Plates

Special thanks to Plates for extending this food review invitation.

Plates is a breakfast and brunch eatery at Muntri Street (Lebuh Muntri), just a short distance from the Camera Museum and Passion Heart. The premise is a two-floor heritage building, but only the ground floor is occupied by the restaurant.
The dining section of Plates is quite spacious. Wooden tables and chairs line up neatly on both sides of the long hallway. As there are many guesthouses along Muntri Street, it is not uncommon to see backpackers dining at Plates before starting another day of exploration around the city.
As for drinks, there is a marble-top bar counter further in the restaurant. Alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine are available. If the day is too young to feel tipsy, non-alcoholic options such as coffee, English tea and juices are also present.
The central air well allows warm sunlight to illuminate the dining area. There is a glass panel at the top of the well, so rainwater is not an issue.
For Saturdays and Sundays till the end of June 2015, there is a special promotion at Plates. Guests can select a breakfast item plus free flow of Sparkling Wine for RM80.00. There are over a dozen breakfast items, which include toast, pancake, pasta and salad. Alternatively, one may also opt for individual breakfast items à la carte.
For a heavy meal, you cannot go wrong with Plates Brekkie (RM19.00). This breakfast platter comprises of two poached eggs, a pair of chicken sausages, two pieces of hash browns, two sliced of toasted bread, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, kidney beans and homemade tomato salsa.
The poached eggs are prepared to perfection: egg white is cooked but the yolk remains soft and viscous. The hash browns crumble too easily, but I feel that this works better for my palate. The toast is lightly-flavored but I feel that more garlic butter can help tremendously.
At the center of the platter are juicy cherry tomatoes on vine. Chicken sausages are acceptable too, but I think bacon strips work better here. Button mushrooms are appealing in their own right.
Another popular breakfast choice is Eggs Benedict (RM19.00). This American-style dish consists of two halves of an English muffin, which is topped with smoked salmon, poached eggs, portobello mushrooms, asparagus and lettuce. Savory Hollandaise sauce, made from egg yolk and butter, is poured over the delectable salmon slices. I seldom see asparagus being used in Eggs Benedict, but the touch of garden freshness is certainly welcoming.
The Lyonnaise Salad (RM16.00) is a popular dish from Lyon, France. Fresh romaine and red leaf lettuce are held together with beef bacon, cherry tomatoes and a couple of elegantly-prepared poached eggs. Besides salty-savory taste of bacon, the salad is also flavored with subtle sweetness from honey mustard dressing.
As for something more exotic, the Tuna Kataifi Salad (RM18.00) leaves the best impression. This delicacy is made by rolling raw tuna in a layer of nest-like kataïfi, then frying the roll until the outer layer turns crispy. By restricting cooking duration, tuna at the center remains pink and partially cooked. I personally love the sensation of partially raw tuna flesh with crispy kataïfi coating.
On the side are fresh salad rocket with Thousand Island dressing. Additional kataïfi is also provided for good measure.
Moving on to something heavier, the Chicken Spinach Pasta (RM16.00) is a fine choice. The pasta here is tagliatelle, which comes from the Italian word "tagliare", which means "to cut". Tagliatelle is made from eggs, which explains the delightful mouthfeel. Alongside tagliatelle are chunks of mustard chicken, silky spinach, chopped onion and cherry tomato halves.
An alternative pasta choice is Prawn Pasta (RM16.00) in aglio olio style. A generous portion of spaghetti al dente is flavored with chopped green chili and bird's eye chili (cili padi). Surprisingly, the latter does not bite my tongue. Surrounding the pasta are several pieces of grilled shrimps. I believe there is room for improvement towards mouthfeel of shrimps.
For your morning dosage of caffeine, there are a dozen of coffee styles to select from. Americano (RM8.00) is prepared by adding piping hot water to espresso. Meanwhile, the Cappuccino (RM9.00) is a single shot of espresso infused with hot milk and steamed milk foam, giving the drink a mildly sweet aftertaste.
If coffee is not your cup of tea, there are non-caffeinated beverages as well. For example, you may opt for a glass of freshly squeezed Grapefruit Juice (RM12.00).
As for desserts, the recommended choice by Plates is Oreo Cheesecake (RM12.00), which I cannot agree more. The base of made from crispy Oreo cookie crumble, while a lovely layer of chilled cream cheese rests on top. This slice of cheese packs a formidable amount of delectable cheese goodness. Sweet blueberries and jam are poured on top for heavenly gratification.
The food at Plates exceeds my bar for a huge margin. Each dish is meticulously crafted by professional chefs. As far as food presentation is concerned, Plates excels with flying colors. It will be interesting to see how the Thai menu at Inch fares in the evening.
Name: Plates
Address: 44, Lebuh Muntri, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-261-1693
Business hours: 10:00am-3:00pm, closed on Tuesdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/MYplatescafe
Coordinates: 5.42023 N, 100.33579 E
Directions: From Penang Road (Jalan Penang), turn to the one-way Muntri Street (Lebuh Muntri) and drive for around 300 meters. Plates is located between Passion Heart and the Camera Museum, but on the left side of this narrow alley. Street parking is available at the earlier section of Muntri Street, or take a left turn at Love Lane at the next intersection and park on the left side of the road.

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