431 W Franklin, Chapel Hill, NC | Directions 2751635.910382 -79.062916
unpredictable - you probably won't get what you order – The atmosphere inside the restaurant is terrible - I think they tried to make it look modern, but instead it's cold. Sitting outside is nice though. I recently went here and ordered the Mango Chicken. When I noticed the sticker was still on the mango, I told the waiter, as it was clear the mango had not been washed. He said "ok" and clearly didn't think it was odd or a problem. My friend and I also ordered an appetizer - the Roti something - that I've had before and loved. This time, it had no flavor or spice - normally it's almost too spicy to handle, and we love it. When we told them, they said "ok" and didn't offer to add spice or remove it from our bill.
Then tonight I ordered take-out from Penang - the Penang Curry Chicken. It didn't have any Kafir leaves like described, and instead was full of large pieces of green pepper, which I hate and is not supposed to be in the dish. If I wanted green peppers, I would have ordered something with that in the description.
Basically, this restaurant can be good - if you sit outside, and there happens to be a cook working that night that knows what they're doing. It's a gamble.
Poor service and mediocre food – My wife and I went on a Sunday night and received poor service and mediocre food. We ordered 2 rolls of sushi and 2 teriyaki entrees. The sushi took over 30 minutes to get to our table even though the restaurant had 4 other tables with guests. The server only came once during this time to tell us that the sushi chef was very busy. The sushi that arrived was okay. Nothing that great. The teriyaki salmon and teriyaki chicken were good but the broccoli was cold.
If you're looking for good sushi and teriyaki I would go to Akai Hane in Carrboro.
absolutely the worst customer service ever – The only good thing about this restaurant is the building's decor and architecture. The waiting staff was RUDE to say the least. We ordered a vegetarian dish and it tasted like it came from a can and all they had to do to make the dish was add some noodles and heat it up in the microwave. The shrimp dish with their special Malaysian sauce wasn't good either. Anyone can make the same dish and make it 10 times better. We ordered sashimi and was definitely not worth how much they were charging. The pieces were small and the fish was not fresh. They had boiled shrimp and imitation crab meat as sashimi. DO NOT COME HERE!
Low quality food and service – I had a bad feeling just after walking through the door on a Saturday because the restaurant was mostly empty. The lady who sat us seemed annoyed when we asked to be seated outside. It was unclear who our server was, a couple different people asked if we wanted to place drink orders. The hot tea I ordered was served at room temperature. Our dishes all came out at different times, and none of them were really any good. They used dark meat chicken in one dish that was supposed to be a curry but had no heat at all. The lemongrass chicken had actual stringy lemongrass in the dish, so it was very unpleasant to eat. We had a fried shrimp appetizer as well with way too much batter. They just seemed to use cheap ingredients, and even used those cheap plastic mugs that you see at chain restaurants to serve drinks in. The restaurant simply is not at all what they bill it as.
Travel to exotic Malaysia - without leaving Chapel Hill. – If you've never tried Malaysian cuisine, you're missing the boat!! Get with the program! Check out Penangs on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill!! PENANGS FOOD = dozens of tasty choices, lots of flavor, not too spicy (unless you request HOT), great presentation and good value PENANGS ATMOSPHERE = exotic, romantic PENANGS SERVICE = friendly, welcoming, charming staff!
PENANGS LOCATION = convenient, easy to find.
I'm not sure if Penang's has switched management since the previous postings that mentioned service issues, but I've been there more than a dozen times in the past year - and probably 100 times since Penangs opened in 2002 - and I've always had great service and fantastic food.
Another huge PLUS is that Penangs has a parking lot right behind the restaurant, which is wonderful since parking on other areas of Franklin Street is challenging, to say the least.
Yummy Crunchy Shrimp Rolls – My name is Yvonne and I'm a sushiholic. I constantly crave good sushi. When I moved to Chapel Hill 3 years ago, I was delighted to find a cool place to get my "fix." I wandered into Penang on Franklin Street one day and I've been going back on a regular basis since then, mostly for the sushi, although many of the other dishes are excellent, too. If I miss a weekly visit to Penang's sushi bar, I start jonesing in a big way. In desperation, I've tried other places, but I've come to the conclusion that Penang has the best sushi in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. Maybe they slip some kind of special ingredient inside that is addictive. Whatever it is, I am hooked.
If you love sushi and want to enjoy it in a unique atmosphere, check out Penang on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. .... .... ..... ..... ......... ......... ........... .............. ......................
Surgeon General's Warning: Sushi is good for your health.
Authenic Asian Food in Chape Hill – Dined on a Friday night and was promptly seated within 15 minutes (they do not take reservations for parties less than 6). Wait staff were very pleasant and helpful. Ordered the tom kee (sp?) soup made w/ cocconut milk, fresh cilantro, mushrooms, and chicken that was simply fabulous. The soup had a very well balanced group of flavors that is hard to achieve in Thai cuisine.
Menu is online and w/ great variety.
A True Chapel Hill Treasure – Coming from an Asian background I am not lying when I say that Penang has some of the tastiest, most authentic Asian cuisine in the Triangle. Not only is the food some of the best I've had in my 13 years living in Chapel Hill, but the staff is fantastic. I have read past reviews and was appalled to see some of the responses people have had. I have always found the people at Penang friendly, fast, and extremely knowledgable about the cuisine. The best thing about Penang is how vast the menu is, although you will see dishes that look familiar there are SO many new things one can try. I feel like I always find a new favorite after every visit to Penang. Some dishes that I would recommend are the Roti Canai as an appetizer, the Beef Chow Fun, the Char Keuh Teow, or the Peking Duck. The Sushi is also fantastic, I recommend going on a Thursday night because ALL of their a la carte Sushi is half off! It really is a great deal especially if you love Sushi. All in all Penang is a true gem to the Triangle area. I would recommend it to anyone who loves to try new things and truly appreciates great Asian cuisine!
Best sushi and Malaysian food, super-friendly staff! – I was staying in Chapel Hill for 5 days and was recommended to try the sushi at Penang. I was very pleased on my first visit and ended up coming back for lunch the next day. Cameron, the manager was a great help in letting me know of things in the area to do and the whole staff, including the owner Celine, made me feel right at home. I was introduced to a few dishes that you will not find anywhere else in America. The green curry was delicious! Try the black sticky rice for dessert- it was like nothing I have ever tasted. Out of the 5 days in Chapel Hill, NC, I ate at Penang for all but 2 meals (not including breakfast)- needless to say YOU GOTTA TRY IT!! Thanks for keeping me healthy! I will definitely be back!!
Best Asian Food in the Triangle – I recently went to Penang for the first time this past weekend. Not only was the food amazing but the service was great too. I was really surprised to read past reviews about bad service, because my server was very prompt, friendly, and knowledgable. Maybe the staff has changed since then? Anyways - I would highly recommend this place, especially if you are looking for a new, more innovative dining experience. The food is very authentic and so delicious (a good value for its price) - I would recommend the Rendang and Thai Basil Noodles. This is by far the best Asian food I've had since I was in Asia - nothing else around here compares.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Penang on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.