17 December 2010

JenxDan Lifestyle @ Chow Thye Road, Penang

In the vein of reviewing vegetarian food like last week's Lily's Vegetarian Kitchen, today let's take a look at one of my favourite non-meat restaurants - JenxDan Lifestyle.

They serve a mix of Western and Asian cuisine (more of the former), which I think is a refreshing change because most vegetarian restaurants in Penang are Chinese or Indian cuisine based. So when one is hankering for a good meatless pasta or burger, where does one go? Answer: JenxDan.

Situated along Chow Thye Road, just behind the more popular Harvest In Cafe, it's easy to miss JenxDan among the many other famous eateries along that road. But keep a close eye on the left as you go down Chow Thye and make sure you stop by for their great pasta. I visited one evening with a vegetarian and picked a few items from the menu that I've never tried before:

Vietnamese Roll (RM 4)
The Vietnamese Roll is pretty authentic. Not that I've visited Vietnam before, but the translucent skin and spicy & sweet chili sauce go together like fries and melted cheese.

Mini Cheese Burger (RM 4.90)
We both found this to be overpriced for what we got. Described as whole meal bun with cheese & vegetables, there was plenty of veg but only a quarter of a cheddar slice. Perhaps we were expecting something more elaborate rather than a sandwich we could easily make ourselves.

Seafood Pasta (RM 8.50)
Cooked with cheese, seaweed, vege fish, and vegetables, this actually tasted pretty average and plain. At the end of the post I recommend a few better pasta choices.

Shitake Sauce Pasta (RM 7.50)
When I read Shitake sauce I was expecting some kind of creamy mushroom sauce. But it's actually soya sauce based, and therefore tastes Oriental rather than Western. I was also expecting some real, fresh slices of shitake mushrooms, but they were no where to be found. It tastes OK with a hint of sweetness and the shitake (but just a hint!).

Chinese Mahogany Fried Rice (RM 5.50)
Now this was excellent. The mahogany added a nice fragrant texture throughout each bite. Definitely better than the normal chinese style fried rice. I find it a little oily but my dining partner assured me that's the nature of mahogany.

Unfortunately, the food we had that night did not rise above "Good". When you visit, it's better to try some of the established favourites, such as:

  • Mushroom Soup
  • Pumpkin Soup (with ginger to give it a spicy kick!)
  • Creamy Mushroom Fettucine (3 types of mushroom in a cream base)
  • Pumpkin Pasta
  • Pasta Bolognese (I could hardly tell it was vegetarian meat)

JenxDan store front with parking for 2-3 cars
They open everyday for lunch and dinner everyday except Sundays. If I'm not mistaken, they run a set lunch promotion during weekday afternoons.

Definitely worth a try if you think vegetarian food is boring and too "Asian". Though lacklustre this visit, it's still one of my top meatless cafes to visit in Penang.

Getting there: GPS 5.425304,100.321289
(Please note that Google Maps currently misspells Chow Thye as Chong Thye)

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