When in Penang, it seems, one doesn't have to travel far to get to Abbey Road. In fact, it's a mere ferry ride from the island or a 20-minute drive, traffic free, from George Town to Abbey Road Bistro on Lebuh Tenggiri 2 in Butterworth. The restaurant’s terracotta red and wood panelled walls exude a warm, cosy yet sexy ambience while its bar is tucked unobtrusively into a corner.
Their menu is unintimidating and consists of western fare such as fish and chips, black angus tenderloin, sausages and garlic mash, a variety of pasta dishes and comforting burgers coupled with thick cut fries with skin on.
However, a closer look will reveal a touch of elegance in one or three of their dishes, thanks to Chef Samuel Cheong. The evidence of how Samuel’s flavours straddle fine and casual dining effortlessly is obvious in his salad of Asiatique Trout Tataki Salad dressed in the nutty flavours of sesame oil and exotic touch of chilli flakes, for instance. Even within his starter of Escargot Vol-au-Vent within buttery and flaky pastry or seared foie gras coupled with raspberry puree and candied walnuts, along with his entrée of discreet ginger and soy glazed hamachi.
What seduced us was his monthly special of lamb kofta at RM40++. Arriving on two kebab skewers, the lightly spiced meat mingled with chopped coriander is juicy and when married to the homemade mint-honey yogurt dip, it truly shines amid a mild sweetness. Toasted triangles of pita when stuffed with the meat and generously drizzled with yolk-heavy garlic mayonnaise gave our taste buds a playful but no less seductive tease
A touch of fun and Elvis Presley-born eccentricity was found in the Elvis sandwich at RM26++. This, you cannot miss and we dare say Abbey Road bistro is very possibly the only restaurant in Malaysia that offers the King’s favourite odd food of toast filled with mushy slices of sweet bananas, tannin-sticky peanut butter and crispy bacon. One way to describe it is, its flavour is really the food version of warm socks on a winter evening.
Their wine list may be small but it suffices and seems to suit the food they offer. While there are predominantly new world wines listed, their choice for house wine is French and the white is suitably dry at RM28++ per glass or RM105++ per bottle. Familiar, popular cocktails and beer are also available.
What you’d pay for a meal here will not break your wallet considering the quality and satisfying portion you’ll get – entrees are from RM32++, pasta from RM29++, starters from RM20++ and burgers from RM32++. Kitty Kaye