Gu Cheng Penang Cuisine 古城 @ Crawford Lane : Review
Gu Cheng – a name that signifies with rich culture and historical significant of an old town or city. Gu Cheng focuses on Penang cuisine with a touch of home-cooked taste. This is the work of the owner cum chef, whose passion with Penang food has led to this family establishment whipping out dishes of their mum’s speciality.
Gu Cheng — Penang Laksa ($7.80)
The Penang laksa heavily relies on the way how the assam-flavoured fish is prepared. It typically uses sardine and / or mackerel fish with assam to heighten the tanginess. The pungency from the fermented prawn paste or shrimp sauce further enhances the overall robustness in the soup.
Gu Cheng was not too heavy-handed with its flavouring; instead, it served a tame but refreshing bowl of the Penang laksa and would certainly be welcomed by those that prefer a light touch version.
Gu Cheng — Penang Hokkien Mee ($7.80)
Similar to local Hokkien prawn mee, Gu Cheng adapted this dish with a more neutral seasoning. The flavour did not quite shock your tastebuds but instead employed a simple but comforting profile. You will not feel tired or cloying at the end of the meal by excessive seasoning and we have to agree this is another typical mum’s cooked meal that is easily to accepted by the palate.
Gu Cheng’s Signature Carrot Cake ($8.80)
Probably our favourite of the night, the cubed radish (aka white carrot) cake was deep-fried to attain a crisp exterior and soft texture inside. Fried with beansprouts, Chinese sausage, chai po or preserved radish, eggs and prawns, the dish was topped with hei bee hiam (dried shrimp with chilli). The end result was a plate of delectable carrot cake that had us ordering seconds.
Penang Lor Bak ($3.80)
The deep fried meat roll was not floury and was decent in taste.
Gu Cheng — Penang Otak ($3.80)
The home-made Penang otak is one of many varieties available. Like the common otak sticks on the streets, it is a blend of fish, coconut milk and spices. The concoction is either wrapped in coconut leaves, pandan leaves or banana leaves and grilled. However, one of the big differences in Penang otak is the use of steaming instead of grilling to keep the soft and custardy texture.
Gu Cheng otak had a mild flavour. It used a mix of fish and prawn custard with spices at a manageable spicy level. We would have preferred a more robust taste and felt that there was some room for improvement where both the texture and seasoning were concerned.
Gu Cheng Penang Cuisine was a good place for those seeking for a hearty and home-cooked Penang feast. Most of dishes here were very much customized towards a milder touch or flavour-neutral for an unpretentious and straight-forward taste.
A: Block 462, #01-61, Crawford Lane, Singapore 190462
H: Mon to Sat 11am to 8:30pm, Closed on Sundays and PH — PERMANENTLY CLOSED AS OF 27 APRIL 2018
T: +65 62917661