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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Heaven Gate ~ New Menu Review

Located along King's Street in the Heritage enclave of Penang, Heaven Gate is an up and coming fine dining restaurant that sits majestically among the row of shophouses, as apparently this one is 3 stories compared to its neighbours which are only 2 stories high. Its easily spotted with its arch walkway and ribbons inviting diners in.
The restaurant currently is operating both on the ground and 1st floor and the 1st floor has more varieties of sitting options, such as on a comfortable couch, private tables, and even long tables. Its also available for functions on the 1st floor which make it possible to hold private events here. 
I was fortunate to be able to join some other reviewers when we were invited to try some of their new menu, as well as some of their all time favorites. Thus this was a really good experience for myself as its not everyday we get to sample these delectable yummies! So without ado, do check out the below!

Standing tall and was amazing to have a bright blue sky!

The ground floor which has about 8 tables! It can be arrange to be together or as they are! So no worries if you are coming for a date or a team dinner!
On the 1st floor, the layout is very much different and exudes a very classy atmosphere! I would say it would be very nice to hold a private event here!
There is even a long table that sits 8-10 pax!

And then there are the cosy tables for that romantic candle light dinner
I was surprised that there is even an Xbox to play with your friends for those that want something more casual
My so called artistic angle!
Back to the ground floor, I guess this is now their signature wall of rainbow colored bottles behind the bar counter!
So finally, its time to savor the food.
Here we have the cream of pumpkin soup and its served with a piece of very crispy garlic bread. This is a very traditional take on this all time classic and its good to know that the aroma from the pumpkin is present and the use of herbs to spice it up makes this a nice appetizer.
They also have an onion soup which works well for those that do not prefer a creamy soup base. The sauteed onions and then spiced up again with lots of herbs to give it a very flavorful aroma. For dipping with the bread, I still prefer the creamy soup but this one is very appetizing indeed.
They have a few mains to sample.
First among them is the Crispy Baked Seabass. Seabass locally is also known as siakap but the ones used here are probably from the very big fish as you can just see how thick that slab of seabass is. Its very well baked where you get a crispy skin yet the fish does not get overcook for its meat. The sauce that accompanies the seabass is their unique almond sauce that was cooked with lots of spices and then drizzle with truffle oil and finished with white wine to give it that extra oomph! As I'm a fish lover, I think this was well executed and definitely will appeal to many.
King Prawn with Grilled Chicken was another new item that definitely caught my attention. Using a very large prawn and then have its wrapped in a piece of chicken thigh, this grilled item blends seafood and poultry together to create a dish that gives if flavor and juiciness not attainable if they were on their own. The chicken thigh is first grilled quickly on the pan and then finish in the oven to help retain the natural juice from the prawn. This is the reason why the dish has a very mouth watering center portion! This one should definitely give it a try as its just so good.
The next item is their braised lamb shank which is made in a very traditional manner where they first use a beef and vegetable stock as the base for the braising of the lamb shank. The lamb shank is then slow cooked for at least 4 hours till its tender soft and juicy. Its then finish with orange peels over the sauce which gives the lamb a slightly fruity flavor. This one is great for meat lovers for sure! I personally would have preferred if the stock was made from lamb bones and not beef as then those who do not take beef will also be able to enjoy this item.
Another fish item for the menu is Miso Cod Fish. At first, I was wondering what this white fish was as if you notice from the photo below, they have removed the skin as this is to help the fish cook evenly and not have a tough skin for diners to chew on. Its marinated in a combination of sake, miso paste and mirin and its sure to tantalize the taste buds. This is the first time I have tasted fish with this combination of marinate and I have to say it works well with a fatty fish like cod. If one prefers the smooth and fatty texture to their fish, this is the one to get compared to the seabass!
And finally for pasta lovers, why not give their Laksa Pesto a try. This is surely a new take on serving laksa as it combines technique of making a pesto and spaghetti. Using laksa leaf, coconut milk and fish flakes, as well as ginger flower, it gives a new twist to the traditional pesto using basil as the base. With the added aroma from the coconut milk, this is surely a Penang inspired creation which I truly enjoy.
Besides the 5 items above, we also got to sample some of their all time favorite which is their grilled duck breast with brown sauce. They use fresh duck breast and its quickly seared and browned on a pan and then finished in the oven. The duck had a very crispy skin and the insides were still moist. Its always nice to sample some well made duck breast!

Last but not least, we got to sample some of their desserts such as the Panna Cota, Orange Crepes with Vanilla Ice cream and Marble Cheese Cake which was all pretty well made and very well received by the ladies during the review. And I will always believe that ladies will always give an honest opinion about desserts!

Overall, I find that we can get very good food here at decent prices, with a very nice ambiance to boot! Stay tune as I will be sharing another of their menu which comes with wine pairing as well.

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