Malaysian Take Out at Center City’s Aqua Asian Bistro

When Aqua moved in to the tiny, ever changing spot on 16th Street, I thought Malaysian food would be a welcomed addition to the neighborhood, even though I had never visited the older location at 7th Street. As the space allows, it is mostly a take out spot, with one row of counter seating.

One of my favorite Malaysian dishes in Philly is the mango tofu at Banana Leaf in Chinatown. This dish spans all palettes; the expertly fried fingers of tofu and fresh mango slices have won over many of my meat loving friends. I was hoping that Aqua’s version ($8) would be similarly received. Though the mango slices were plentiful, the sauce was not as refined and the tofu was far from crisp. I didn’t loathe eating it, but this was not the dish I never fail to order at Banana Leaf.

A chicken Penang curry, also reasonably priced at $8 came with a ample vegetables but not nearly enough chicken. The curry had an acceptable flavor but was too runny.

I would probably give a noodle dish a try before totally writing this place off. Has anyone enjoyed or not enjoyed a lunch there?

Aqua Asian Bistro, 120 S 15th St, 215 567-1818



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    I go there sometimes when I’m working in the area and am tight on time for lunch. I don’t think it’s bad at all.

  • I didn’t hate it, just wasn’t blown away. What do you like there? I’ll give it another try, especially for you, Mary!

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    I’ve had the pho, which is more expensive than, and not as good as, the usual pho places (my favorite is Vietnam House at 9th and Race BTW) but it’s still pretty good. I’ve also had the basil chicken and another chicken dish with rice noodle and both were better than the pho.

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