Omakase dining is not something new in Penang. But private dining in Omakase style is something that hardly known to Penangites. Little did we know there is a secret hideout dining place in Macalister Road with a private chef where there is no standard menu available, but you will be guaranteed with satisfaction in your taste palate and also with extreme privacy. This place is known as De Secret Kitchen.
It is a little hut with no signage showing that it is a restaurant or cafe on the exterior or interior of the hut. Instead you will find 2 mannequins facing the window which makes it look like a taylor’s.
The front entrance to this “private” area is controlled by a door access, in which you will need to know the pass code upon entering. This is then followed by a “hidden door” which will then get you into the real dining area.
Although this dining place is located along one the busiest streets in Penang, once you are in the dining area you will feel as though you are totally shut out from the outside world. You could not see or hear what is happening outside, thus you can have your meal in total peace. Rest assured, you will find some basic necessities in the restaurant such as first aid kid and sanitary pads in case of emergency. There are some really unique collectibles by the Chef who is also the owner of this place. This place makes you feel like going back to the 80’s.
Besides the time capsule excitement, the chef also owns a little herbs garden which is mostly used in the cuisine preparation.
The word “Omakase” comes from Japanese, which means a meal consisted of dishes selected by the chef. There will be no fixed menu in this restaurant, however you may inform the chef if you are not into particular food such as beef.
First, a jar of drink was served and it tasted very refreshing and thirst-quenching. It was a mixture of lemon slices, lime, lemon grass and pandan leaves.
Baguette served with cumin and chic peas
Served as a starter, this Mediterranean influence pre-starter consisted of a spread made of cumin and chick peas and it tasted rich with a nutty aroma.
Raw scallop with cucumber salad, salmon caviar served with Thai mango on top, and sided with apple cider
In this place it is covered with freshness from the sea and freshness from the garden. Both complements each other very well due to its freshness and careful selection by the chef.
63 degree egg onsen egg served with mushroom crumbs, garlic bomb and cheese
The perfect onsen egg cooked in low temperature taste was smooth and succulent. When combined with strong flavours from the mushroom crumbs, crunchy garlic bomb, cheese with a hint of molten salt, it tasted heavenly.
Dynamite bean sprouts, chili and cheese
The chili used is an imported chili and it tasted so good together with spring roll wrapped with bean sprouts It was deep fried until golden perfection.
Cauliflower soup and English Pea soup with lamb fat and molten salt
The appearance of this soup is like the “Yin & Yang” symbol and it was made up of English Pea and Cauliflower soup. If you attempt to taste the soup individually it wouldn’t give you a good taste. However, when all the ingredients were mixed well including the molten salt at the bottom of the soup bowl, miracle happened and the soup tasted fantastic.
Korean rice wine
In between the dishes, Chef Joe prepared a home-fermented Korean rice wine for palate cleansing. The rice wine was so soothing and sourish and it was not too strong for non-alcohol drinkers.
Buckwheat pasta with miso, topped with Caviar, peeled tomato and served with prawn and tomato soup
The buckwheat pasta had a very chewy and nutty texture whereas the tomato and prawn soup gave a very appetizing sour taste. The dish was topped with juicy and tasty caviar and the combination was a pleasant one as the chewy pasta was well-complemented by the sourness of the soup.
Beef Tenderloin with curd yolk, topped with cheese sauce, peanut sprout and shimeiji mushroom
The juicy and tenderness of the slightly-aged tenderloin was grilled till medium rare which was perfect for my palate. It was sided with rich creamy curd yolk, some crunchy bean sprout and shimeiji mushroom. This is one of the best steaks probably due to the aging of the tenderloin which makes it more flavourful.
Mango pomelo panna cotta
The pana cotta was served with fresh mango cubes and some pomelo pieces on top. The pomelo and mango were fresh whereas the overall taste of the pana cotta was not too sweet. The only drawback of this dessert is the base of the pana cotta was a bit on the dry and chewy side.
We had the privilege to have a light session with Chef Joe, who is the owner and also the chef of De Secret Kitchen. Chef Joe has a very rich culinary experiences who has stayed in Bangkok for 9 years before returning to Penang, and loves cooking especially Asian food. Even with Western food, Chef Joe will also create the dish with some Asian influence. What the chef has to offer is to prepare dishes according to own preference and not what the majority prefers. De Secret Kitchen has been operating at Jalan Macalister for 2 years.
Overall, De Secret Kitchen is a unique place to have a private dining experience with your closed ones. Since there is no menu from the restaurant, it gives you the unexpected rather than the expected, and that’s what makes the dining experience unique and exciting. The maximum allocation for De Secret Kitchen is 18-20 pax upon reservation only. Dinner starts from 6pm till midnight. Currently, it is priced at RM188 per pax, which is considered very reasonable for private dining. Menu will be seasonal and you can state your preference in advance. The only drawback for this place is the difficulty to get parking and the place could be easily missed since it is so private and “hidden”.
|Price (more stars, more reasonable)|
|Private Room (Private Area)|
Booking via FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/desecretkitchen/