BY CK Lam
Some soul-satisfying dishes can now be found at The O’lives Restaurant, occupying a double storey shophouse in the neighborhood of Pulau Tikus, Penang.
The kitchen is now headed by food nutritionist and research chef Ryan Khang and his Nourish team. His love and passion for fine and elegant European cuisine hugely contributed to the creation of the classic menu served at the restaurant which was first founded in 2014. He has added a few items to the menu including premium quality ingredients.
We stop by for an afternoon of wine & dine session with the introduction of the Christmas and New Year menu. “The food and drinks we offer pay great homage to the Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Northern French essences combined with Italian, Turkish and Penang accent,” said Khang.
The Christmas and New Year seven-course menu is priced at only RM118 per pax. Supplement an additional RM100 to have the dishes pair with wine.
Furnished with glasses of Cono Sur Tocornal Sauvignon Blanc, we had butter bun with truffle butter, while we waited for the starter. The truffle butter was rich and creamy, a perfect complement.
The first plate was the refreshing Waldorf Salad, made of mix greens, Fiji apple, pecan, honey mild mint, apple coulis, and dressed up with crispy French crepe made with duck and foie gras oil. Flavour was added with the addition of apple butter sauce and lump of raisin and carrot.
The amuse bouche of The O’lives Trio was eye catchy indeed. Chef Ryan surprised us with his presentation of this Mediterranean dish. He had crusty olive bread and a trio of tomato and pecorino crumble, black olive tapenade, and goat cheese chantilly served creatively with handcrafted encapsulated olive oil.
Eye catchy indeed, and the rich, sweet flavors of the tomato and pecorino crumble, black olive tapenade and tangy creaminess of goat cheese played well against each other, while contrasting nicely with the strip of green pistachio sauce.
Appetizer was a thick slab of Pan Grilled Duck Liver garnished with cider sauce, and roasted apple and cassis tart topped with balsamic pearl.
The duck liver was seared richly browned on the outside, and lusciously molten on the inside, which many people love. For me, I would love to see the duck liver seared with a crispy crust. Still, it was pretty delicious, especially with the sour compliment of the cider reduction providing some contrast to the rich duck liver.
Chef Ryan had the dish paired with a glass of Cono Sur Tocornal Sauvignon Blanc.
The Warm Soup of Winter came with the presentation of the Cream of Chestnut and Ceps. Made using chicken stock, the creamy earthy soup not only has taste of chestnut, but also mushroom and hint of foie gras.
Meals were well paced and soon after came the Raspberry Sorbet to freshen the palate before the heavy main course.
For the main course, it is a tough choice between Normandy Pan-Roast Chicken Thigh, Pacific Salmon Fillet, 100 Days Grain Fed Australian Rib Eye Steak or the Grilled Rack of Lamb.
As I was in the mood for beef, I ordered the 100 Days Grain Fed Australian Rib Eye Steak. The tender piece of meat ordered medium- rare was served bolstered by a rich and palatable porcini jus, along with purple carrot puree and torne vegetables.
The finale of this Christmas and New Year meal was a plate of Pilable Chocolate Ganache with salted caramel Bavarian and raspberry sorbet.
We felt very comfortable and relaxed dining at this surprisingly elegant restaurant. The dining area takes up the hall downstairs and upstairs.
The Christmas and New Year menu was welcoming with food cooked with passion. I look forward to go back to try the dishes from the a la carte menu.
Parking is made convenient here with a huge parking lot located a few doors from the restaurant.
The O’lives Restaurant
19 Lintang Burmah
10350 Pulau Tikus
Business Hour: 12pm till 3pm & 6:30pm till 10pm
Closed on Sunday