Monday, July 21, 2014

Farquhar Mansion @ Mission Place, Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown, Penang.

An enthusiastic, passionate and energetic management team took over the newly refurbished Mission Place along Lebuh Farquhar. The place was vacant for quite some time and has since, given a new facelift. The French fine-dining restaurant named Farquhar Mansion, is housed within one of the two buildings of Mission Place. Not only seeks to provide unabashed quality fine-dining experience but it seeks to provide diners a comfortable and casual place to enjoy a meticulously designed gastronomical adventure. The second floor of the restaurant, however, pursued a different path. The Royal interior design suggests the sense of luxurious and upscale experience(only diners with Nobleman and Royale member cards are invited to dine-in on the second floor). 

Prices are of fine-dining range but it is worth to splurge a little more for the premium quality of food as the prices commensurate with the quality of the ingredients. We were very pleased with the dining experience and the sedulously choreographed courses; the 5-course Chef's Tasting menu ranges from Rm 168++ to Rm 198++. Not cheap so it would not a regular-casual outing place but this is definitely one of the places top on my list when it comes to occasion.  

Many Thanks to Farquhar Mansion for extending the invitation. 

Chilled Cauliflower Mousse with Dehydrated Shimeiji Mushrooms

Deep Fried Cod Fish Ball with Aioli Sauce and Salmon Roe

Air Dried Duck Breast with Caviar, Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait

A good Amuse-Bouche is able to stimulate and whet up the appetite of diners. The Chef of Farquhar Mansion did a pretty good job by offering his Amuse-Bouches. First we had Chilled Cauliflower Mousse with Dehydrated Shimeiji Mushroom; the silky smooth Mousse carries a mild-hint of Cauliflower but the real draw here was the addition of Shimeiji Mushroom, which granted an amusing earth flavor to the dish. Chef plays with a twist in texture and dimension with his second Amuse-Bouche: Deep Fried Cod Fish Ball with Aioli and Salmon Roe. The Cod Fish Ball was crunchy on the outside and tender-soft inside, further enlivened with a nice acidic tilt from the Aioli sauce while the bursty-briny Salmon Roe provided a whole new dimension to the dish. The last Amuse-Bouche, Air Dried Duck Breast Caviar, Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait did not seem to impress me though. In spite of the shattering crisp of the Air Dried Duck Breast, I did not quite like the combination and I thought it was a little too salty to my liking. 

Farquhar Mansion's Hard Rolls and Sunflower Breads served with Sundried Tomato Butter, home-made Unsalted Butter and Herb Butter added a welcoming touch to our dining experience. The crusty yet pillowy soft Rolls and Breads were amazing, we love how fresh they were, perfectly good on their own but even better with their home-made Butters. The unique flavor of Sundried Tomato Butter struck my palate, it was buttery-creamy with an appetizing acidity from the Tomatoes. Herb Butter, on the other hand, was my favorite of the day, it was flavorsome and went perfectly well with the Breads! 

A perfect appetizer to the ensuing feast- Smoked Salmon with Poached Free Range Chicken Egg, Herb Crusted Wild Mushrooms, Fresh Greens completed with Hollandaise Sauce and briny pops of Salmon Roes. You would have probably guessed it right, it tasted somewhat like a more refined version of Egg Benedict. Good golly, it was so good. The magical mix of all thoughtfully chosen ingredients was brilliant- the smoothness of the Poached Chicken Egg, the smokiness of Smoked Salmon, the earthiness of Wild Mushrooms (I would rather to have only Shitake Mushrooms in lieu of Shimeiji), the crunchiness of the Fresh Greens and the burst of salty essence of Salmon Roe... brilliant, just brilliant. 

Another ingenious creation- Seared Foie Gras served with Mixed Greens dressed with Farquhar dressing, Pomegranate, Plum and Port Wine Emulsion. The fatty Duck/ Goose liver was given a quick sear on the outer layer to lock the moisture within. It was buttery tender and it melted in our mouth in a glimpse of an eye! The complementing sauce adds an interesting twist to the otherwise predictable flavors. It commingles the sweet and sour which helps to cut through the greasiness of the Foie Gras by a little, a well-executed dish. 

The culinary team of Farquhar Mansion continues to impress us with panache- Oyster Chowder with Scallop. The flavors were precisely calibrated, we love the addition of Seaweed which added a bit of crunch to the Chowder. It was thick, rich and definitely creamy to my liking, the freshly shucked Oyster was lightly baked with Cheese, thus, it carries a cheesy -creamy texture. The voluptuous Scallop, on the other hand, was perfectly cooked to the right doneness- smooth and slightly raw that it slides down to the throat immediately. I would mop the bowl with the fluffy crusty Rolls/ Breads. 

I was especially enamored for their Pan Seared Cod Fish with Tapenade, Prawn and Scallop Ravioli, Potato Cream, Roma Tomato Confit and Herbs Emulsion (Rm 168). The pristine-white flesh of the Cod gives you an idea on the freshness of the fish. The thick slab Cod was so fresh that it was not needy for heavy seasoning, just a light coat of Salt and Pepper will be great. The Roma Tomato Confit and Tapenade enhanced instead of overshadowing the Fish, giving the Fish a refreshing acidic tilt so that it would not appear to be too monotonous on the palate. The Ravioli, on the other hand, could contain more Prawns and Scallops for a meatier bite. 

The House Special Duck Confit (Rm 168) paled when in comparison with the previous dish (Cod Fish). The inviting Duck Leg was served together with Pumpkin Puree, Granny Smith Roasted Vegetables and Balsamic Emulsion. We certainly enjoyed the appetizing debris of vegetables; the meat was somewhat tender but we thought it could be more tender, the fork-tender type. The dark, thick and sour-sweet sauce akin to Chutney, giving the dish slightly more depth and reduces the greasiness. 

Meat lovers will be glad to know that Farquhar Mansion takes a step further by offering Sous Vide Tenderloin. The Chilled Grain Fed Tenderloin (Rm 198) with Potato Cream, Onion Marmalade and Port Wine Infusion could need some refinement. The hefty Tenderloin was slightly over-cooked (Medium-well) but it was still tender and juicy. The flavor of the Onion Marmalade was a little thin unfortunately and it could not cling onto the meat. The overall impression on the dish: the flavor was a little subdued which we were left underwhelmed. However, it fared well in terms of texture. 

Mr. Choo, the F&B Manager of Farquhar Mansion introduced the sweet ending with aplomb, which we thought it was rather playful and daring. Their Lemon Meringue Pie with Valrhona Chocolate Ganache and Pistachio Brandy Snap struck my palate with a strong jolt of sourness, followed by a mellow zingy-bitterness and discernible sweetness. It was a dessert full of depth. The Meringue on top was sweet, the Lemon-Custard filling was sour and the Varlrhona Chocolate was sweet, served on top of a savory-crust. It would be a dessert that you love it or otherwise; unfortunately, I belong to the latter group. 

About the Farquhar Mansion's Membership:

1) Knight (Rm 1, 000)
- Credit of Rm 1, 000 (to be redeemed for in house dine in and lounge spending).
- A complimentary bottle of House Pour Wine.
- A complimentary birthday treat (to be selected by the restaurant).

2) Baronet (Rm 1, 500)
- Credit of Rm 1, 500 (to be redeemed for in house dine in and lounge spending).
- A complimentary bottle of Fine Wine.
- A complimentary birthday treat (to be chosen by member).

3) Nobleman (Rm 3, 000)
- Credit of Rm 3, 000 (to be redeemed for in house dine in and lounge spending).
- A complimentary glass of welcoming drink/ House Pour. 
- A complimentary bottle of Fine Wine.
- A complimentary bottle of Whiskey Selection.
- A complimentary birthday treat (to be chosen by member).

4) Royal (Rm 5, 000)
- Credit of Rm 5, 000 (to be redeemed for in house dine in and lounge spending).
- A complimentary glass of welcoming drink/ House Pour. 
- A complimentary bottle of Fine Wine.
- A complimentary bottle of Whiskey Selection.
- A complimentary birthday treat (to be chosen by member).
- Entitlement to use the Private Dining Room.
- Invitation to Monthly Grand Appreciation Event.

** Terms and Conditions Applied. Kindly inquire within. Ken Hunts Food is not liable to any changes made by the management of Farquhar Mansion.**

Additional Information:
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: No. 33, Lebuh Farquhar, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 3 pm; 6 pm to 12 am (last order for restaurant dishes at 10 pm). Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6019- 528 8933 

Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown, 10200 Pulau Pinang

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