It has been many years since eating here. It was exactly what I expected. Food was hot and plentiful. Prices were very reasonable. Service was good but the waitress was very loud. If you're hungry and in the neighbourhood give it a try. You could do a lot worse. I saw alot of takeouts being picked and a lot of deliveries going out the door.
I am so glad DineHere changed the rating (2) description from "decent" to "mediocre". Penny fits this description exactly. The food isn't so bad that it's inedible, but it is definitely below "decent". The dishes are way too greasy and you can tell by the presentation that very little care is put into the preparation. The "Penny" I remember from long ago was not like this. Something has changed and it's not for the better.
Went here today for lunch as the chinese restaurant nearby was packed and we didn't want to wait. When we got there, we were the only customers. It was odd, but we decided to eat here anyways as we didn't want to drive elsewhere.
Food was pretty solid. We ordered chicken with vegetables and black bean sauce, non-spicy tofu on rice, wonton noodle soup, and chicken with salted fish on rice. We asked for ice water and we got tap water. When we asked for ice to go with the water, the server then told us that the ice machine was broken. She could have told us in advance so we could have gotten tea instead.
Service was not the best. Servers were busy talking to each other, but it's like that in many chinese places. We did have to ask one of the servers to clear our empty places. They were fast at giving us the bill without us flagging them down.
Value is reasonable. Entrees run about $8-10 a plate. They have specials to choose from.
Ambiance is kinda plain. Lots of white walls with Chinese/English words of their specials. Some photos of the food items hanging on the walls as well. I will go back there for food and not for the ambiance.
Now... I grew up in the neighbourhood of this place and it was where mom would order chinese food from on the rare occassions she ordered chinese food. The house chow mein is one of my favourites and always has been. The rice noodle with beef is also a favourite. Food is almost always quick, hot and plentiful so very decent value for what you spend. Service can be hit and miss though, depending on which server you get. Some are more pleasant than others but mostly pretty good. Indifferent, but good. (Generally more pleasant when mom is with me). Ambience? I give it a mediocre because it is what it is. A hole in the wall chinese food restaurant that services the neighbourhood families and folks that are hankering for a decent chinese meal. They've been at the same location for at least 15 years now so they must be doing something right. Would I go again? Yes.. for sure. Love the house chow mein!
On and off Penny Restaurant has evolved over the decades. Change of management twice since 1986 (EXPO era). Now it is owned by a middle aged lady whom works at odd hours and happens to be a runner (Sun Run and Half Marathons). The location is same since day one but the extra parkings next door (tire shop) after 6PM no longer available. The restaurant has a new paint job about four years ago, still tacky Chinese New Year and Christmas decorations have not been removed. Bathroom door for mens is wide open for ventilation but at times floor can be wet and dirty. Large cluster of ice cubes and moth balls just don't mix well in urinals.
Not sure if you are looking for authentic Chinese food or Canadianised dishes. If you can read Chinese characters then order something most Chinese would like. Pan Fried Rice Noodle with Beef, Bitter Melon, or something like that. The House Specials are acceptable. Reasonable priced at $5.49 and up and it comes with small bowl of Chinese soup. The Won Ton and Sui Gaus (dumlings) are kind of OK but the soup stock is not real Won Ton Soup that I used to. The real one requires lots of prawn or shrimp shells, burned dried fish (sole) and dried shrimp eggs (expensive) and concoctioned for hours. So far I have not found one Won Ton soup shop that prepares the soup the way it should be back in the 60s.
The mini combo of congee + choice of fish balls, fried tofu, spring rolls etc for $5.95 is acceptable. However do ask them to cook the congee a bit longer if you order the liver, kidneys etc. They tend to under-cooked and it is often bloody in the bowl when served. This is unfortunately the traditional way to prepare congee but only if and when the ingredients are fresh and not frozen stuff.
Package dinner menus (10 courses etc) are reasonable. However, banquet style package dinners is not their specialty. They do ask you to request substitutions if needed. Don't laugh at their English spellings, so many mistakes and hilarious!
They don't use the fresh Rice Noodle (Haul Fun) from Hon's any more. They use the dried stuff which has to be soaked in water to soften it and has a different texture and pale grey in colour. I don't like it any more. Hence I stick with rice, noodle dishes. Crispy noodle is better than the soft one. Just a matter of taste personally.
I come here simply because they close late and I am a night owl. Think they close at 2AM on weekdays and 3PM on weekends. However if business is slow I know they close a bit early!
Penny used to be a very good Chinese restaurant. Now it is just mediocre because of a change in the ownership. Approximately 2 or 3 years ago it was taken over by the owner of the cheapest Chinese eateries in town, Hing Loong in Metrotown. That being said, that is not a good thing. Hing Loong is the equivalent of Flaming Wok, the worst mall food court Chinese food I have ever had. (Manchu Wok on the other hand is excellent).
I used to go to Penny's for the spicy squid, but not anymore. The chow mein used to be very good, now it stinks. I asked for crispy instead of soft and yeah I got it crispy....crispy to the point that all I got was a plate full of deep fried noodles with basically no sauce. It was so dry and crispy that when I tried to put some on my plate I couldn't because when I stabbed it, the whole entire dried out mass just kept moving around as one piece. I basically looked a bird's nest. I had to basically eat it like a snack with my hands.
The other annoying thing about this place too is the well meaning, but overly outgoing and rackety lady owner. Other than her saying 'hello' I cannot understand a word she is saying when she rambles on. She does have a good memory though as she remembered my wife when we regrettably went to Hing Loong a few times.
Service is always excellent happy with a smile checking if we need anything
Chow mein is just awesome one of my favorite places to get it but there deep fried prawns are the best I've ever had the batter is tasty and nice and thin none of that clumpy greasy stuff from pretty much everywhere else
the prices are fairly reasonable not to expensive nice dinner combos to save a few bucks
been eating here for about 15 years if your in the mood for chow mein or deep fried prawns this is the place to go
I have been to the. GOLD PENNY 10 times noe. And out of those times they have not screwed up 3 times.
The last time was the last time that I will go back.
I don't like telling about a place if I've been there just one. But after ten times,I think I can speak up.
Firstly. This last time Christmas in the city (down from the boonies).
The food was cold and it seemed as if it were lest covers from the day before.
Not good for a meal. This is the third time that I have asked then to heat up my order.
The last time that I was there it took a half hour to not get my meal. I walked out. Maybe this is why they served me left overs this time.
The reason that I walked out,is that others were getting served before me. I don't speak the sane language, that might have helped.
Other times the one who does speak english, with out the mock 'me so sorry attitude" does not like to give me chop sticks. WTF? And when she or the other ones does give me a set, they act supprised that non Asians can use them. This is just wrong!
And enough with the msg please!
Sire Chinese food with out salt and msg tastes like card board, but take a lesson from the rest of the world and use spices. My head is ringing with the effects of msg as I ttry and tryype onnn.
So no mass!
The only god things that I can say about this place is/are. The chicken balls. No flavour,but they are good. It is open very late.
Its better than the other place a half block away.
A neighbourhood staple, it's getting a bit shabby looking (inside and out), but the price is right.
Friendly waitresses, decent service. Make sure your utensils are clean! Better yet, order take out.
My family loves the Penny Special Gold Chow Mein - soft noodles. $8. We've been loyal customers for at least a decade.