BY CK Lam
Feringgi Grill at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang has made an impact on the fine dining scene in Penang since its first opening in 1973. The award-winning establishment has a great team behind it, and we recently dropped by to sample French cuisine by newly appointed chef de cuisine Thibaut Pouplard.
A light moment with the chef
Chef Thibaut Pouplard passion for fine cuisine has taken him from five-star hotels and resorts to prestigious dining restaurants at InterContinental Hotels in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Michelin-starred UNICO by Mauro Colagreco in Shanghai, China.
The French chef has previously described his style as “New creative cuisine, French traditional food with a touch of modernity and creativity”.
During our recent visit, we had the sampling of what’s available from the Degustation set menu. We started with tingling sour nibbles, with choice of marinated chilies, caper berries, green olives, and cherry tomatoes, all presented on earthen plates and white bowls. The caper berries and chilies was popular.
We also had freshly baked in-house sourdough throughout the meal. It was a swooningly excellent one. Pouplard had a simple amuse-bouche made with toasted sourdough, virgin olive oil, garlic cream, lemon, basil and marinated salty anchovy on top.
Another amuse-bousche made with orange and carrot however turned out a bit strong to my liking.
For entree, the menu listed a cold and two warm dishes. The cold dish of mozzarella cheese was served plated with strawberries, asparagus tender shoots, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Nicely accented with a touch of lemon zest, olive oil, balsamic, and basil, the dish made for a beautiful sweet and sour starter.
The first warm entree was the seared foie gras (goose liver) served with mi fig, mi grapes, rosella reduction and Melba toast.
The chef, who is married to a Malaysian, incorporated the local flower rosella in this dish, resulting in an interesting Malaysian/French tie-up. With a balance of sweetness and acidity, the reduction complemented well with the creamy rich foie gras. The accompanying pieces of crisp Melba toast was great when dipped into the fragrant red sauce.
The next warm entree was the Grill Hokkaido scallops. The discs of scallops were spot on, nicely seared with its inner part cooked just translucence. They were pleasing, consummated with spinach, vegetables, orange segment, saffron & citrus sauce, and sips of white wine.
For soup we sampled the basil scented creamy pumpkin cappuccino with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin cubes. A bit of cinnamon powder was added for the final touch to what proves to be a warm hearty concoction.
The mango sorbet was refreshing with hint of lemon zest, though noticeably sweet for some of us.
Grilled lamb cutlet was a wonder, especially for lamb lovers. The dish impressed just as much, with the cutlet topped by eggplant caviar, served with garlic cream and sesame sauce. The chef gave the meat a nice sear and it pleases with tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture, smoky creamy eggplant caviar and brightness of basil.
After the savory dishes, we continued with dessert. The sweet treat made up of lemon tart, Britany biscuit, lemon custard and meringue tasted light and zesty.
Followed up was coffee paired with petits four. It was indeed a fitting end to a fine meal.
The chef has designed several Degustation Set Menus, allowing diners to sample the best of the establishment’s seafood and meat specialties. Furthermore, the a la carte menu still retains its many popular classic dishes.
Located on the mezzanine floor of Rasa Wing, its opening hours are from 6.30pm till 10.30pm daily. For reservations, call 04-8888788.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa
Batu Feringgi Beach
* Many thanks to Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa for laying on this invitation.