Friday, October 18, 2013

Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe and Bistro on The Park @ Gurney Plaza, Penang.

Despite of the myriad eateries in Gurney Plaza Penang, the mall is in dearth of a good Korean restaurant and now, there is a greater variety to offer to Korean fans. "Namoo", which generally refers to trees in Korean, is an authentic Korean restaurant fused with a modern yet playful twist. Namoo has its first outlet opened at Publika, KL and now, second outlet here at the iconic location of al-fresco dining area at Gurney Plaza Penang (right beside Black Canyon Restaurant and opposite to Chili's). The menu is extensive, covering some of their carefully crafted yet quirky dishes such as Rice Burgers, Pasta, Omuto, Korean desserts and an array of their meticulously prepared cakes. Ambiance is modish and laid back; making it a perfect place for friends' gatherings and get-together or after-work chill-out. When you are at Namoo, try to look at their decor which adhere to the theme- "trees". There is also an al-fresco dining section outside of the restaurant for those who prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance. 

One of the much-lauded items we had was this Beef Rice Burger (Rm 23.90), where a thick slab of juicy Beef patty and a "Sunny Side Up" being sandwiched between two pieces of crisp and chewy grilled Korean Rice "Bun". The dish comes with Banchan/ Side dishes like Fries, Kimchi and Fresh Greens. As for the Rice, it comes in a slightly chewy resistance, some what similar to Glutinous Rice, with the edges being torched to a crisp. I was especially enamored with their tender yet juicy meat patty, further enlivened with Cheese and a "runny" egg yolk; this dish will make any burger lovers weak in the knees. This dish was ethereal. *Recommended*

Spicy Seafood Pasta (Rm 23.90) was a playful dish with an acquired taste, it comes with two plump and succulent Prawns, a Mussel and some Squid Rings, as well as Zucchini. The Fettuccine was adequately sauteed with Korean sweet and spicy sauce. However, the dish turned out to be a tad salty for our palates. This medley of sweet, savory and spicy sauce lacked of depth and can be monotonous if one were to finish it alone. 

This enticing Chicken White Cream Omuto (Rm 19.90) was a tummy-pleasing dish. Korean Fried Rice covered with a blanket of fluffy Omelette, topped with Fried Chicken and doused White Cream sauce. Sides were Fresh Greens and Kimchi. As much as I adore how the cream sauce blended well with the Korean Fried Rice and fluffy Omelette, I thought the Fried Chicken was slightly too dry in texture. The dish tasted similar to Cheese Baked Rice, with a hint of smokiness from the Fried Rice and creaminess from the Cream Sauce; albeit not mind-blowing but I'd say this was a pleasingly comforting dish that I could possibly ask for. 

Our sweet endings started with Hottuk Pancake (Rm 12.90), a chewy Cinnamon Pancake slathered with their Strawberry Sauce, topped with a dollop of Whipped Cream and completed with a fresh Strawberry. The dessert does not taste as sweet as it looks but the taste can be inexplicable, as though it lacks of something. In fact, I would prefer them to have served the Strawberry Sauce separately instead. The Cinnamon flavor might be too strong for some and it would be great if the texture could be slightly softer. Overall, I thought this dessert was just mediocre. 

Intrigued by its name, The King's Bing Soo (Rm 17.90) comes in a gigantic portion, with some silky smooth milky shaved ice base with Rice Cakes, Red Beans, Strawberries, Banana, Kiwi and Vanilla Ice Cream sprinkled with Multi-grain Powder and Nuts. A rather straight forward dessert which equates to local "Ice Kacang", simple yet refreshing. Extra marks for the Vanilla Ice Cream, which came in smooth and robust in flavor; I just wish I could had more of the Ice Cream. The only draw back could be the price of this dessert, which can be quite grueling on the wallet.  

One of their top-selling items, Sweet Potato Cake (Rm 12.90) is not something usual that can be found else where. The cake has a buttery Sponge cake base with a thick layer of tangy Sweet Potato Paste spread with Cream. This cake is a must-try for Sweet Potato lovers, the flavor of the Sweet Potato Paste was so intense that it lingers in your taste buds for some time. The cake was sweet but not cloying, a rather ingenious creation. However, sharing is recommended due to the substantial portion and the cake can be monotonous if one were to finish it entirely.

It was my first attempt on this Mat Tang/ Korean Caramel Sweet Potato Bites (Rm 14.90), Korean Rice Cake was added too, completed with a dip of Yuzu/ Korean Citrus Fruit sauce. The chewy Korean Rice Cake was good on its own but even better with their Korean Yuzu sauce, a very interesting and refreshing combination indeed. However, the Sweet Potatoes were slightly too hard in texture for me. As this dessert can be quite filling, sharing is encouraged. Quite an exquisite experience though but I am not sure whether I will be coming back for this. 

A refreshing Yuza Virgin Mojito (Rm 12.90) was just perfect for a sultry evening.

Green Tea Latte (Rm 9.90)

Additional Information:
*Pork Free*
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: 170-G-40, Gurney Plaza, Pesiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang.
Business Hours: 10am to 10pm on weekdays; 10am to 11:30pm on weekends. Opens daily.
Contact Number: 604- 226 4810