The Place Located within George Town, Tek Sen Restaurant is easily where I had one of my best meals in Penang. I was warned about the notoriously long queue, hence I made the effort to arrive ten minutes before it opens at 12pm. Indeed, the space of the non-air conditioned restaurant is not huge, and I was lucky to snag a table without waiting. I couldn’t help but compare Tek Sen to the ever popular Tong Sheng Restaurant in Melaka, which also serves local Zi Char dishes.
The Food Local Zi Char dishes is the main reason I checked out Tek Sen and there are no lack of options from the extensive menu. Starting with the Stir Fried Kang Kung with Sambal Sauce and Prawns (MYR12/medium), the sambal is not too spicy but the Kang kung is nonetheless very tasty.
If there is only one dish you could order, the Home Recipe Double Roasted Pork (MYR18/medium) is simply divine. You get roasted pork belly here which is tender and somewhat candied, hence there is that bit of sweetness as I chewed into the meat. It is a unique way of presenting pork meat, which I have never come across before.
Another recommended dish on the menu is the Deep-fried Homemade Tofu Prawns, Dried Scallop and Egg White Topping (MYR12/medium). While there is not much of an element of surprise in this tofu dish, it is a safe option to have on the order which is guaranteed to be delicious.
For chicken, I had the Deep-fried Chicken with Umeboshi (Sour Plum) Sauce (MYR18/medium). I love this fried chicken! Other than the fact that the batter on the fried and crispy skin is delicious, the chicken meat is tender and that sour plum sauce really elevates the whole dish. This is one of my favourite dishes here other than the Double Roasted Pork.
For seafood, I tried the Assam Tumis (Curry) Fish where I chose the Black Pomfret Fish (MYR35/medium) over Stingray. The Assam curry could have been more pronounced in terms of flavour profile for me, while the fish does not stand out in terms of taste. Skip this dish.
Rants I tried to call to make reservations but I was unable to get through the line after a few attempts. Be prepared to queue during peak hours without any reservations.
Will I Return Again? A resounding yes. Food is overall very good at Tek Sen with a few standout dishes for me. This is the kind of food I truly enjoy in Penang.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Tek Sen Restaurant
18, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Monday to Sunday: 12pm to 2:30pm; 6pm to 8:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter