My memorable birthday dinner at The View
I am happy that my birthday which falls on the 2nd of January every year offers me the opportunity to start off each new year with a celebration. Turning 52 this year, I headed to The View at Hotel Equatorial for a delightful evening.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Zul who took such great care of us that evening. His service was top notch and our evening was made even more memorable simply because of him. Zul was at hand to take our orders and he was able to describe to us the feast that we were about to partake in.
A basket of fresh breads with two dipping sauces and butter was served. I enjoyed the garlic toast very much as it was warm, crispy and aromatic.
To titillate our palate, a beautifully-plated complimentary entrée arrived. It was a mixture of lobster meat, cherry tomatoes and greens, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with caviar. The lovely fresh flowers that were used to garnish the dish provided an artistic touch.
This was followed by a rich celeriac and clam soup. Flavoured with Manila clams, the soup was topped with a pink peppercorn foam and a slice of crispy fish skin tempura. It warmed the cockles of my heart indulging in such a luxurious soup.
Next we had a king crab and avocado roulade set with a mandarin jelly and grapefruit citrus drizzle. The combination of texture and flavour was ingenious. The sweetness from the crab meat was well balanced with the creamy texture of the avocado and the zing from the sauces. I love this starter very much.
Another starter that we enjoyed was the Bouillabaisse-style risotto. It was packed with fresh catches of the ocean such as New Zealand mussels, tiger prawns, octopus and squid, flavours enhanced in a tomato-based rockfish broth. The rice was perfectly cooked – al dente, just the way it should be.
After relishing four amazing starters, a scoop of fine campaign sorbet was served to cleanse the palate.
For the main course, I had the slow-braised Kobe beef brisket. The tender meat packed with rich flavours cut like butter. It was served on a bed of glazed root vegetables and a creamy sweet potato puree, topped with strips of julienne glazed orange peels. The generous portion made the hearty meal truly satisfying as I could taste the rich flavours developed through the hours of careful cooking put into preparing this dish.
My wife opted for the New Zealand coastal baby lamb rack. The slow roasted pistachio crusted rack was served with chickpea puree and artichoke, drizzled with zesty gremolata oil. Beautifully plated, this dish were simply sublime.
My daughter enjoyed the line-caught Brittany sea bass immensely. The pan-seared fish fillet was served on a bed of potato and salted cod fish brandade, garden of vegetables, truffle and clam broth.
After finishing our main courses, we were stuffed to the gills. Having said that, we could still gleefully tug away at the sinfully delicious dessert. Named, "It's all about the chocolate", the desserts included chocolate soufflés, chocolate tarts, chocolate pâte à bombe (mousse) and chocolate ice cream. For a chocolate lover like my wife, this was heaven!
A complementary strawberry birthday cake was such a memorable end to a truly amazing feast. We thoroughly appreciated the culinary journey of carefully-crafted offerings and ate to our hearts' content. The View at Equatorial Hotel is indeed an exquisite fine dining restaurant wonderfully suited to mark memorable occasions.
Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
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2 January 2020
Hotel Equatorial Penang
1 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang, Malaysia
T: +604–632 7000