Tuesday, October 20, 2015

KOTA- When Francis Meets Rempah @ Fort Cornwallis, Georgetown, Penang.

Previously a defensive fort built by Francis Light and now an iconic historical landmark of Penang, Fort Cornwallis welcomes a new addition to the heritage site- a restaurant. Step in the Fort and you will be enveloped in a sentimental atmosphere but you will soon be glad that there is an eye-catchy, bright and seemingly inviting building to your right. KOTA- When Francis Meets Rempah... makes its debut last week, the name of the place is pretty much self-explanatory; full menu was not ready yet on our visit. We thought it was a fine-Nyonya Restaurant or a place that dishes out fine Local food but we were proven wrong. The place dishes out Fusion dishes with a touch of Local-Nyonya flavors. KOTA stands out in terms of their interior design: the usage of glass window allows natural light to flood in and brighten up the space while the dining area is brilliantly set up, exuding a minimalist kind of elegance.

There is a catch before you could visit the place. As the restaurant is located within Fort Cornwallis... it automatically means you would have to pay for the entrance fee. Rm 10 for MyCard holders but with every Rm 20 spent in the restaurant... you get to deduct the same amount by flashing them the receipt (for illustration purpose: if you are visiting in a group of 5, you will need to spend a minimum of Rm 100 in order to "claim" back your Rm 50 entrance fee). Prices may seem to be on the higher side at first... but after looking at the ambiance and food quality, I thought everything paid was at reasonable price. A place that I would love to revisit again.


Just I thought I was about to pay Rm 25 for a bowl of "Hokkien" Mee... a plate of aesthetically pleasing coiled Angel Hair Pasta with seemingly rich golden hue bisque clung onto it, garnished with two huge Prawns and Quail Eggs studded with Caviar... was served to my table. The whole serving of "Hokkien" was a piece of Art. I could not wait to dig in; I was enraptured when I dropped the Pasta in my mouth. It was robust with seafood flavor and the sweetness of the crustacean was apparent, it shared some similarities to the proud dish of Penang- Hokkien Prawn Mee yet unique in its own way. The texture was alright, though I would prefer the Pasta to be slightly more al-dente. Probably Francis Light did not know how to appreciate spicy food, I actually thought the "Hokkien" would taste better with a chili kick. A brilliant order for a change and definitely worth the value. 


I was not quite sure what I was ordering as I was expecting a Parfait, like real Parfait but KOTA's version (Rm 19) comes with three jelly/ mousse-like sweet treat- Jackfruit, Black Sesame an Pandan Coconut. I thought it was a misnomer and was quite upset with it. I gleamed after I took a small bite of the "Jackfruit", as though I was biting on the real fruit that appeared in a different form. The texture was light and smooth on the palate but it was a tad too sweet to my liking. "Pandan Coconut" was equally toothsome, the Pandan flavor was bold and worked well with the engaging frisky sweeten desiccated Coconut. The "Black Sesame" on the other hand, paled when in comparison with the other two flavors as the flavor was a little soft in nature, the white round thing on top was Peanut Mochi with a hard and chewy texture. It may be a little too heavy for one to finish these entirely on his/ her own. 


Complimentary Amuse Bouche- Papadum and Pulut Panggang


Ratings:
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Pork-Free
Service Charge: No

Additional Information:
Address: Fort Cornwallis, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 251 9420

Map of fort cornwallis