David Brown's Restaurant, Penang Hill
A quick search of Penang Hill will take you to stunning panoramic views of the place. But there are also dining opportunities to take advantage of while you're up there. While David Brown's restaurant has been up there for the longest time, it has maintained its charm and quality of food over the many years of operation.
Enjoy the cool hilly breeze and lovely natural surroundings while you're up there. The trains up to Penang Hill have recently been upgraded and will get you up there in 10 minutes or less. Our tip: pay a little extra to jump the queues. It's RM30 return for the express lane and you will probably save an hour in waiting time, especially during peak periods. A normal ride will only cost RM10, but time is money, people!
I have to admit, that when we were up there, we didn't expect the food to be quite as good as it ended up being. Reason for our assumption is that when a restaurant has a monopoly over an area, it is afforded the luxury of being complacent. However, this is not the case with David Brown's. Surprisingly, the food was tasty and presented beautifully. And it was within a reasonable price range, considering the location and the fact that ALL produce/ingredients have to travel up the hill on the train too!
We started off the meal with a couple of soups. The warm broth was welcome in the cool air. Don't be fooled... Penang Hill is still pretty cooling at an easy 24 degrees in the afternoon and dropping to even lower twenties in the evening.
The wild mushroom soup (RM20) was a hearty serving of freshly blended mushrooms and served with a dash of cream and croutons. It's quite a sizeable portion for one, making the price rather worth it.
The chicken and corn chowder (RM20) is a sweeter, less thick soup to have but turned out to be my favourite of the two because of the natural sweetness of the corn.
If it is one dish that I have to say stood out in the entire meal and easily outshone the others, it would be the DB Chicken and Mushroom Pie (RM48). Yes, it seems a little bit on the pricey side, but rest assured this dish is worth every cent. The chicken and mushroom filling is cooked to tender perfection and the puff pastry for the deconstructed pie is buttery and flaky, just the way pie crusts should be.
If you're looking for something more on the meaty/heavy side, the braised lamb shank (RM68) should be your default choice here. Most of the dishes here are cooked with that "comfort" factor, reminiscent of dishes that would come out of your mother's/grandmother's kitchen, but presented professionally.
And if you still have space after all of that feasting, I would recommend trying their chocolate torte (RM22). It is a flourless chocolate cake with a ground almond base, glazed with chocolate ganache and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and mixed berries compote.
Looking for a more local twist? Then try their pandan chiffon cake (RM18), which envelopes a generous layer of local kaya and served with butterscotch ice cream.
David Brown's Restaurant and Tea Terraces Strawberry Hill, Penang Hill, 11300 Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia
Open daily from 11AM-10PM