One of my favorite Elmhurst spots for a late night snack is Pulau Pinang, the wonderful Malaysian restaurant in the infamous all-food strip mall on Broadway. My go-to meal is usually char kway teow or assam laksa.
The other night I was out for a solo birthday meal and in the mood for something different, something festive. So gave a dish with the rather unassuming name “Malaysian salt and pepper pork chops,” a whirl. I had a good feeling about it, and I was right.
It turns out to be heap of ruddy colored gloriously craggy deep fried pork. Crunchy, salty, and spicy—I managed to eat every last bit of it, which was no small feat. I couldn’t help but be reminded of crispy Taiwanese chicken and pork, especially since I’m pretty sure one of the restaurant’s owners is Taiwanese as evidenced by the presence of stinky tofu on the menu.
A week or so later I asked Singporean street food guru KF Seetoh about these amazing chops. “I never had that in Malaysia,” he said adding that it reminded him of the fried chicken from popular Taiwanese fast-food chain Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks that has locations in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. I may never know the exact provenance of these pork chops, but I do know they are damn delicious and sometimes that’s all that matters. I plan to enjoy them several times again before I turn 50.
Pulau Pinang, 82-84 Broadway, Elmhurst, 718-672-7380
Salt and peeper pork chops… yum. This is a Taiwanese (rather than Malaysian) fare, not that it should stop you.
An old-style Toishanese restaurant (高珍珠) around the block offers back ribs cooked the same style, perhaps the best rendition north of Toronto.
Thanks for the insight! What’s the Toishanese spot called?
The English name is High Pearl, I guess. The restaurant is at 82-22 45th Ave, Elmhurst (just Google it). You surely know the place: it’s an old -timer. It’s still very good (one of the best two places in Queens, IMHO if you order right, but that becomes more and more of a challenge.
Thanks I’ve always been curious about that place, will have to try it!
How are you doing Joe? I hope your health is on the way back. Please, if you see Hiram Monserrate eating out of a garbage dumpster on Roosevelt Ave run away as fast as you can.
The reason I say that is I heard he has rabies and will bite you if you get to close to his scraps in his hands.