Restaurant Review: Junk Café
Those familiar with Droolworthy will know that we are huge fans of Junk Café on Chulia Street in Penang, Malaysia.
Our first Eat Up event took place there last year and we shot the first episode of Droolworthy.TV at Junk so it will always have a special place in our hearts.
When owner Ong Shen Yung told us last month that an updated menu would be launching soon we could hardly contain our excitement.
In addition to the new menu, Junk has also expanded its premises, taking up the entire shoplot (previously it only occupied half of the space downstairs) and they have moved the kitchen upstairs and out of sight. But don’t worry, Junk has still retained its haphazard charm and rustic decor in full.
Unlike most burger joints in Malaysia, Junk minces their beef in-house. We believe that this is one of the reasons why their burgers taste so damn good. Junk has fresh cuts of Australian beef delivered them every day or two and Shen has a very strict/meticulous method of preparing his beef before serving (watch video).
For the better part of a year, this cozy little eatery served only 4 types of burgers to customers but we are pleased to report that Junk’s selection has expanded in a big way with 5 new burgers, 3 salads and more!
Die-hard “Junkies” will be glad to know that their old favorites like the Full of Junk Burger (RM24/USD6) and the Blood Cream Chicken Sandwich (RM20/USD5) are still on the menu.
For those who haven’t tried either we suggest you go with a friend, order both and share because they offer two completely different but equally enjoyable taste explosions in your mouth.
You can now even order their award-winning hand-cut fries a-la-carte (RM12/USD3) served with an addictive Chipotle mayo dipping sauce and you also have the option of sweet potato fries if you are bored of regular potatoes.
We always love and have the utmost respect for passionate chefs who spend time to come up with creative recipes to wow their customers and that’s what Shen is all about.
Junk’s “Blood Cream” sauce is his own invention and if you love cheese, we are pretty sure you will become hopelessly addicted to this. The unique combination of parmesan cheese, full cream, cherry tomatoes, garlic and some *secret ingredients* gives us an “umami” feeling every time we eat this.
A very welcome addition to the menu are Junk’s new salads. We like the fact that there is now a healthier option for those days when you want to eat clean or want something lighter. We tried the Mediterranean Salad (RM20/USD5) which consists of crisp Romaine lettuce, roasted capsicum, zucchini, semi-dried tomatoes, cucumber slices and marinated cubes of feta cheese tossed in a zesty Balsamic dressing.
The feta cheese is perfect and when combined with the rest of the salad produces a worthy contender for one of the best salads we’ve had in Penang so far.
But now let us turn our attention to one of the new burgers on the menu – the Slow-Roasted Lamb Burger (RM32/USD8).
This new kid on the block is an absolute revelation. We are often cautious of lamb dishes in Malaysia because many chefs don’t have the proper experience in preparing lamb or use cheap meat that tastes too gamey but we would consider Junk Café’s first foray into lamb a resounding success as it is chock full of flavor but has zero gamey taste.
Slow-roasted for 4 hours before being pulled, the lamb is served with roasted capsicum, grilled zucchini, cucumber slices, tomatoes and Junk’s own deliciously refreshing Tatziki sauce. This will undoubtedly become another popular item on the menu in no time.
We didn’t have enough stomach space to sample all the new offerings, but we will definitely be back soon to try everything else.
So if you love gourmet burgers and want the best Penang has to offer, make a trip down to Chulia Street, pop in to Junk Café and say Droolworthy sent you.
We promise you won’t regret it!
401 Chulia Street
Georgetown, 10200 Penang
Opening Hours: 3pm-1am
Kitchen Open: 3pm-10pm
Closed on Wednesdays
Full of Junk Burger (RM24/USD6)
Blood Cream Chicken Sandwich (RM20/USD5)
Slow-Roasted Lamb Burger (RM32/USD8)
Mediterranean Salad (RM20/USD5)
Watch our video review here: