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Latest About Aqua


Phyllis Stein-Novack tries Center City’s newest Malaysian restaurant, Aqua and finds and original Malaysian eggplant in a shrimp paste sauce as well as something for the shrimp lover.

If you love shrimp, go for the coconut jumbo prawns ($20.95). Remember how this dish was all the rage at catered affairs and cocktail parties during the ’80s and ’90s? These were totally different — and addictive. Good-sized shrimp were coated in a batter of melted butter and tapioca, fried and placed atop a large iceberg lettuce leaf filled with strands of coconut and basil leaves. Although we found them a little greasy, they were superb and I liked the fried coconut. Its natural sweetness married beautifully with the hint of salt and spice. The basil offered a fine contrast in taste.

Two-and-a-half tips of the toque to Aqua.

Aqua [South Philly Review]


Craig LaBan dines at Aqua, the six month old Malaysian/Thai restaurant at 7th and Chestnut Streets. And although some of the more cutting edge dishes you might expect from a Malaysian restaurant aren’t on the menu, what is there makes for a quality meal.

Aqua’s biggest asset, though, is chef Lon Poon, a Malaysian-born cook who helped open Penangs in Philadelphia and New York. His menu may be edited for a novice crowd, but the cooking itself is sharp, and the flavors at their root still reveal Malaysian integrity, from the sour lemongrass twang and chile-spiced bite of the tom yum soup to the mysteriously tasty “house special” sauce that covers everything from squid to enormous prawns.

Two Bells

Aqua [Philadelphia Inquirer]