BY CK Lam
A warm welcome greeted me as I once again stepped into the charming Ferringhi Garden Restaurant located in Batu Ferringhi, Penang. Many readers came to know about this truly captivating restaurant which was first published in my blog, way back in 2008.
During that time the garden in the restaurant was not well blossomed. Fast forward by two years, the plants have now matured which subsequently makes the name of this place fits appropriately, a “restaurant within a garden”!
The entire indoor dining area was filled with soft yellow lights creating a warm atmosphere!
The owner of Ferringhi Garden, Richard Long has put in plenty of effort in beautifying the entire place according to its theme over the years. Skirting the restaurant is a well-groomed ground with trees, beautiful flowering plants, earthenware jars and water features which gives it a relaxing yet intimate ambiance.
Haven of greenery
Relaxed outdoor tables of the upper floor
The surrounding of the restaurant is quite large and it offer many choices of dining areas: enjoying in the comfort of three different air-conditioned dining floors or dining in the patio, and the airy garden surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors plants with the soothing sounds of water coming from the mini waterfall.
Soothing welcoming ambience in the dining room
Relaxing at the lounge with some wine before the meal!
This time around, I was there to sample a tasting menu of a six-course dinner with a subtle blend of Asian flavors. The meal kicked off with some wine chosen from their extensive wine collection. They selected two Chilean wines, a white and a red, to complement the meal.
The Chardonnay from GatoNegro served in classic wine glasses from Zwiesel was a very fruity young wine that was easy on the palate.
GatoNegro Chardonnay to enjoy with the cuisines!
This complemented the popular tomato and garlic bread served with delicious dips of balsamic vinegar, garlic aioli and Italian tomato sauce.
Ferringhi Garden’s signature tomato and garlic bread
A plate adorned with two large baked scallops came with a mild Thai sauce that had green apples in it. The sauce provided a zesty taste to the scallops. The scallops were great to go along with the chilled white wine.
Next was the delicate foie gras, pan-seared, set upon on toasted bread with blueberries and a little touch of reduced red wine sauce. The foie gras was luscious, creamy, smooth and melted in my mouth. It contrasted nicely with sweet fruity flavor of blueberries and the orange sauce cut through the rich, fattiness of the foie gras.
Besides that, I thoroughly indulged in their bowl of Norwegian clam soup garnished with basil. This sour, salty and gently spicy soup, delicately perfumed with herbs of tarragon, sage and dill was an ideal course for the rich, heavy meal. The soup had a subtle light flavor with a silky smooth texture. It was timely as the spiciness and tanginess helps to settle down the first two rich flavorful dishes.
The Norwegian Clam soup was a tasty and hearty soup
Elegantly presented next was the Grilled Smoked Alaskan Black Cod. Smoked in the kitchen in Ferringhi Garden itself, it was a great piece of cod fish. Lightly flavored and gently caramelized, the fish had a beautiful color and was served with shredded carrot, pieces of radish, celery and black mushroom.
Black mushroom added sweet flavors to this dish
The highlight of the evening was the ‘snow frosted’ Japanese Wagyu. Although this cost more than wagyu from the United States or Australia, it was worth every ringgit. The Japanese cattle are fed with a special diet with different feeds during their various stages of growth and given massage regularly. They come in different grades and the price depends on the cut and the BMS (Beef Marbling Standard) grading.
I had the Premium Wagyu which was a pure-bred Japanese Kuroge-Wagyu, raised in Japan for more than 27 months and had attained the rank of premium quality. It was the tenderloin cut of A4 with a marbling score of 7.
Executive Chef Woei Liang and Manager Fabian Long with the premium beef
Executive Chef Woei Liang did an excellent preparation for the meat. He added nothing more than just a little truffle oil and some herbs. Special care was taken when searing the meat over charcoal as the fat melted quickly and burnt easily.
The meat was prepared at the table by Chef Liang!
Irresistible mouth-watering aroma of the beef wafting around during the cooking
My piece of meat was done medium rare with the center mostly pink, meltingly tender and flavorful with juicy beefy goodness.
The premium wagyu served with carrots and asparagus
The GateNegro Cabernet Sauvignon, with plenty of flavors derived from fruit and spices, was chosen to complement the rich wagyu beef.
The meal concluded with a freshly baked chocolate souffle served with vanilla ice-cream. I thoroughly enjoyed the light souffle with the strong chocolate flavor. Vanilla ice cream was just heavenly with the chocolate!
With so many complex flavors and textures still tingling my palate, I left satiated. As I learnt from my past visits to the restaurant, it only gets better with time.
To get there, take the first right turn after Parkroyal Hotel, into a narrow lane. Drive until you reach a T-junction. Take a left turn and look out for the car park on the left. The main entrance of the restaurant is directly opposite Yahong Art Gallery.
The restaurant is open every day of the week with business hours from 2pm till 12am. Click here for the Map Location.
***More on the Christmas eve dinner menu can be view here.
34-C Batu Ferringhi
Tel : 04 8811193
Fax : 04 8811195
* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times