Franco @ Alora Hotel, Bukit Jambul, Penang.
Many would associate Miam Miam with Franco, an established franchise brand in Malaysia... but that is inevitable. The menu shows some form of similarities. With that being said, the first restaurant named under the brand- Franco has finally opened its doors to the public few days ago. The restaurant is housed within Alora Hotel (previously B-suite Hotel) at Bukit Jambul (right next to i-Avenue). The setting's cool and hipstery... with organized hanging light bulbs and comforting couches dedicated for group diners. The service on the other hand, was off-putting. Not only that we had to wait for an hour before the orders were served (there were only 2 tables on our visit), the cantankerous server rudely confiscated the menu after seeing me photographing some of the pages. Servers were confused and not well-trained, orders were wrongly submitted and many items were not available on our visit. On the taste, we were not quite impressed either. We wondered if the meal did not go well because we did not order the right dishes or the fact that most of the items there were not up to par.
Franco French Toast (Rm 17.80)
Hardcore fans of Miam Miam would find it hard to give way to Franco's signature French Toast. Franco's rendition was disappointingly average. We expected the Toast to be crispy on the outside and fluffy-soft inside but the reality proven otherwise (more like an overpriced Roti Benggali French Toast). The dish was served to us cold, not too sure why and how. We were also informed that the kitchen was running out of Whipped Cream but we were fine with it since they replaced it with Vanilla Soft Serve. The sugar syrup was a complete let down... it was an ersatz sweet syrup, not the usual Maple Syrup found in Miam Miam.
On a side note, the Vanilla Soft Serve was toothsome. It was milky and creamy but delicately sweetened. We believe it would go well with some sweet treats or just good to go on its own.
Togarashi Seafood Pasta (Rm 25.90)
We were disappointed with Togarashi Seafood Pasta's presentation... lackluster. We figured out why the name Togarashi.... must have come from the Japanese seven-flavored Chili Powder/ Shichimi Togarashi. Quite similar to Aglio Olio in some way but the peppery Chili Powder makes the Pasta addictive but they could be more generous with the portion as well as the Seafood.
Azuki Red Beans & Jelly Matcha Pancake (Rm 23.80)
Moving on to sweet treat, we had their Azuki Red Beans & Jelly Matcha Pancake. Green Tea Jellies were not available on our visit (many things were unavailable in fact). To our dismay, the Pancake was quite thick and dense. The texture was somewhat similar to bread, though the Green Tea flavor was rather bold. It (the Pancake) barely registered any sweetness. The Matcha Soft Serve was especially comforting... for the sweltering weather. The sweetness purely comes from the mashed Azuki Red Beans. For Rm 23.80.... definitely overpriced.
Taste: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6.5/10 (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)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: No. 19, Medan Kampung Relau, 11900, Bukit Jambul, Penang.
Business Hours: 11 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 646 7777