THE EIGHTY EIGHT RESTAU­RANT

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Savour -

Up­ping the hip fac­tor in one of Ge­orge Town’s old­est precincts is The Eighty Eight Restau­rant.

This mod­ish din­ing room is housed within a cav­ernous her­itage build­ing.

In­side, high ceil­ings, ma­genta drapes and min­i­mal­ist wall scones point to pro­pri­etor and chef Danny Ng’s par­tic­u­lar aes­thet­ics.

Ng, who had honed his craft across five years at Sin­ga­pore’s Les Amis and Garibaldi, wanted to cre­ate a classy restau­rant in his home­town of Pe­nang with but­ler­styled ser­vice. His in­gre­di­en­tled menu changes ev­ery quar­ter, en­sur­ing ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion from reg­u­lar pa­trons. T h e co n t emp or a r y am­bi­ence and jazzy strains of mu­sic lend a brasserie-type en­ergy for din­ers who are tuck­ing into the famed a but­ter-poached Loch Fyne sal­mon

(RM70) or ba­con aglio olio (RM35) cooked with a lib­eral dose of white wine and topped with 30 dayaged Parmi­giano.

Din­ners com­prise more elab­o­rate cour­ses in­clud­ing duck breast – cured for eight hours in brown sugar, herbs and spices prior to its cook­ing.

Over a grill heated by red­wood char­coal – used for its con­sis­tent uni­form heat – the duck is seared to pro­duce char but not burnt.

To top it off is a glaze re­duced to 10 per cent from pars­ley, but­ter and white wine, pro­vid­ing a re­fresh­ing coun­ter­bal­ance to the duck’s rich in­ten­sity.

Ng’s ad­her­ence to clas­si­cal cook­ing and its tra­di­tions means that he builds his dishes with a care­fully cu­rated in­gre­di­ent list for ex­am­ple, a 120-day grain-fed An­gus striploin, wet-aged for a min­i­mum of 30 days.

On this, he adds in­ven­tion with shoyu-sake sea­son­ing, gar­lic and shal­lots, with fresh wasabi grated from the root. He con­fesses to hav­ing had to try over a dozen bot­tles of shoyu be­fore pin­point­ing the right one.

For desserts, his win­ning sabayon is served with home­made ice cream made with bour­bon vanilla sticks (which fetch up to RM900 per kilo), while the choco­late fon­dant is warmly gooey on the in­side and per­fectly fluffy on the out­side. www.face­book.com/eightyeight­penang

Ng’s ad­her­ence to clas­si­cal cook­ing and its tra­di­tions means that he builds his dishes with a care­fully cu­rated in­gre­di­ent list.

Duck breast is el­e­vated through an eight-hour cur­ing and a per­fect grill. Fac­ing page: aged An­gus striploin be­comes a can­vas for chef Ng to demon­strate his mas­tery of match­ing flavours and be­spoke sauces.

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