in the ideal
spot for any wandering tourists or Penangaites to just simply pop in
at their convenience. Take a trip down to Sri Malaya, perhaps if you
are on a date, spending time with an old friend or to feed the
mouth's of your hungry family and experience it firsthand.
Photography by Christyna Fong
Article by Sorcha May Li Leow