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Macalister Mansion – A celebration of George Town Festival

To commemorate George Town Festival, many restaurants and eateries have come out with special menu with a focus on Penang’s rich food culture. This year, Macslister Masion is one of the participants and they have created a list of menu named as “Penang Native” to cater for this special occasion. With the miracle touch of Chef Johnson Wong, the normal Penang street food has been transformed into classy fine dining food. The concept of Penang Native Menu is to enable diners to try out most of the Penang street food within a meal list.

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Starter:

Canapé – texture of lemon

  • duck tartled – with lemon mouses and Crispy beetroot
  • deep fried filo – with fish cracker and truffle sabayon

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This is something to boost up your appetite before the meal begins. The duck tartled was served with lemonade ice crunch and crispy beetroot on the tart while the deep fried filo had been enriched with cinnamon aroma.

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Soup Cooked with Herbal and Egg – This serving of starter soup consists of 2 layers of glass bowls. The top layer is the herbal soup, while the bottom layer is made of deep fried vermicelli with an egg. When this soup is served, the soup from the top layer is poured into the second layer with the vermicelli and egg.

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The soup had a charcoal scent and while drinking this soup together with the crunchy vermicelli and soft half boiled egg, it was a unique experience.

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Before proceeding to the main course, they served some coffee-flavored mini buns and butter. The buns were soft and fluffy and were served hot. It was a simple enjoyment when the butter was melting on the hot buns. No doubt this is just the bread and butter of every Western restaurant, sometimes the basic food is all we need to bring us enjoyment.

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Fish soup – this soup was cooked with sardines, mussels and ginger flower and was packed with fish flavor. The ingredients are similar to the local Penang assam laksa but without the noddle.

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The sourish tamarind and aromatic ginger flower made a great combination for the fish soup as it made the soup very appetizing. The replacement of rice noodle with mussles provided an additional bite texture to the soup. In my personal opinion, the soup was slightly on the salty side and it would taste better if the salt could be reduced.

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BBQ Chicken – This dish was prepared with peanuts, tuile, foie gras and chicken cube. They were well-marinated and barbecued to golden perfection.

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The presentation and taste resemble our local satay except that foie gras and chicken cubes were used instead of beef or chicken or lamb. There was a scent of lemongrass to give this dish an additional boost of flavor.

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Before the main dishes were served, there was a palate cleanser made from some lemon and orange juice into a mini ice ball which was sourish and is an ideal way to cleanse your palate.

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Main Dishes (with either one of the option below):

Cuttlefish – The cuttlefish was pan fried on high heat together with beansprouts, river shrimp and coconut slices.

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This dish is an improvised version of Char Koay Teow. The taste was almost as good as our Penang delicacy but instead of using “koay teow” (noodle), the chef has replaced it with coconut slices which made the dish packed with coconut fragrance. The only missing part of this dish was the chili. If some chilies are added to this dish then it would give an additional kick to this dish.

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Wild caught grouper – this dish was cooked in sourish curry paste, cockles, potato and based with grilled wild caught grouper.

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This is quite similar to our local spicy and sour fish curry. This dish reminds me of the fish curry that we used to eat at seafood restaurants. The shredded potato resembles noodles while the curry was prepared with yogurt for a healthier diet.

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Duck confit – this dish was served with romaine lettuce, cucumber blossom and chicken floss.

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This dish has been derived from the local duck or chicken rice shop. The side dish that came with it was lettuce with chicken floss. According to the chef, this is one of the signatures in Penang where the side dish was served with romaine lettuce and topped with chicken floss and some oyster sauce.

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Tiger Prawn – the capellini was cooked with chili, calamansi and served with fresh tiger prawn.

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This should bee a diversion of our Penang Hokkien Mee. Instead of the usual yellow noodle, it has been replaced with capellini (thin spaghetti, rod-shaped, in the form of long strands). Instead of preparing in soup version, it has been prepared in dried version which is similar to Bukit Mertajam’s  dried Hokkien Mee. The highlights of this dish are the fresh tiger prawns and the addition of spicy chili to give a deeper impact to the taste of this dish.

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Pre-dessert:

Granite – It was made from nutmeg, white fungus, toddy palm and coconut parfait.

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There is a reason that this dish has been named as “granite”. The dish was loaded with lemonade which has been enhanced with nutmeg flavour, white fungus, toddy palm and covered with ice crunch which reminded me of “si gua thng” (Chinese four flavour Soup) and ice kacang.

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Dessert red bean, gula melaka, grass jelly.

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This dessert tasted similar to chendol. Instead of serving with ice and some watery grass jelly, it was a dried version and served with vanilla ice cream and topped with crushed peanuts. The feeling of having vanilla ice cream with peanuts is like “back to school days”.

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The price of this course meal is RM228 nett per pax, with an additional of RM120 nett for wine pairing.

Overall, this dishes of Native Penang really gave us a round table of tasting the best of Penang food. Instead of rounding the Island in search of the best street food, you can get all you wante in Macalister Mansion. Anyway, I personally feel that the dishes are catered for tourists or foreigners who are looking for some diversified Penang dishes in a exclusive environment.

Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):

Taste
Price (more stars, more reasonable)
Food Presentation
Service
Overall

Quick Facts:

Family Friendly
Parking
Pork Free
Alcohol
Credit Card
Smoking
Reservation
Private Room (Private Area)
WIFI Available

Operation hours: 7:00pm – 11:00pm (Close on Monday)
Contact: 04-228 3888
Address: 228, Jalan Macalister 10400, Penang
GPS: 5.4189103,100.3165523

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