Sigi's did more than tickle our taste buds!
My family and I enjoyed a memorable evening hosted by Dato' Welf and Datin Susan at Sigi's Bar & Grill at Golden Sands Resort Penang by Shangri-La. Although we could dine in air-conditioned comfort, or up on the upper deck with an elevated view, we chose an alfresco dining area near the beachfront of Batu Feringghi. The stunning vista of the beautifully landscaped gardens and the ocean beyond were priceless. The Resident Manager of the resort, Christoph Düker was at hand to greet Welf and Susan. He was also kind enough to take the above photo for us.
Sigi's has revisited its menu with a focus on classic Italian cuisine. Flashing on top of the menu was – "Let us tickle your taste buds". Sigi's did more than tickle our taste buds that evening.
To start off our culinary adventure, my daughter, Jean and I shared the thick, creamy and comforting mushroom soup served in a rye bread bowl, drizzled with truffle oil. The freshly-baked bread was lovely and this was indeed a hearty way to start the evening. If we ate everything on the plate including the bread bowl (which we really did consider), there would have been no room left for anything else.
For starters, we also had the classic Caesar salad and crispy Calamari Fritti (fried calamari). A good Caesar salad recipe gets its swagger from the rich dressing of raw egg yolks and anchovies. The yolks add richness to the emulsion while anchovies provide a briny, umami blast. Tossed with crispy romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, beef bacon and olives, they whetted our appetites for what was to come next.
The golden brown calamari bites were an excellent appetizer – crispy and savoury, served with a garlic aioli dip. More zing was added to the dish when Welf squeezed some lemon juice on it. The calamari fried in just the right amount of time made them tender and simply delicious.
For the main course, Jean opted for Petto Di Pollo Alla Milanese. Two slices of breaded chicken breast were pan-fried till crispy, topped with tomato slices and melted cheese. French fries and garden salad were served on the side. Jean enjoyed this dish very much.
Welf and my wife, Yvonne selected something from the "griglia" (Italian for grill) – tender cuts of beef rib eye. The 250 gm cuts were served with a personal choice of dressing, greens and carbs. Welf also brought along a beautiful bottle of red wine to complement the steaks.
Next, the "Hawaiian", an oven-baked, thin-crusted pizza arrived with classic toppings of chicken, pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. The first pizza that arrived had a soggy base and was quickly replaced with a crispy one.
I went for the seafood Aglio E Olio since this is an Italian joint and should serve great pasta. The spaghetti was sautéed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, thus the name "aglio e olio" which means garlic and oil. I was very pleased with the dish. The al dente pasta was accompanied by a bounty from the ocean including prawns, calamari rings and mussels. A hit of spices gave it a fiery lashing which I loved. It was simply satisfying!
For desserts, we ordered three offerings – Not Your Regular Tiramisu, Chocolate Lava Gâteau and Sigi’s Panna Cotta. The tiramisu and panna cotta were served in martini glasses. The desserts were all well plated and were a visual feast, as well as an indulgent treat.
For coffee lovers, try the tiramisu although I would appreciate a heavier dusting of cocoa powder. The homemade gold fingers were brilliant.
The chocolate gâteau was topped with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with cocoa sauce and decorated with a physalis fruit.
The vanilla-flavoured panna cotta was served with a rich berry compote. The delectable desserts concluded a satisfying culinary journey.
The perfect hosts, great company, good food and friendly staff made it an unforgettable evening. To boot, dining with the soothing sound of waves rolling onto the shore and swaying coconut palms dancing to the rhythm of the cool sea breeze beckoned us to appreciate the alluring charm of the tropics.
Thank you, Welf and Susan, for another memorable evening. "Spettacolare!"
Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
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26 June 2020
Sigi’s Bar & Grill
Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia
T: +604 886 1852
Opens daily 11:00 am – 10:00 pm