Monday, September 12, 2016

Arte Restaurant @ Argyll Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Art galleries do not just delight culture vultures, sometimes... they can be great places to satisfy the needs of gluttons too. Opened in early 2016, Arte is home to one of Penang's great art collections. Daiichi Art Space is the management company behind the paintings and artwork, a branch of Daiichi Modern Art Gallery (Sungai Petani), one of the largest private art museums and galleries in Malaysia. Combine a visit to the art gallery and a visit to Arte Restaurant, which offers French with Asian-inspired menu. The restaurant is calming, elegant and well-decorated in shades of white and grey; with hand-crafted paintings adorning the walls (the paintings are for sale too). Chef Jay's food is something to shout about, a sublime blend of French and Asian cooking techniques to present the ingredients' vibrant pure flavors. 

Many thanks to Arte Restaurant for hosting us that afternoon.

Pumpkin Soup (Rm 15)

Tomato Soup (Rm 15)

Soup presented with an artistic touch, it really as delectable as it looks and smells. The rich yet gently flavored Pumpkin Soup consisted of waves of surprises, take a sip and you will be welcomed by a creamy, milky texture followed by a mellow Pumpkin flavor and sweetness. It was not mono-dimensional, bits of Bacon were introduced for the extra chewy, savory touch. 

It may seem easy to imagine how the Tomato Soup would taste like but one would be surprised by the robust flavors. The real joy of eating the dish would be to eat together with the crunchy greens presented aside- Sundried Tomatoes, fresh Tomatoes with singed edges and Zucchini Blossoms. Different combination of Tomato Soup and the sides could create different flavors and dimensions. It was like experimenting the wonders of the palate. Our favorite pick was the singed Tomatoes with burned edges which imparted a hint of smokiness to the sweet, acidic and slightly saltish Tomato Soup.

Caesar Salad (Rm 19)

Spring Salad (Rm 18)

Whet up the appetite with Chef Jay's Caesar Salad, well-tossed and amped with crispy bits of savory Parmesan Lace and Bacon as well as gooey half-boiled Egg. The dimension was clear and seasonings were concise and spot on, nothing more and nothing less. The greens were crisp and fresh. While the Spring Salad does live up to our expectation (all greens were sufficiently-dressed with their home-made refreshing tangy and zingy citrus dressing), we thought it was more of a standard-average starter. We were probably overwhelmed by the Caesar Salad.

Duck Confit (Rm 48)

Angus Beef Rib Eye (Rm 135/ 250 grams) served with Blue Cheese Sauce

We were pleasantly surprised to find such a beautiful slab of Rib Eye. Little touches are keys to unlock excitements. It's not common for restaurants to serve Steak with Bone Marrow but Arte Restaurant was so serious about their Rib Eye that they took it to the next level. Be surprised by the complexity and pleasure that the dish could potentially deliver. The meat was expertly cooked with edges beautifully seared, wonderfully gamey and rich. It was most tender and juicy to the bite, perfectly paired with melt-in-the-mouth Bone Marrow (just like creamy Butter) and exquisite Blue Cheese Sauce. The Black Garlic highlighted the alluring beefy aroma while the flecks of Peppercorn refreshed the palate with a hint of peppery-sensation. We had no qualms feasting on that gigantuan slab of Rib Eye. One of the best Rib Eyes we have ever had. 

Poultry lovers could opt for their Duck Confit, carefully rendered for hours and served with Plum Sauce, Purple Sweet Potato Puree and sauteed Red Cabbage; the skin of the Duck Thigh was perfectly crisp with flaky flesh. Our only drawback was the Plum sauce, which we thought the flavors were rather muted. 

Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Rm 25)

Tiramisu (Rm 25)

If you still managed to keep your pants buttoned at this stage, go for their Passion Fruit Panna Cotta. The chilled gelatin-dessert served with Passion Fruit was delicious; the Panna Cotta was creamy and delicately sweetened but further enlivened with the refreshing tropical fruit- Passion Fruit. The unappealing Red Wine Pear was not to be forsaken as well, the Pear was nicely poached but retaining the quintessential juicy yet firm bite. It is worth to note that all desserts in Arte Restaurant are alcohol-free... to cater for young diners. 

Amuse Bouche- Beet Root Sponge Cake with Citrus Cream and Lychee Shooter (Sprite + Apple Cider + Lychee + Salt)

Additional Information:
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: 25, Jalan Argyll, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Daiichi Art Space visiting hours: 1 pm to 6 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays.
Contact Number: 604- 251 9718

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