* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 9th September 2011.

BY CK Lam

Vino Vino Bistro is the latest concept of wine bar to be launched in Penang. Incorporating a whisky bar as well as a coffee bar with a high tech twist, the outlet carries a wide and fine selection of wines in Penang. The cozy interior is lined with wine cabinet stacked with a variety of wines, Japanese sake and shochu.

Its drawing point is the Vino Tech dispensing system, whereby single malt whisky and premier wine are offered to customers by glass at the perfect temperature.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Vino Vino Bistro’s manager William Chong says that it is a great way in giving the customers a chance to taste the wine before buying the bottle they do not like.

The automated wine dispenser makes buying with the easy push-button system via the prepaid card. It comes in three different selections – tasting, half and full. Just press your desired selection and the wine is squirted into your glass through the nozzle.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Tasting, half glass and full glass….

Customers will be able to enjoy their favorite drink along with delights from its wide selection menu prepared by Executive Chef Kazuhiro Inose. The main highlight is the grill menu with the outstanding chicken, known as Yakitori.

We got ourselves a table beside the glass-covered grilling area in the inner far end of the place which allows us to watch the chef at work. The meat in skewer is grilled over a metal griller filled with glowing charcoal.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Chef Kazuhiro Inose, preparing the yakitory…

 

Vino Vino Bistro serves many choices of meat from the grill menu. Some are grilled with soy-based gravy while others are prepared with salt. All are well priced, from RM3 onwards. We had many skewers of chicken, lamb, oysters, vegetables and fish head.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

The skewer of Kaki Kushi RM10 is essentially two grilled plump pieces of oyster. The oysters are juicy and delicious. Other seafood that we particularly enjoyed is Shishamo, smelt fish. I ate two of them, stuffed with plenty of roe.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

 

Not missing out is the Lamb Yaki. The meat charred over the fire taste delicious with light spicy notes of fresh ground black pepper.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

 

The salt flavor of the chewy Sunagimo chicken gizzard is light while the liver is done just right with enough fresh ground black pepper by the chef.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.comVino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

 

There are many parts of the chicken, from the wings to the thigh, heart and skin. The Tebasaki chicken is a popular serving of grilled chicken wing with crispy skin, moist tender meat and sweet chicken flavor.

Besides the wings, other items worth trying is the Torikawa, chicken skin and the rare Bonjiri, chicken tail. This end part of the chicken, also known as the bishop’s nose is the juiciest part of the chicken.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Tebasaki chicken RM6

The last items on the grill menu are the Eringi and the Okura. The Eringi mushroom and the Okura lady’s finger are lightly charred and I particularly love the latter which is flavorful with the smoky bonito flakes. The majority of the skewers are an absolute delight especially complemented with wine.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.comVino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Vegetables by the skewer

 

Besides the vast range of wines, Vino Vino carries some of the finest shochu as well; some were floral with others rustic. We were recommended the Shochu Kuromaru. This shochu with a fruity, sweet aroma paired well with the Yakitori and the Sashimi. The Sashimi plate comes with assorted raw fish of tuna and salmon, along with roe.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Sashimi plate with thick pieces of tuna, salmon and roe

Vino Vino Bistro offers a sensational selection of dishes from its a la carte menu. From the set menu, we had the Sanma Shio Yaki, Yakitori Don and the Salmon Don. Each set comes with a side of salad, soup and rice. The crowd favorite is the Yakitori Don, with its runny egg yolk which simply adds more flavor and creamy texture to the dish.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Sanma Shio Yaki

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.comVino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Yakitori Don and Salmon Don

From the bowls of rice, we went on to another version of rice – the traditional onigiri which is made on the spot. The chef’s specialty includes Shake Onigiri wrapped in dried seaweed with salmon, and the Yaki Onigiri which is a grilled rice ball. The Yaki Onigiri carries a more unique taste, with the flavor of the sesame seeds and the charred outer layer. Both are very filling rice dish and we had one of each for sharing.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Shake Onigiri RM6

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Yaki Onigiri RM6

Originally from Japan, Chef Inose has worked in many reputable restaurants in Japan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. He is very particular about the food he prepares for customers. He makes it a point to serve delicious cuisines, and it shows through his time focusing intently in grilling the food with varied texture and flavors.

Currently, a lunch set menu prepared by Chef Inose is available from Monday to Saturday and is priced from RM23 to RM45.

Chef Inose at Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

 

Vino Vino Bistro opened its doors in Bay Avenue, which is just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping and business districts of Queensbay Mall. Click here for the Map Location. They do cater for private function for small group.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

The extensive wine list and the 100 types of single malt whiskies and 30 types of beer definitely place Vino Vino Bistro as the place to find your palate.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.comVino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.comVino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

Parking is aplenty right in front, along with its alfresco seating. It is nice and relaxing sitting outdoor with a cup of coffee after the meal. Vino Vino Bistro gets my attention with its serving of Vergano coffee.

Vino Vino Bistro at Bayan Lepas,Penang by what2seeonline.com

 

Vino Vino Bistro
Block H-10-3
Lorong Bayan Indah 2
Bay Avenue
11900 Bayan Lepas
Penang

Tel: 04 6451188

Business Hour:
Monday to Saturday – 12noon to 1am
Sunday – 5pm to 1am

* Many thanks to Vino Vino Bistro for laying on this invitation.

 


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This entry was posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 7:42 pm and is filed under Bar, Bayan Lepas, BBQ, Japanese Cuisine, Media Preview, New Straits Times (Life & Times), Non-Halal, Penang, Pub, Restaurant, Wine Champagne and Spirits. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 comments so far

 1 

Ah! so this is the place you were telling me about! Really a new sort of way to dine – and I like it! :D

CK Lam Reply:

Will sure to intro the place to you on your next visit. Hope to rope in devil and lingzie too :)

August 22nd, 2011 at 9:11 pm
Andus
 2 

Great discovery in Penang.. Definitely will bring a new level of wine appreciation in Penang..
Will Visit soon!

August 23rd, 2011 at 12:39 pm
 3 

this place looks really interesting!! can’t wait to try it out!!

August 23rd, 2011 at 4:43 pm
 4 

I have never seen an automated wine dispenser before, but I think this is such a great idea!
This place? Too luxurious for being called a bistro.

August 23rd, 2011 at 4:51 pm
 5 

The skewers look nice !! but they seem quite pricey too, would definitely love to try if i had the chance =)

August 24th, 2011 at 12:14 am
 6 

Penang is never shy of of its food. This Bistro looks like a good place to have grilled, BBQ skewers. You took some really nice shots of those, make me drool now :P

August 27th, 2011 at 5:49 pm
Patrick
 7 

It looks like a perfect place to have a feast. A lot of delicacies in the photos, I haven’t tried. It is exciting to finally taste some of their food. I like the idea that they let us taste the wine in order for us to decide if we like them. I am very grateful for the recommendation.

September 12th, 2011 at 12:27 am
Karen
 8 

Good food and service. Unusual but nice combination – wine and kushiyaki. Apart from selecting dish from the menu, do also ask the chef for recommendation for fish of the day, especially if you aren keen in sashimi. Thanks for your review.

September 24th, 2011 at 10:42 am
WF Lam
 9 

Just went there for lunch today. Set lunch is only RM17++. I like its ambience :)

November 25th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

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