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Asiatique Kitchen and Lounge

Critics' choice
Tanjung Tokong

February 2014

A few months after their opening, they’ve acquired a dinner following and a fine-tuning of their menu. Where once, a short time ago, all-day breakfast sort of dishes was served at lunch, now, it’s more well-thought out meals well-suited for a discerning palate.

Their menu of soups, appetisers, to share tapas, main courses and desserts spans two continents, flavour wise. Chef Aldrien Moh brought back with him the fusion style of Australia, marries it with ingredients his grandmother uses and adds sprinkles of his own creativity. The result? Noteworthy dishes that hold vivid yet polite flavours.

So, we begin with soup at RM11+ per bowl. Both pea and mushroom soups are creamy, hold sufficient textures and are aesthetically appetising. While the former is milder than the latter, the green pea cappuccino soup’s lovely moss green hue scores a point up.

Next up, from their sharing menu of four tapas from RM8+. We fell pretty hard for Chef Aldrien’s chilled silken tofu. In fact, we dare say, this dish reflects his menu’s flavour-style the best. The tofu’s super silky texture heavily contrasted with a generous sprinkle of red caviar and dried prawns cooked in thick, dark umami sauce. It’s unbearably light yet substantial, so Asian yet contemporary, at the same time.

Just like his crispy fennel and black pepper pork belly, laksa fried chicken wings (a must try too) and crab and corn cakes, there’s a strong hint of old Chinese amid the modern, western flavours. The pork belly, by the way, is moist, has a nice crispy-crunch and terrific value at RM16+.

Moving on to main courses, out of the nine – including a vegetarian option of steamed silken tofu steak – we opt for the seared duck and salmon at RM34+ and RM30+ respectively. The duck, perfectly underdone without being bloody is juicy and its gamey flavour is kept at bay with the clever use of five spices, sits atop yam puree and stir-fried spinach.

Although, what wins us over is the unexpected twist in the salmon dish. Sitting pretty on creamy laksa sauce and belacan foam while topped by a bunch of finely sliced pickled cucumber and mint salad, it reminds you in every way of laksa lemak. In every way, except visually. Yet, it’s a welcomed change and an elegant one at that.

A surprise find here is their coconut and ginger carbonara fettuccini. The dish is served with a spoonful of delicately spice garlic sambal, poached chicken Hainanese style and fettuccini coated in thick, creamy coconut, ginger and pandan leaves sauce. It’s delicious sin with a long finish on the palate. Need we say more?

It’s dessert time. This is one of those places, where you should not skip dessert. Let them entice you with clever spins of chendul  panna cotta with shaved coconut ice cream and kopi ‘o’ soaked bread and butter pudding with kaya mousse along with our favourite, the tarik ice cream, from RM12+. There’s style, grace and a dollop of fun in each of them. Kitty Kaye

Venue name: Asiatique Kitchen and Lounge
Address: C-G-3, Vantage Desiran Tanjung
Penang
11200
Venue phone: 04 890 3995 / 014 668 9693
Website: http://www.asiatique-penang.com.my
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, 12noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm; closed on Tue
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