Ee Beng Vegetarian Food
Location: 18 Lebuh Dickens, Georgetown, Penang
Opening Hours: 12.00pm-9.30pm. Closed on Thursday
North South East West (Singapore), you may get the feeling that the menu is very familiar to that restaurant. The two are not related in any way shape or form, just a coincidence I guess.
Lavender Tea, generally I love anything that has lavender infused into it. I always tend to feel a heightened state of calm, whenever I take lavender. There is a total of around 15 different tea types to choose from, all are the same price.
Price: RM8.90. 7/10
Satay is something I've eaten on countless occasions, from a number of different stalls and restaurants. I can say without a doubt, Ee Beng has the most delicious peanut satay sauce that I've ever eaten. The sauce is rich, flavourful and chunky. It has a beautiful roasted peanut aroma, and was neither too spicy nor too greasy. There are a total of 10 pieces of skewered mock meats that are presented along with this dangerously addictive sauce. The mock meat is decent enough, but it is really the sauce that makes this dish so unforgettable.
Price: RM10.00. 8/10
Assam Laksa (also known as penang laksa). As we all know, one of the most synonymous dishes in Singapore is laksa - However, the Penang variety is significantly different to Singapore. Penang laksa lacks any coconut milk, and has an entirely different flavour, due to the sour tamarind and flowery galangal. I ordered the assam laksa from Ee Beng back in 2010, and strangely the flavour has altered quite a bit. Now, there is quite an overwhelming 'fishy' flavour. Still a decent dish though.
Price: RM4.50. 7/10
Vegetarian Fried Crispy Chicken. This dish reminds me a lot of the DFC that is available at Thousand Vegie. Texture and taste wise this mock chicken is great to eat. The texture is crunchy, chewy and juicy. The flavour is quite impressive, with there being an almost cheesy aftertaste.
Price: $6.90. 8/10
Curry Vegetarian Lamb Noodles. I know that a lot of people are vehemently against mock meat, but for this particular dish the 'mock meat' in question is simply mushroom stems. The textural similarity between mushroom stems and meat is really quite astonishing, especially in the form of a curry. For this dish, I found that the 'lamb' curry was just too spicy for me. Admittedly, I am a bit of a weakling when it comes to spice, but still I would have preferred the spice level to be toned down a little. The vegetables are nice and fresh, the broccoli especially is shining with goodness. Decent dish overall, but definitely one that will be preferred by someone who can take a lot of spice.
Price: RM6.90. 7/10
Vegetarian Lamb Chop with BBQ Sauce. Customers can also select this same dish in black pepper sauce. The dish arrives on a sizzling hotplate, which really enhances the flavour and aroma of the entire dish. The mock meat texture is highly authentic, but perhaps the BBQ sauce is a little too heavy on salt. The other components include fries, carrot, broccoli and a mixed shredded salad. Not much I can say in opposition to this dish - Excellent value and outstanding flavour.
Price: RM9.50. 8/10
Vegetarian Chicken Cordon Bleu. The dish is comprised of nice fresh carrots and broccoli, fries, salad, white sauce and a huge slab of mock meat. If you're someone who hates the concept of mock meat, this will probably be culinary hell for you. This dish aims to replicate true cordon bleu, and thus has a layer of cheese (not vegan friendly) and mock ham nestled in the centre. This is a dish that has unfortunately deteriorated in quality over the years. Although I didn't eat it myself (my girlfriend had that honour), it was clear to see that the texture of the cheese has become almost watery, and leaked pitifully from the mock meat after it was cut. It is still a pretty decent dish, but not at the high level that it once was.
Price: RM10.50. 7/10
Conclusion - Perhaps Ee Beng has lost some of its glow, but it is still one of the best vegetarian restaurants that I have ever visited. If you're heading to Penang, then this should be the number one priority on the list of veggie places that you need to check out. My personal highlight was the satay sauce, which was simply mind-blowing.
Food - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 10/10