Feringgi Grill

Special thanks to Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for extending this food review invitation.

Although I have visited Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa on multiple occasions, I have never really set foot in the Rasa Wing. This hotel wing accommodates more upscale clientele, offering exclusive amenities such as the exclusive Rasa Wing Lounge.
Located at the mezzanine floor is Feringgi Grill, an award-winning fine dining restaurant and the longest surviving grillroom in Penang. The first Feringgi Grill stood as a brick house on the beach, having been constructed from salvaged bricks of an old mansion. When Feringgi Grill moved to its present location in 2006, the resort sought to replicate the original ambience as faithfully as possible.
Located above a flight of stairs from Rasa Wing lobby, Feringgi Grill offers great views of the hotel grounds and the beach beyond. Meanwhile, the restaurant is wheelchair-friendly as there is an elevator to bring disabled guests directly from the ground floor.
Guests who prefer some privacy can take advantage of two private dining rooms, namely "Francis Light" and "William Light". These rooms are named after the British founders of Penang. Guests can also choose to relax in a cigar room - the only location in Feringgi Grill where smoking is allowed.
Taking helm of the restaurant is Chef Thibaut Pouplard, who has been recently appointed to the capacity of Chef de Cuisine of Feringgi Grill. Chef Pouplard hails from Vallée de la Loire (Loire Valley), a region known as the Cradle of France due to abundance of vineyards and orchards along the Loire River.

Chef Pouplard has served in many prestigious restaurants around the globe including several Michelin-starred ones. Describing his culinary style as traditional French with a touch of modernity, Chef Pouplard has crafted the menu this evening to present his creative expression.
Prior to my arrival, the dining table has been laid with a myriad of fresh fruits, vegetables and pickles to keep the appetite engine running. Cherry tomatoes, green olives, chili peppers and pickled capers are just some of the many items at my disposal.
Good food takes time to prepare. This is where the loaf of sourdough bread serves its purpose: to keep me occupied prior to the actual meal. The bread was personally baked by Chef Pouplard himself.
The texture of the bread is delightful. In particular, I think it goes well with bell peppers and tomatoes. Extra virgin olive oil certainly does its magic too. Personally, I would have preferred the crust to have a crispier edge so that the bread can be cut more easily.
Another way to enjoy the bread is with salted anchovy and garlic cream. Lemon zest and basil help to draw out aromatic appeal. Once again, extra drops of extra virgin olive oil do not hurt.
Guest may be overwhelmed by the number of dishes in the à la carte menu. Fortunately, one can go for the Dégustation Set Menu (RM298.00 net per person) to avoid the hassle of selecting. "Dégustation" is a culinary term where the guest is able to sample small portions of the chef's signature dishes.
For the course meal this evening, the Dégustation Set Menu has been modified at Chef Pouplard's pleasure, as he has handpicked specific dishes which he would like to showcase. The meal commences with Amuse-Bouche: Orange & Carrot Soup. Creamy and strong in fresh garden flavors, the soup is also infused with a respectable pinch of cumin.
Next, Mozzarella Cheese (mozzarella di bufala) is derived from Italian buffalo milk. Sharp savoriness of the cheese is complemented by fruity sweetness of fresh strawberries (or other fruits in season, such as raspberry). Other actors on stage are asparagus shoots, basil and mint. Lemon zest provides a subtle sense of citrus tanginess. Meanwhile on the side, balsamic vinaigrette and extra virgin olive oil both play supportive roles.
Seared Foie Gras is essentially fattened goose liver. Cooked to precise doneness, this exquisite delicacy flaunts its buttery state which melts elegantly in the mouth. The plating includes "mi-figue mi-raisin", which is a clever play on a French idiom, and literally refers to fig and grapes. Melba toast is crispy bread that is toasted under a grill. Last but not least, reduced roselle sauce unifies foie gras and other ingredients together in a seamless fashion.
Creamy Pumpkin Cappuccino does not contain coffee. Instead, the name refers to the soup of light consistency, pretty much similar to the foamy layer of cappuccino. The bubbly nature of the soup is achieved using an espuma gun. Besides pumpkin, the soup also contains sunflower seeds, basil and cinnamon.
Next up, Grilled Hokkaido Scallops are briefly seared on the surface to retain their juicy appeal. Taking advantage of the tender abalone flesh, the accompanying sauce is a special formulation of saffron, citrus sauce, orange segments and white wine.
Mango Sorbet serves as an interlude before the main dish, resetting the palate so that the previous dish does not interfere with the next. The appeal of this fruity sorbet is enhanced with lime and orange zest. I think the sorbet is on the sweet side of things; toning down the level of sweetness by a marginal amount would be prudent.
The highlight of the course meal is Grilled Lamb Cutlets. Honestly, Chef Pouplard's creation is among the most impressive ones that I have ever had the privilege to savor. The lamb is tender and juicy almost to a degree heavenly perfection. Bon appétit!
Also vital to this dish is eggplant caviar (caviar d'aubergine). "Caviar" here does not mean roe; it refers to eggplant seeds. On the side, garlic cream and sesame sauce delight the palate in mutually perpendicular dimensions, yet each remains compatible with mutton. It is amazing how this exquisite dish is put together using relatively simple ingredients.

Tonight's dessert is a platter of Lemon Tart, Brittany Biscuit, Lemon Custard & Meringue. Brittany biscuit has flaky crisp and subtle sweetness within. The same can be attributed to lemon tart. Meanwhile, one's sweet tooth is best pacified by lemon-flavored custard. Lastly, meringue is flambéed in a similar manner as Glace Au Four (Bombe Alaska).
Petits Four, literally "small oven" in French, is any confectionery that is traditionally baked in a small oven beside the main one. For tonight, chocolate truffle with dark chocolate ganache filling is gratifying indeed. Meanwhile, matcha-flavored grissini are light and crispy, much to my satisfaction. Last but not least, petite madeleine is shell-shaped sponge cake whose recipe originated in northeastern France.
At the conclusion of the 2-hour course meal, sit back and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea. Surely a rewarding meal like this deserves a moment of reflection.
If you feel that the night is young, why not head over to Feringgi Bar for another round of drinks?
To set the ambience for a restaurant of such prestige, there is live music performance every evening. Comfortable couches and cocktail tables provide the ideal setting for guests to relax and mingle around. Although Feringgi Grill closes at 10:30pm, the bar remains open till 2:00am. Please be advised that guests of Feringgi Grill are required to be dressed in smart casual attire.
Name: Feringgi Grill
Address: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-888-8888
Business hours: 6:30pm-10:30pm
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/penang/rasasayangresort/dining/restaurants/feringgi-grill
Coordinates: 5.47839 N, 100.25374 E
Directions: From Tanjung Bungah, travel west towards Batu Ferringhi. Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is approximately 4.2 kilometers from Tanjung Bungah's floating mosque, located on the right. Feringgi Grill is located at Rasa Wing, above a flight of stairs from the lobby.

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