Sutera Restaurant's oriental offerings take flight
When you witness the beginning of a new venture, it is with optimism. Success will follow suit if everything is organised well and executed to the best of one's abilities.
The launch of Sutera Restaurant holds great potential with a winning menu, scrumptious offerings and eye-arresting presentations. The conducive dining deco even has a beautiful mural of a larger-than-life peacock perch on a branch overlooking its diners.
The welcoming message from the friendly MC, Jumie Samsudin, provided an insight into an oriental-inspired menu. On hand were two talented singers from Amir buskers who provided melodic tunes for the event.
To start off the celebrations at the launch, guests were served the Sutera Seafood Platter, a gorgeous array of seafood delights. Right in the middle of the platter was an offering of a chilli crab. Conveniently deshelled, the savoury crab meat was stir-fried with aromatic spices.
Next to the chilli crab were cute little cucumber "plates", each topped with a bite-size mango prawn salad. The dish had the right balance of tangy, spicy and refreshing flavours to whet the appetite.
The mussels, topped with a mango salsa were equally appetising. I enjoyed the seafood rolls encased with salted egg yolk. Although reminiscent of deep-fried popiahs, they were very different in taste. Everything was beautifully presented, indeed an exciting visual feast to relish!
Served in a separate bowl were plump scallops cooked in thick coconut curry, flavoured with local herbs and spices. I wished the chef had served some mantou so that I could slurp up all the delicious gravy.
Next on the menu was the otak-otak pau. However, we were served the char siew (chicken) pau alternative, topped with ebiko (shrimp roe).
The otak-otak pau would indeed be something intriguing to sample. I can really see that the owner and chef will continue to put on their creative hats to conjure up scrumptious treats. I would definitely order this amazing platter – comprising all the above – on my future visits.
After establishing two very successful restaurants – Lagenda House & Cafe and Irama Dining – owner Shad Kamarulzaman's third venture truly showcases oriental flavours and colours. The motivation for designing this menu for Sutera Restaurant is based on the strong feedback from a supportive Malay clientele. The menu proudly includes dimsum and some of Penang's favourite street food (e.g., char koay teow, Hokkien mee, koay teow th'ng and wontan mee). These halal versions retain the original signature taste without compromising on quality. To sample authentic flavours synonymous with Penang food, char koay kak (stir-fried radish cake) was served on a banana leaf, with the right amount of chai por (preserved radish) and smoky wok hei (breath of the wok). I am sure items such as these will be well received by visitors to Penang who crave for the halal version not easily available elsewhere.
For the main course, we had the Sutera Wonderland Basket. It was a brilliant bamboo basket offering a plethora of items – char siew chicken, stuffed grilled squids, prawn sambal petai, jiu hu char (stir-fried yam bean) and crab siew mai – ideal for sharing. To enjoy all these dishes, basmati sesame rice was served as well.
Besides the Sutera Wonderland Basket, a tantalising buttermilk chicken dish was delivered to the table as well. It had a rich silky smooth milk-base sauce perfumed with curry leaves and spiced with dried chillies.
Sutera's full menu also covers rice, pasta and grilled items. Surprisingly there is even a Tomahawk steak for meat lovers.
For dessert that evening, sampling items including longan flavoured panna cotta and some Nyonya kuih. The Asian take, using longan on the Italian panna cotta, was a delicious treat. I highly recommend it.
Sutera Restaurant is located in the bustling heritage enclave of George Town, within walking distance from many tourist attractions. The double-story building seats a hundred guests comfortably. Friendly staff is on hand to provide good service with a smile.
Each guest was presented with a pair of beautiful chopsticks as a memento of the launch. In Chinese culture, a pair of chopsticks makes an ideal gift as it represents a gift of "happiness". Since chopsticks can only be used in pairs, it also symbolises close cooperation between two parties. What a befitting gift for such an auspicious occasion.
Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
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16 January 2022
98, Lebuh Armenian, 10300 George Town, Penang
Open daily: 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm except Mondays
T: +6019 417 9003