The Copper Bar & Restaurant, 88 Armenian – How Well Do You Know Your Local Food?

Copper Bar & Restaurant is one of the latest addition to Penang’s fine-dining list. Normally, the fine-dining meal in town is a showcase of Western and European cuisine. There are not many places in town that actually serves local flavors in an exclusive setting.

Copper Bar & Restaurant is located inside Hotel 88 Armenian along the renowned Armenian Street. 88 Armenian paints the colorful history dates back to the long bygone era of the mid-19th century. The street on which 88 Armenian stands, along with the trials and tribulations of the past, serves as the inspiration behind the hotel’s present-day architectural design. Here, history meets contemporary for a unique experience.

How well do you understand your local home cooked food? If the dish is served out of the usual style but infused with local flavors, will you be able to tell the local equivalent of that dish?

With its prime location in the heart of George Town in the middle of Armenian Street, 88 Armenian is the perfect location for those that stay or looking for difference ways of Asian fusion of cooking in Penang.

Modernity meets tradition at Copper Bar & Restaurant where dinners can watch the chefs skillfully orchestrate your meals in the modern concept kitchen with a view. Besides dining, this would also be a nice and cozy place to have some drinks.

Below are the 2 types of dining set that you can choose. It would be ideal if you are coming in a group of 4:

Chef’s Treat 1- RM269.00 for 2

  • Juhu Char Ssam, the starter is served with Bang Kwang Char (stir-fried yam bean), Squid with lemon zest, mint leaves and chicken floss, Pickled Spring Onions and Ginger,  Kimchee Puree, Pickled Cucumber.

Having bang kwang char with lettuce and a touch of “squirrel brand” chili sauce is the Malaysian way to enjoy this local delicacy. But have you tried combining bang kwang char with some squid cubes, chicken floss on lemon zest, pickled spring onions, cucumber and ginger wrapped with kimchee puree? The feeling of having this combination is like something that tastes so familiar and yet it is not so common.

  • Roasted Mushroom Scallops, light baked Eringy mushroom. Torched tao cheo (salted fermented soya bean paste). Mushroom leather and mushroom puree.

This mushroom dish is usually cooked in starchy style. However, when it is baked, served with mushroom puree and torched tao cheo the feeling is very much different. The torched tao cheo is very much different from the usual type. You need to taste it to find out more.

  • Soft Shell Crab Omelette, this omelette dish is prepared with mee suah, potatoes, chili and Tempura-battered soft shell crab.

This dish is similar to crab meat mee suah added with oysters. The mee suah is usually cooked in a claypot. Instead, over here it is prepared in a unique way. It would be better if they could retain the crispiness of the soft shell crab as it tasted a bit chewy when served. Overall, it is still a nice dish.

  • Coucous Ulam, all ulam herbs – kefir lime leave, mint, coriander, tumeric leave, kantan flower and coucous cooked in tomyam broth.

Usually, it is known as “Nasi Ulam” to the locals which is served with rice. However, at Copper Bar & Restaurant it is substituted with the healthier version of cous cous. The usually bland-tasted cous cous has been infused with strong tomyam flavour which makes it very appetizing and full of bite-texture.

  • Claypot Prawns. The prawns are cooked with Copper’s signature curry laksa broth.

The broth has the taste of “santan” laksa. However, when tasted further it felt like a mixture of “Assam” (tamarind) laksa combined with curry paste. It tasted appetizingly rich and the prawns were fresh.

  • Snow, pineapple juice with little bit of coconut oil, roasted plum, gula melaka sauce and pandan oil

The bowl of this desert is covered with nitrogen to keep it frozen. While the mixture is nice to have when served cold, it has the taste of oil from the coconut oil and pandan oil mixture which is not to my liking. For those that love coconut oil fragrance this might be your favorite.

  • Petit Four, for the sweet ending there are 4 types of chocolate to be chosen from: Laksa Flavor, Soy Sauce Flavor, Onde Onde Flavor and Pulut Flavor. The laksa flavor is very unique as it feels like having the real laksa in chocolate form.

  • Tea or Coffee, ending the session with coffee or tea is the excellent way to call it a day. The best part of this is you get to choose if you would like to have cappucino, cafe latte, mocha or hot chocolate instead of the regular black coffee or tea.

Chef’s Treat 2 – RM289.00 for 2

  • Seaweed Kerabu, kerabu contained – radish, shallots, pickled garlic, pomelo, peanut and Umeboshi dressing. Kerabu holds in tempura battered seaweed taco shell.

Kerabu is usually served with rice for the locals. This round,  it is placed on tempura battered seaweed with peanut and Umeboshi dressing. This is like Malaysian married to Japanese and the combination of this dish is very unique.

  • Beef and Pumpkin, Australian rump of beef, lightly sealed and smoked in house, seasoned with mui choy (preserved vegetables), spring onion and macadamia oil.

The moi choy usually is served with “kao yok” which is the braised meat. However, this round it is served with Australian rump beef and topped with pumpkin slices which is very much different from the local style. Again, the taste is not disappointing and very unique as it feels like having a “steak” with local seasoning.

  • Tau Eu Mushroom, braised tau eu mushroom, braised water chestnut with its own water and coconut cream and petai.

The usual tau eu “bak” (braised meat in soy sauce) has been replaced with a mixture of braised water chestnut and coconut cream with petai. This can be a vegetarian dish as no meet has been used. This dish is like a “tai chee” sign that balances up the universe.

  • Chicken Wings, butter sauce, curry leaves, black and white sesame seeds.

The chicken wings are well marinated and roasted until golden perfection and served with butter sauce. This is a typical East Meets West dish.

  • Australian Short Ribs, 15 hours braised short ribs, roselle glaze, cashew nuts crumb. aubergine puree with buak keluak, roselle beef jus.

For this dish, Australian Beef is used but the rest of the ingredients and sauce are Asian style. I love the tenderness of the beef as it has been braised for long hours until soft and juicy.

  • Pumpkin Tart, pumpkin ribbon, pumpkin puree, spiced pumpkin ice cream, braised pumpkin seeds with gula melaka sauce.

This is an all-pumpkin dish and all the ingredients are best to be taken together. The roasted pumpkin ribbon is decorated in a rose flower design which looks very gorgeous while the ice cream, seeds and puree are all made of pumpkin inside out. Although it’s only made of pumpkin, the taste of this dessert is simply divine and the leveling of texture and ingredients give you a very satisfying feel.

This set also comes with Petit Four, Tea or Coffee which is similar to the previous set.

  • Petit Four
  • Tea or Coffee

The Tapping Tapir drink is also available here if you are not into alcohol, which is very refreshing and thirst-quenching.

Varieties of Red and White Wine are available here at Copper Bar & Restaurant.

Overall, this meal is a fine-dining concept course meal. Each course is prepared in a very unique way and is been deeply-infused with local flavors. The price for 2 for a set of fine-dining course meal is considered reasonable compared to other fine-dining restaurants. It has an exclusive and cozy ambiance but is casual enough for everyone to enjoy a drink or meal. There are plenty of parking slots available surrounding Copper Bar & Restaurant during dinner hours.

Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):

Taste
Price
Food Presentation
Service
Overall

Quick Facts:

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

Operation hours: 6:00pm -10:00pm (Open Daily)
Contact: 04-261 1188
Address: 88, Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown, 10200 Penang.
GPS: 5.4156668,100.334728

 

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