When you mention about Street Western Food in Penang, you would get lots of responses that this place is the best or that place served the best whatsoever, from Pulau Tikus area until as far as Fettes Park, right? It’s true that each has their own signature dishes but one thing they have in common is the usage of frozen mixed vegetables which I’m not so much in favor of. Hard green peas, barely fresh frozen vegetables or even tasteless frozen vegetables from China were some of the complaints I mentioned constantly. Some of my friends even suggested that I visit hotels or posh restaurants since I’m so fussy. LOL! Well, I can now prove that you are wrong. I had discovered and revisited this new treasure of mine for the last 4 months just to be certain that they are consistent enough to serve you the best in presentation, freshness and taste at the price of general Street Western Food. Welcome to the latest gem in the world of Street Western Food – Diner’s Choice Western Food.
The first thing that I would normally do when visiting any Western Food outlets, whether it’s street or restaurant would be to try out their mushroom soup. I have read from many blogs about the soup served at some of the prominent Street Western Food venues and most of them would compliment on the cheap pricing of RM2.50-RM3.00 per bowl. Of course, those bowls of soup would be cheap as they are mostly stirred up from instant mix. At Diner’s Choice, a few varieties of fresh mushrooms were carefully selected, toasted, blended and cooked in a secret recipe that you would yearn for more. Their thick, creamy and flavorful Mushroom Soup (RM5.00nett) would be presented beautifully in a wide dish, together with a slice of garlic bread. For those who do not have such a big appetite, I have to forewarn you that you might not be able to finish up the soup since the rest of the main course could be such a big portion too.
The main course would consist of chicken, beef, lamb and fish, prepared in your preferred style of cooking – grilled, batter-fried or baked. You also have an option to choose from 3 types of gravy, namely black pepper sauce, garlic sauce and mushroom sauce which had been specially pepped up in taste with brandy. What? Brandy? Yes, indeed. This is what made Diner’s Choice unique compared to the rest as they believed in providing their diners with the best without charging them extra.
Let’s have a look at their Batter-fried Chicken in Black Pepper Sauce (RM9.00nett). The presentation alone had already stunned me at first sight. You won’t get such a presentation with so much of fresh side dishes anywhere else except in a restaurant. The chicken fillet was actually from a deboned drumstick, dipped in batter and deep fried to perfection. The only problem would be the gravy soaked meal. It would be advisable to request for the gravy to be served separately in a small bowl. The black pepper sauce was not that pungent as I would have expected. It had that mild peppery taste with traces of some herbs and fragrant sweetness from the brandy. It would suit even a child’s taste bud.
The Batter-fried Chicken in Mushroom Sauce (RM9.00nett) was similar to the above except that this time I had different gravy. This style remained my all-time favorite as the slices of Shitake mushrooms has soaked up all the flavors and brandy from the gravy, giving each bite a squeeze of heaven. It went well with any choices of meat.
There was one item on the menu board that caught my attention. It was the Grilled Chicken Butcher Style (RM8.50nett). I was fooled by the name as it was just grilled chicken spread with my selection of garlic sauce and topped with just a sausage and half a piece of ham. The garlic sauce on the other hand had that nice taste from the chopped garlic, mild traces of black pepper and herbs in brown sauce.
I also tried out the Sizzling Grilled Chicken Chop (RM8.50) served in my favorite mushroom sauce. It was delicious as the chicken was well marinated and grilled, on top of having that extra charred flavor from the hot plate. The only disadvantage was that my gravy dried up too fast until I had I request for additional top-up.
The Breaded Fish & Chips (RM7.00nett) was just normal. I found the cut to be a bit too thin and considering that dory fillet was used here, it did not have the required juiciness. I won’t mind paying a bit more if barramundi (siakap) or gold-banded jobfish (kalak) fillets were used here. Unless you love the fish fingers like texture and bite, this dish would not be my preference.
There’s one dish that I saw many repeated orders and that was the BBQ Grilled Chicken (RM7.50nett). The dish was indeed delicious. The pounded chicken drumsticks fillet had the right flavors and combined with the chef’s specially prepared BBQ sauce, it was very palatable to anyone’s appetite.
For meat lovers, you sure would love the Diner’s Choice Mixed Grills (RM18.50nett). It came with well marinated grilled beef rib-eye steak, lamb shoulder, chicken drumstick, ham and sausage, with a substantial amount of fresh greens and chips. If only my stomach could contain so much, I won’t mind ordering a second helping. You can choose your choice of gravy here too or you can leave it to the chef to decide for you.
Another unique dish of theirs would be their Chicken Cordon Bleu (RM8.50nett). Instead of being presented in a dry form as what others would do, this deep fried ham and cheese stuffed chicken fillet with breadcrumbs came with the chef’s special oriental sauce. This tangy yet mildly sweetened sauce blended in real well with the chicken.
Who said that Street Western Food must have those common items and not something out of the norm? The chef did a great job in presenting a few international dishes in his menu. One of the more noticeable ones would be the Italian Chicken Parmigiano (RM8.50nett). It looked almost like a pizza. Instead of a pizza base, it had the chef’s specially concocted tomato base, spread on a chicken fillet, topped with grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano hard cheese (normally substituted with the French’s version of Parmesan cheese) and baked to perfection. Just a look at the dish and you can be assured of the juiciness that remained within the meat.
Another great recommendation would be their Grilled Fish in Chimichurri Sauce (RM7.00nett). Though it was still dory fillet being used here, at least this version maintained the moist within the fillet. The Argentine-influenced green colored Chimichurri sauce was actually the chef’s own recipe with hints of minced parsley, garlic, olive oil, red chilies (instead of red pepper flakes) and more. It was a bit spicy with a touch of sourness but it suited the fish fillet well.
Overall, this stall does provide great Western dishes at a reasonable price. Since this is just an open air coffee shop with another stall selling stir fried dishes, it might get stuffy at times with all the oil flying about. There are a few tables away from these stalls for your dining pleasure. You can check out a bigger version of the menu board here.
As the stall within a residential coffee shop is not visible from the main road, it would be hard for those who are not familiar with the vicinity to locate it, especially using some of the small lanes which would also lead to the venue. The easiest way would be by identifying certain landmarks. If you are coming from 1-Stop Midland Park Centre along Jalan Burma, just drive all the way to the Jalan Burma/Jalan Bagan Jermal traffic lights. Drive straight towards Mt. Erskine and keep to your right. After about 1km, you would reach another traffic lights (turn left would lead you to Hong Seng Estate). Switch on your right indicator. Immediately after the traffic light, turn right into Tingkat Mt. Erskine 1 (you can see a Chinese temple at the junction on your right and a fruit stall on the other side of the junction). Turn right into the first junction (Lengkok Mt. Erskine). Drive further up and you can see the brightly lighted up coffee shop on your left at the junction of Gerbang Erskine (Erskine Grove).
Name: DINER’S CHOICE WESTERN FOOD
Address: 1 Gerbang Erskine (Erskine Grove), Mt. Erskine, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-455 2028 (Patrick)
Business Hours: 5.00pm-11.00pm (Closed Thursday)
GPS: 5.43946, 100.303464
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)