Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Purists be Warned at The Kebaya Restaurat @ Seven Terraces

During their time with Mr Business Times and gang in Penang, the lions were intrigued enough to persuade the rambunctious bunch to exercise a little restraint for a more cultured (aka atas) dining experience at what was the numero uno dining destination in Georgetown on Trip Advisor at that time. Everyone tacitly agreed and they even invited a guest - an erudite author of everything Peranakan to join in the fun.

With a name like The Kebaya, one would expect to tuck into a quintessential Peranakan meal in the most traditional sense at this classy dining room of the accolade-laden boutique hotel, Seven Terraces, comprising seven prettily-restored Anglo Chinese terraces. Having done their research, however, the lions forewarned that purists would surely be scandalised by the bold reinvention of classic Straits and Indo Chinese cuisine prepared with refined French techniques here. But of course the gang adamantly concurred that trying something different would be a good thing. Haha!

A pianist softly tinkers against the backdrop of regal crimson drapes, antique
  tessellated tiles, ornate dividers, marble-topped tables, elegant blue and white
porcelain and dark wood chairs.
We suggest that ladies dress in their lovely kebayas for those photogenic
moments here.
You might like to head for the adjoining Baba Bar for a selection of wines, spirits
and cocktails after dinner.
A real candlelight dinner if you must.
Food is served on exquisite blue and white china and
Peranakan ware.
Even the menu's lovely... ...
Dinner is kept to a four course degustation menu
that includes an entree, main, greens and dessert
at RM100++. If you come in a group, the communal
way of dining is encouraged as serving portions are
generous and ideal for sharing.
The group of nine at the table were looking forward to
savouring a variety of dishes and kicked things off with
an earthy pot of Chinese Pu-er Tea.
Kuih Pie Tee - crispy pastry tart shell with baby saltwater
school prawns and julienned vegetables with sweet chilli
and coriander sauce.
Pork Mantou - Fluffy homemade buns encasing tender
slices of sous vide soy pork with pickled vegetables.
The group's favourite: Miang Kham of Salmon Roe.
Envelopes of betel nut leaves filled with toasted coconut, shrimps,
lime and cashew nuts and topped with Norwegian salmon roe.
Just expect a delightful explosion of flavours in the mouth.
Organic Roast Pork: succulent sous vide pork belly with hoisin
balsamic reduction dipping sauce.
Pan fried barramundi. (off the menu)
Hong Bak Lamb - prime New Zealand shank prepared sous vide style for
48 hours with spiced kurma gravy.
Crab Geng - fresh crab meat cooked in a smooth,
rich and full-bodied curry spiced with tumeric and
Lor Ark - duck confit with caramalised plums
and oranges in a gravy spiced with star anise, cloves,
cinnamon and nutmeg. Like an Oriental version of  the
duck a l’orange.

Grilled chicken kapitan with a paste of chili, garlic,
shallots and candlenuts.
Soft Shell Crab on top of mango, green apples and
pomegranate salad with chili lime dressing.
Lemongrass Parfait - a must-order (off the menu)
Molten Chocolate Cake (off the menu).
Blue glutinous onde onde rice balls in coconut broth
which is basically blue tang yuan coloured with peaflower
stuffed with grated coconut in gula melaka.
Pandan Creme Brulee - egg custard spiked with
pandan essence and served with brandy snap.
Passionfruit and Coconut Panna Cotta with
candied pistachios and poached pineapple.
Gula Melaka Mousse layered on a sponge cake
sprinkled with caramel macadamia nuts.
Thai coconutty dessert of Triple Jewelled Tub Tim Krob
- jackfruit, red Chinese chestnuts and chendol in sweet pandan
and coconut soup.

Considering the winning ambience, exquisite setting and thoughtfully crafted dishes, the price of the degustation menu here is still kept relatively affordable compared to that of fine dining establishments back home in the Lion City. We would definitely recommend visitors to give this restaurant a go; it's great for romantic date nights and group gatherings for special occasions. Food was commendable overall even though the bunch found the organic roast pork somewhat dry. Desserts too were uniquely satisfying even for those who would usually skip the after-meal sweets like the lion.

The Kebaya
@ Seven Terraces
Stewart Lane
10200 Georgetown
Penang, Malaysia

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