We tried the worst-rated Penang asam laksa in KL

Being someone who holds a deep affection for Penang cuisine, I decided to do the impossible and search for the worst-rated Penang asam laksa. I thought my search would lead me to a chain restaurant like Ah Cheng Laksa or D’Laksa, but Google led me to Simply Penang in MyTown Shopping Centre.

Simply Penang - Store front

I did a double-take when I saw the shocking 2.2-star rating with 166 reviews (at the time of writing). Surely a restaurant in a busy mall can’t have such low ratings… right?  

Reading the reviews further, I found that many had commented on the slow and careless service alongside the poor portion-to-price ratio. Worst of all, a number of users mentioned how unhygienic the servers were. So, I put on my big girl pants and went to MyTown.

What I tried at Simply Penang

After taking a look at the menu (and gawking at the prices) I decided to order 1 drink and 1 dish. The Teh Ais (RM4.90) arrived relatively fast and looked decent, especially with the foam on top. 

Simply Penang - Teh ais

Not to say I was expecting a lot from the drink, but it was bad. The colour of the teh ais was deceptive. I thought it would taste nice and sweet; however, it tasted like it had been left melting in a cup of ice, then served to me. It was very watered down and bland. I’ve tasted better teh ais at a kopitiam for half the price.

Simply Penang - Asam laksa

Next was the Penang Asam Laksa (RM15.90). You should’ve seen the way my jaw dropped when I saw the bowl that was set in front of me. The asam laksa looked so sad! All the condiments had sunk to the bottom. If anything, it looked like a bowl of kacang pool.

Simply Penang - Asam laksa action shot

Nevertheless, I gave it a quick mix and took a bite. The rice noodles were not the best — slightly overcooked but still edible. The broth, however, was similar to the teh ais… watery. A hallmark of a good bowl of asam laksa is its thick broth and it suffices to say that this one didn’t quite make the mark.

Simply Penang - Calamansi

Now, I thought I could salvage this bland bowl of asam laksa with a nice squeeze of calamansi. But can you tell me why it was cut so poorly? I don’t think any calamansi juice could come out of such a small hole. After staring at the calamansi, I decided against attempting to squeeze it in.

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Simply Penang - Pineapple

As I continued eating the dish, I noticed the generous amount of pineapples in the bowl. At first, I was impressed but soon realised that 25% of the broth was filled with pineapples. Was it the restaurant’s way of salvaging the bland taste of the asam laksa? We’ll never know.

As I was pushing the pineapple slices away, I tried to find a nice chunk of mackerel fish I could enjoy… but there were none. I have to stress that there was virtually no fish in the bowl of asam laksa— it was all broken into small, unidentifiable bits. 

Disappointed, I carried on fishing out what was left in the bowl. What I found was a whole bunch of mint leaves and cilantro. This puzzled me as a dish with so many herbs should taste delicious, shouldn’t it? I honestly think they threw in these herbs that had gone almost bad in order to avoid food waste. That’s when I threw in the towel, paid and left.

Final thoughts

It’s safe to say that the Google reviews of Simply Penang were accurate. I don’t recommend visiting this place if you’re in search of authentic Penang asam laksa— there are many other places you can explore. I can’t say much for the other dishes here, but I would expect them to be a letdown, too.

Service-wise, it was okay. I would narrow it down to the fact that only 2 other families were dining at the restaurant while I was there. However, I did notice the servers playing with their phones. I can’t blame them, though, as barely anyone stepped foot into the restaurant.

Expected damage: RM5 – RM20 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 2 / 5

Simply Penang

No.6, Jalan Cochrane, Seksyen 90, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100

Our Rating 2/5

Simply Penang

No.6, Jalan Cochrane, Seksyen 90, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100

Telephone: +603 2710 8891
Operating Hours: 10am - 9pm (Daily)
Telephone: +603 2710 8891

Operating Hours: 10am - 9pm (Daily)