* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 6th September 2011.

The recently launched Campbell House in George Town is home to Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant. This slice of classic Italian dining is within walking distance of Tho Yuen and Tai Tong Dim Sum House.

The restaurant serves its cuisine the Il Bacaro way, which is based on a traditional Venetian backstreet tavern. It’s where one can enjoy authentic Italian dishes served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Chef-owner Roberto Dreon emphasises on the use of the freshest ingredients and prefers homemade pasta over the dried variety. In line with that, the restaurant serves homemade breads, pasta and tomato sauce. The tomato sauce tastes was slightly different from the norm. It was much lighter in colour and fresher in taste.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Roberto at work in the kitchen


Our meal started with warm focaccia with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was a delightful change, with the bread being served in a traditional Chinese bamboo steamer commonly used in dim sum restaurants. The focaccia with crisp crust and soft interior had a nice chewiness.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

Soon, we were treated to a plate of cicchetti. It was a colourful plethora of flavours as this Italian sharing dish included servings of seafood and bread with two varieties of toppings — salmon and vegetables. All the flavours combined nicely, and everyone was chuffed to bits by the clams which had a lovely flavour of herbs and white wine.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Plate of cicchetti with a plethora of flavors

 

A meal in an Italian restaurant is never complete without pasta. We were recommended homemade stracci with seafood which had clams, squid and cherry tomato RM28. The sauce has an incredible amount of flavours — tomatoes, wine, herbs and seafood and they blend beautifully together with fresh pasta.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

After enjoying the heavenly starters and pasta, we moved on to the first main course, the risotto. The green pea version came with grilled shrimp RM28. The green pea gave the risotto a light green colour and most importantly, a delicate flavour. The risotto was nicely cooked till soft and creamy with shrimp, and its flavour mingled well with the grilled shrimp. This filling dish is great for sharing.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

The risotto was followed by a poultry dish, chicken parmigiana RM26. The chef had the chicken prepared just right, not overcooked. It was served piping hot on a bed of mashed potato topped with a thick tomato sauce infused with seasoning.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

The pan-seared catch of the day was a delightful light dish. The huge piece of snapper was lightly salted and served on a bed of caponata, done with a variety of vegetables including juicy tomato.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

Pizza was a perfect addition to the meal. We indulged in pizza with toppings of grilled zucchini, olive, cherry tomato, prawn and squid RM27. The pizza was baked in a customised wood fire oven. II Bacaro has a selection of vegetarian pizzas as well.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.comIl Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

From the main course, we moved on to dessert. The restaurant serves delicious dolce along with coffee and tea. We sampled two desserts — zabaglione con fragole and the panna cotta. The crowd favourite was the zabaglione, served with fresh strawberry. With egg yolk as its main ingredient, this Italian treat has a delicate and custardy texture.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Zabaglione Con Fragole

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Macchiato and espresso

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.comIl Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

Panna Cotta, cappuccino and latte

 

All in all, Il Bacaro is a welcome addition to the Penang food scene. With his innovative yet authentic flavours and a great wine list, Roberto Dreon has successfully maintained the Il Bacaro way in his restaurant.

With its late closing hour, this restaurant is also a great place for people who want a late night snack. The interior is simple yet tastefully done with wooden furnishing and antique touches.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

Campbell House is at the intersection of Campbell and Cintra Street. The entrance to the restaurant is facing Cintra Street, opposite the iconic Woo Hing Watch Dealer.

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant at Campbell House, Penang by ck lam of www.what2seeonline.com

 

Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant
Campbell House
106 Lebuh Campbell
10100 Penang

Tel: 04 2618290

Business Hour: 12.30pm – 3pm & 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Close on Monday

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 9th, 2011 at 10:30 am and is filed under Boutique Hotel, George Town, Heritage, International, Italian Cuisine, Media Preview, New Straits Times (Life & Times), Penang, Pizza. 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.

22 comments so far

 1 

Oh wow another Italian restaurant! Great review! Can’t wait to go there.

Was at another new Italian place tonight…http://aherbivoreinpenang.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/spasso-milano/

Unfortunately couldn’t try the pizza cause they are experiencing some problems with their exhaust fans. Pizzas back on the menu by next week though!

CK Lam Reply:

Do try out the pizzas at Il Bacaro…plenty of toppings to choose from.

September 9th, 2011 at 9:30 pm
 2 

my parents have been telling me about this place. they said the food’s good! have yet to find time to check this place out but the food looks delicious!!! and i’m always a fan of freshly made bread & pasta! (we must bring kenny here when he comes to pg next time… lol)

CK Lam Reply:

Looking forward to sharing Il Bacaro with Kenny…am sure he will like it :)

September 10th, 2011 at 10:26 am
N.s.Lim
 3 

I had a delightful lunch here. It was delish~ :) Am looking forward to coming back here

CK Lam Reply:

The lunch menu is just as interesting!

September 10th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
 4 

Grilled zucchini on the pizza? That sounds great – I love grilled zucchini! :D

CK Lam Reply:

We are planning to take you here for a meal on your next visit to Penang.

September 11th, 2011 at 7:34 pm
Sheila
 5 

Thanks for writing about them. I’ve heard so much about Il Bacaro from friends who’ve stayed in Penang. I will be travelling there soon so I will definitely have dinner at Il Bacaro. Your photos are gorgeous, by the way!

CK Lam Reply:

Great to see you dropping by Sheila! Do share your experience at Il Bacaro with me too.

September 15th, 2011 at 2:22 am
Karen
 6 

Visited the restaurant recently. Nice ambience. Ordered clams and minestrone soup as starters. They were good. Main were linguine with grilled jumbo prawns and fettuchine pomodoro. Both were dissapointing as totally tasteless. Had to asked for salt and waiter said that they normally don’t season their dish as the guests can do so themselves. Inlcuding juice and coffee, the bill came up to RM110.

CK Lam Reply:

Thanks for sharing!

September 15th, 2011 at 12:49 pm
 7 

The pizza does look like it’s a real Italian food, love those toppings. I didn’t see spaghetti, maybe it’s too common that you skip it? The atmosphere looks really good for this kind of food. One more place to dine out in Penang. ;)

September 20th, 2011 at 6:54 am
Angie
 8 

I too had a disappointing lunch experience there recently and really don’t know what the fuss is all about. Probably Penangites are so starved of decent European food that they accept anything.
The bread, (freshly baked, sounded yum) was raw – twice – and absolutely no effort was made to either explain or apologize. The gorgonzola gnocchi were stodgy, sickenly creamy and the gorgonzola taste was overpowering. Would have been better off to just eat the cheese. My friends meal was equally disappointing, bland and boring. The service was outright bad. I for one will not go back.

CK Lam Reply:

Thanks for your feedback! I will forward it to the management of Il Bacaro and have them look into it.

September 20th, 2011 at 9:22 am
Angie
 9 

Hello Ms. Lam,
your food reviews are much appreciated and a great way to learn about new and old restaurants in town, thanks.
Could you please tell us though whether you inform the restaurants you review of your intention to do so and also whether or not you have to pay for the meals.
Thanks and bon appetit

CK Lam Reply:

All my reviews are paid for by myself unless it is an invited review. However I strive to maintain all reviews to be unbiased and fair.

September 20th, 2011 at 9:28 am
 10 

looks like a great place!

September 21st, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Duchess Gayah Jacobs
 11 

Congratulations to both Roberto & Nardya Dreon…Wish you both Prosperity & Success…

September 22nd, 2011 at 11:29 am
evontakenouchi
 12 

My parents been telling me about this place but we’ve never have chance to try our hand on. As I didn’t have chance to read on review about this place, great that today I got to read your review CK!! Well, I will bring my parents for a dinner and I’ll let you know what’s my comment, thanks for your review anyway =)

September 27th, 2011 at 6:02 pm
Ai Ling
 13 

My husband & I were there last Friday. The place was full and we were given a table outside. We accepted it as we did not call for reservation earlier. The service staff promised us a table as soon as one is available. After our food was served we were pretty much left on our own. Soon we noticed a few tables became available but none was offered to us. The service staff did not check on us and the evening later became hot and humid. We waited and waited and finally the waitress came with my dessert but I told her I was not interested in dessert anymore due to their ‘tidak apa’ attitude and asked for the bill. She didn’t bother to find out more and sent the dessert back and brought the bill. Later she offered the dessert on the house but I declined as it was getting very humid and uncomfortable. The service as similar to our kopitiam but we had to pay service charge! Honestly, I’ve had better Italian food. I won’t go back and neither will I recommend it to my friends.

October 10th, 2011 at 12:57 pm
 14 

what a nice restaurant..and penang is really improving for more like tourist destination . .

October 11th, 2011 at 4:17 pm
C.S.Ng
 15 

Ai Ling Can ask u questions, bout italian how much do u know the real italian food, Have u ever had any real italian food b4 beside the few so Callled italian restaurant that penang having now. If u said that is a real italian food then i have nothing to say. For ur i have been in italy for 3 years. so i know wat is italian food. thx u very much

October 13th, 2011 at 10:28 pm
Ai Ling
 16 

To CS Ng, I have done a bit of travelling myself. So my experience is not confined to Penang or Malaysia.
I appreciate your experience of having stayed in Italy for 3 years and did not have any intention to challange anybody’s knowledge in Italian or any foor for that matter.
I just thought this is a good platform to provide my feedback and share my experiece at the restaurant
Thank you.

October 19th, 2011 at 1:22 pm
Flowerymae
 17 

It was my first time, knowing such a place that has such nice boutique rooms. I decided to give it a try. My bf and I made reservations 3 hrs before our dinner. Upon arrival, the man, ( i reckon he’s the front office manager -FOM), did not handle himself professionally with our reservations. Many questions were asked prior to assigning us to our seats. Later, we sat down and menu was given. Business was good. Many tables were still waiting food to be served. I told my bf that we might need to wait long! Anyway, I stayed patient.

So that same guy , the FOM came to take our order. As usual, for a new place, we like to ask for chef recommendations. To my surprised, he couldn’t give me a good explanation. He said ” well, it’s up to your own taste bud, i would not know what you like to eat “.. OMG… I was taken aback when i heard that kinda respond! Then, nvm… we later wanted to order a bottle of champagne, so my bf asked what’s the difference between the other 2 champagne. His answer was.. The price difference! *fainted*

Food was served, nothing to shout about. My verdict :
Food : 5/10
Service: 4/10
Ambience: 7/10

November 28th, 2011 at 12:02 am
mel
 18 

Just visit this place tonight .. Some comment
1. The girl that serve us is a bit rude.
2. Caesar salad does not worth RM16++. not so fresh, and only 1 piece of anchovies. The taste is so-so ..
3. For margherita Pizza, initially we expect more tomato or balance between cheese & tomato but when it came, too much of cheese so a bit salty.. but the pizza base was nice
4.Ordered Linguine Ortolana .. and it quite good.
5. My first time eating panna cotta. And i think it nice but the strawberry coulis doesnt give a fresh feeling

January 27th, 2012 at 11:52 pm
Missy
 19 

Don’t know what the fuss is all about really!! After reading rave reviews we went there last week. Half an hour after ordering we were told that they are out of Pizza!!! for heavens sake – and we have to pick another main. So we picked the fish dish. After an hour we received our food – our baby was so hungry – apparently it takes 1 hr for a soup which we requested be sent early. Zuchinni soup was just okay – a tad salty. When we asked for bread usually served with soup, we got a crispy poppadum like thin crispy. Is that typical? Whatever happened to good old soft bread to soak up soup? Fish was a disaster – bitter and not fresh at all. We had to abandon it. Penne was also ho-hum at best. Nothing to get excited about really. We’ve had better. Also what’s with charging bottled beer at draft prices?All in all not the best of dinners we’ve had in penang. Sorry for that but it might be a long time before I decide to go there again.

July 30th, 2012 at 7:30 am
jbee
 20 

Mr Roberto, your website http://www.campbellhousepenang.com website seems to be down. You cant convert business lead from prospects to revenues to your property if your website seems to always be down mate. The error message displayed when accessing your heritage boutique hotel is “Internal Server Error 500″ meaning your web hosting provider Web Server is down mate. I understand that the website design house is probably http://www.clickstartmarketing.com(patie@clickstartmarketing.com) and hosted on Exabytes. Jesus, this web hosting provider is so famous these days…just Google and you will know how good they are…negative remarks from their past clients. Try hosting it in the UK and look at this websites http://www.hcdm.biz and http://www.superbiznetwork.com. It was designed and developed plus copywriting and hosted in the UK. Server uptime is 99.99% mate. Cheers jbee UK

December 22nd, 2012 at 10:24 pm
jbee
 21 

Wishing Roberto and Nardya Wray, Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!
Cheers – jbee UK

December 22nd, 2012 at 10:30 pm
bob sommers
 22 

Visited Il Bacaro in March 2013, the food was simple and very good just like you would expect from a Italian Trattoria, I can see how it may not be for everyone as it is not bog standard Italian food.
I had boneless rolled baked roast lamb and it was just very tasty, the snapper with potato an Parmesan crust was also a success…overall my friend and I, were more tan happy!

May 5th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

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