Jenny's Kuali - Bethlehem, PA
One of the things I love about living in the Lehigh Valley is being able to watch its transformation. The area that I first got to know as a college student has changed, and since moving back in 2011, I've been enjoying getting to know the area all over again.
What better way to do that than to go out and try as many of the new-to-me-restaurants as possible?
One of those restaurants is Jenny's Kuali, a Malaysian restaurant on East 4th Street in Bethlehem. Stephen and I found ourselves here after traveling for most of the day and knowing we had next to nothing in the refrigerator. He'd been there before, but this was my first visit.
Despite the relatively late hour, the place was packed. A good sign, in my opinion. Thankfully, we were able to grab the last available table and didn't have to wait for something to open up.
The building itself is unassuming and the decor is simple, but you'll find that to be true of many of the restaurants on this particular stretch of the South Side. To quiet his rumbling stomach, Stephen ordered a Vegetable Spring Roll ($1.50). The vegetables on the inside were fresh and retained some of their crisp texture, but the flavor of the spring roll fell flat. This little appetizer could have been elevated had someone had seasoned the vegetables with a heavier hand.
On the complete opposite end of the flavor spectrum was the Nasi Goreng with Vegetables ($7.50, pictured above).* The Malaysian-style fried rice was served with an assortment of freshly sauteed vegetables, including peppers, broccoli, baby bok choy, and snow peas. The vegetables, which were a welcome change from the usual ones you see in rice dishes prepared in Asian restaurants, still had a bit of crunch to them and added great texture. Of course, the healthy dose of curry powder didn't hurt!
Despite my feelings about the Vegetable Spring Roll, just one bite of the Nasi Goreng made me a fan of Jenny's Kuali, and I'm grateful that they've joined the family of restaurants on 4th Street. I'm looking forward to our next meal there so I can try something else!
* While I ordered the Nasi Goreng with Vegetables, you also have your choice of protein (chicken or shrimp) if you'd like something a little more substantial.
102 East 4th Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-8088 | Map
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