Phang Ling Ling Cafe

Special thanks to Phang Ling Ling Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

A dinner invitation brings me to Phang Ling Ling Cafe (胖胖猪肉粉海鲜粥) at Nibong Tebal. Formerly known as Lye Lee Food & Beverage (高渊利猪肉粉), the business was inherited by two former employees three years ago. The duo has been working earnestly to improve the recipe ever since.
Seafood Porridge (海鲜粥, RM13.00) is one of most popular dishes in this restaurant. This porridge is perfect for customers who wish to try different types of seafood at once. Every morning, the soup is prepared by stewing pork bones for several hours. A small amount of jicama (芒光) is also added for extra flavor. The proprietors of Phang Ling Ling Cafe prefer to rely on natural flavors of raw ingredients rather than food additives.
Taking "richness" to an entirely new level, the soup is further enhanced by savory essence of various seafood which comes with the porridge. Brown crab (面包蟹) is not included but is an optional add-on. Meanwhile, the large prawns (虾) used here are juicy and succulent. It is also satisfying to have scrumptious mantis shrimp (虾蛄) included in this bowl of porridge.
Also included in this seafood combo bowl are fried fish (炸鱼) and fresh fish (生鱼); both are made from grouper (石斑鱼). I am also surprised to see scallops (海贝) and sea snails (螺) included. Infused with so many types of seafood, it is a sin not to finish the porridge to the very last drop!
Crab Porridge (螃蟹粥) is only available seasonally due to intermittent supply of brown crab from fishermen. Nevertheless when it is on the menu, regular customers are thrilled to enjoy these succulent crustaceans. Each bowl of porridge includes one or two crabs depending on crab size. The price of this dish also depends on the market price of crab.
In lieu of seafood, customers can also opt for another signature dish at Phang Ling Ling Cafe: Pork Noodles (猪肉粉, RM5.00). Key to enjoyment of this dish is the juicy minced pork (猪肉). In addition, the perfect springiness of pork meatballs (猪肉丸) is simply irresistible!
Also included are pork innards such as liver (猪肝), stomach (猪皮) and heart (猪心). I also like the delectable texture of pork rind (猪皮). This dish is best enjoyed with koay teow (粿条), but other types of noodle are available too.

Phang Ling Ling Cafe prepares a special blend of chili sauce to go with its noodle dishes. Besides mere spiciness, the homemade sauce also produces tantalizing savoriness on the tongue.
As for side dishes, Octopus (八爪鱼, RM10.00) is boiled in plain water in order to maintain its natural juiciness. Although the octopus has hardly any taste on its own, its springy texture provides rather interesting mouthfeel.
To compensate for the lack of flavor, the Octopus dish comes with a special blend of chili sauce and crushed peanuts.
Another side dish is Otak-Otak Cakes (乌达粿, RM4.50), which is made from fish and starch. I think the fish cakes are slightly salty for comfort, but I believe they work fine if they were eaten with noodles.
Golden Crab Balls (黄金蟹肉枣, RM4.00) are made from a mixture of fish paste and crab meat. The mixture is wrapped in tofu skin and then deep-fried until the balls attain golden crispiness.
Similar to the previous dish, Big Crab Balls (大蟹枣, RM4.50) are ideal as an appetizer or to complement noodle dishes.
The plate of Wanton (云吞, RM4.00) is best consumed while the dumplings are still hot. Otherwise, the dumplings lose their desired crispiness.
Yau Mak (油麦, RM5.00) is the only vegetable dish on the restaurant's menu. The leafy vegetable is stir-fried with garlic to enhance aroma and flavor.
Meanwhile for drinks, I personally recommend the Thailand Grass Jelly (泰国凉粉, RM3.00). This drink contains pieces of grass jelly (凉粉) in syrup. However, what sets it apart from its local counterpart is the use of lemon juice. The pleasant tanginess helps to alleviate thirst, yet the drink does not produce surfeiting sensation that is usually associated with sweetness.
Overall, Phang Ling Ling Cafe delivers very good value for money. In order to delight regular customers, the proprietors of this restaurant work tirelessly to provide quality food at very affordable prices.
Name: Phang Ling Ling Cafe (胖胖猪肉粉海鲜粥)
Address: 20, Jalan Bukit Panchor, Taman Camar Jaya, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 016-482-9607, 012-431-6282, 011-3633-1944
Business hours: 11:00am-11:30pm, closed on Mondays
Website: Click here
Coordinates: 5.16997 N, 100.48412 E
Directions: From North-South Expressway (Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan), take exit 156 towards Nibong Tebal. After the toll, turn left at the traffic lights. Drive for approximately 2 kilometers and keep left towards Bukit Panchor. Turn left at the road sign for Taman Camar Jaya, then immediately turn right to the service road parallel to the main road. Phang Ling Ling Cafe is located halfway down the row of shops. Street parking is available in front of and behind the restaurant.

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