Penang’s Culinary Hotbed
The fine-dining scene heats up in the north with firm favourites and rising stars offering plenty for sophisticated palates.
Experience a slew of old and new favourites, replete with world-class culinary talents who are concocting a delicious fine dining scene.
The varying forms of doneness creates a different tasting experience.
Along George Town’s stylish colonial stretch, just across the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, is Farquhar Mansion. Operating as a lounge and a French restaurant, the refurbished mansion has become the de facto destination for well-heeled Penangites looking to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and significant life events.
From the lilting, soulful crooning of Edith Piaf to the classical interior design, there’s no doubt of its Gallic inspiration, while culinary efforts are helmed by its Frenchtrained executive chef Tan DR. The kitchen practises a five-point cooking philosophy that showcases textures, flavours, purity, terroir and classic origins of ingredients, most prominently across a five-course tasting menu (RM368+). On this menu, staples include a moreish starter of a Mushroom Garden Terroir composed of sauteed portobello, shimeji, micro herbs, edible flowers and gratinated Bearnaise liberally accented with black truffle.
Meanwhile, its Trio of Hokkaido Scallops comprises a basil- dusted scallop tartare, flambeed scallop anointed with wasabi and ikura, and another that is seared and garnished with pesto. The varying forms of doneness creates a different tasting experience, from a chewy mouthfeel to crispy toothsome. An ensuing half-seared foie gras is attended by a port wine emulsion, alfalfa, orange brioche and apple chutney.
A 12-hour reduction of beef stock
produces a lovely jus, which is served with the Wagyu main course with the right balance of char and beefiness when plated at the recommended medium doneness.
To match your steak, Farquhar Mansion’s wine list is composed of the many important French viticulture appellations including Bordeaux’s left and right bank, Rhone and Burgundy, all of which is poured into Riedel glassware. You may easily select a Pauillac, Margaux or Pomerol from its extensive list, while whisky lovers will find aged highlights in the form of 25-year- old Hakushus, Laphroaigs and Bowmores, among others.
To round things off, mango cheese foam is paired with panna cotta, compote, sorbet, almond cake, crisps and coconut foam for a refreshing tang.
For post-dinner drinks, guests may retire to the lounge upstairs, which also boasts a magnificent Dalmore whisky cabinet stocked with aged expressions of its single-malt scotch and with a live band in attendance.