Opting for a Continental lunch in street-food paradise Penang seemed like an oxymoron. But I was told *not* to miss Thirty Two, purportedly one of Georgetown's top fine dining restaurants.
The restaurant's located in a beautiful turn-of-the-20th century grand old mansion, with Italianate columns and beautiful mosaic on the walls, set amidst a seaside lawn looking out to the azure-blue seas of the Penang Channel.
Our lunch there today consisted of:
Soup du jour: Creme of cauliflower, with croutons and scallions - creamy and tasty. Very good garlic bread served on the side.
Entrees that my dining companions and I ordered:
- 6-spiced marinated BBQ chicken with buttered rice - was told that it was tasty, but not spectacular.
- Char-grilled lamb with marinated eggplants and red wine jus - fragrant and perfectly timed cooking, but paled in comparison to the wonderful lamb dish in Ipoh's Indulgence restaurant.
- Crabmeat laksa lemak - I had this and it was spicy, but overly rich with coconut creme.
- Spaghetti Aglio Olio (spicy version) - again, competently prepared but no fireworks.
- Chicken and mushroom pie, potato-grana pardano puree, mixed greens - very good. This is one of the exceptional dishes served at Thirty Two and a must-order. The crisp, puff pastry encased tasty, creamy chicken-mushroom filling.
- Pan-seared salmon, potato mousseline, braised fennel and shellfish broth - another well-prepared dish. The salmon was a tad over-cooked, resulting in a slight dryness.
Dessert: Gula Melaka sponge cake with vanilla ice-cream. Tasty, but I was too full to manage more than a mouthful.
Overall, a pleasant restaurant - but not something I'd opt for if I'm in Penang for a limited time: there are just too many good hawker/street fare to explore in the streets of Georgetown outside!
Thirty Two at the Mansion
32 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (Northam Road).
Tel: +604 262 2232