Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Richard Rivalee's Cafe @ Bangkok Lane, Pulau Tikus, Penang.

Update: Richard Rivalee's Cafe has moved to M Mall 020 at Penang Times Square (Ground Floor)

How often do you get to eat great home-cooked food served by famous Fashion Designer? Now you get to do so at Richard Rivalee's Couture House, Bangkok Lane. Richard does it for fun. Advocated by some of his regular customers, Richard is determined to cook a few of his most-loved dishes in small scale and serve them in his office. A part of his office (couture house) is transformed into a cafe; though small, it is brilliantly spaced and arranged. Diners get to know more about Richard's stories by looking at the photos (taken with some celebrities in town) hanging on the walls and occasionally, when Richard's available, he'd like to engage with his diners and exchange opinions... not only about culinary or fashion but life as well. The menu is small... probably featuring 3 types of mains and a type of dessert (subject to availability). Richard cooks his food in small scale... probably around 20 servings (each type of main) so if you are keen, do give him a call before visiting his cafe. 

Siam Laksa (Rm 7)

Richard's rendition of Siam Laksa was amazing, not only the noodles managed to be cooked at the right texture but the fish broth carried an avalanche of flavors. It has a balanced medley of sweet, savory and spicy notes. The broth was creamy-rich but with the refreshing crunch of greens added (julienned Cucumber, Pineapple, Onions, lettuce, Long Beans etc), it was most comforting. One particular Herb stood out though.... Thai Basil; it was rather dominant but to our surprise, it did not contradict with other Herbs (with similar strong characteristics). Everything seemed to blend well in that magical bowl of wholesomeness. Richard believes that authentic Siam Laksa should not taste sour but if you would prefer yours with a zing, you may squeeze in some fresh Lime juice. 

Nasi Ulam (Rm 13)

Nasi Lemak (Rm 13)

Tummy fillers on the menu were Richard's home-made Nasi Ulam and Nasi Lemak. The first option was bountiful and served with simple but appetizing Acar-acar and a small serving home-made Otak-Otak. The splash of Sambal lightens up the dish and the generosity of spices provided the quintessential flavors to the Nasi Ulam. Flavors were expertly balanced. The Otak-Otak possessed a custard-soft texture but robust in flavors. We enjoyed every mouthful of the delicacy and for the ingredients as well as portion given, we thought the Rm 13 Nasi Ulam was selling at a discounted rate.

Another Rice-variant that Richard could offer is Nasi Lemak, the Coconut Milk-infused Rice was served with a Chicken Thigh (Rendang), pickled greens and a halved Hard Boiled Egg. The Chicken Thigh was cooked till fork tender and the flavor was intense and rich, the Rendang sauce went well with the creamy-fragrant Rice; best eaten together with the lip-numbingly hot Sambal Belacan.

All orders of main will come with a glass of complimentary Lemon drink.

Those with a sweet tooth will not go home with regret after having their Sago Cake with Palm Sugar (Rm 5). The Nyonya sweet treat was expertly crafted with the chewy-resilient texture but the real draw of the dessert was the thick, rich and luscious Palm Sugar/ Gula Melaka. The smokiness of the Palm Sugar was the soul of the dish and together with the desiccated Coconut, the Coconut flavor was even bolder. Richard's rendition was one of the best I've ever had. 

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

Additional Information:
Address: 12, Bangkok Lane, 10250, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 5 pm on every Monday to Thursday; 12 pm to 11 pm (or sold out) on Fridays to Sundays. Closed on Tuesdays.
Contact Number: 6011- 1649 6399

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