Isaribi Tei is a delightful Japanese restaurant personally-run & closely-supervised by long-time Penang resident, Tokyo-born engineer, Yasuyuki Kayashima. Its wide repertoire of dishes spanned both washoku dishes (sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, hotpots, tempura, teriyaki, etc) and yoshoku items (rainbow trout Cordon Bleu, salmon lasagne, etc).
Amongst what we tried:
- Rainbow trout Cordon Bleu was deboned & stuffed with potatoes & cheese, battered, fried and served with a light sauce. Unusual & quite tasty, although we're not too sure what to make of it;
- A selection of American-style norimakis: we had the salmon-unagi maki, and the ubiquitous California maki;
- Kimuchinabe This one hit the spot - spicy-sour from the use of Korean kimchi, the hotpot was one of the highlights of our meal;
- Chawan-mushi - oversteamed, a bit of a miss;
- Gyoza - one of the best we'd had in Penang;
- Ebi tempura - perfect!
- Dessert: Isaribi's selection of ice-cream (12 flavors) was stupendous for a Japanese restaurant. We tried 4 of the flavors: the blueberry ice-cream was nicely fruity, the wasabi ice-cream can clear one's sinuses & a must-try, the Oreo ice-cream was kid-friendly, whilst the strong-smelling durian flavor was rich and definitely must-not-miss.
Lovely spacious seating, with eclectic furnishings and good service. I'd definitely want to come back to try the Japanese-Italian dishes on the menu the next time.
62 Jalan Chow Thye
10050 Penang, Malaysia