Platform 9 3/4

Special thanks to Platform 9 3/4 Fine Dining & Cellar for extending this food review invitation.

Platform 9 3/4 Fine Dining & Cellar is named after the hidden railway station platform in Harry Potter lore. In fact, it is not easy to find the restaurant because there are absolutely no sign boards at the front. But you will know once you arrive; the dining hall resembles the Great Hall of Hogwarts!
Platform 9 3/4 serves French cuisine in a fine dining setting. Since my previous visit, the restaurant has revised its 6-course Chef Tasting Menu in order to take advantage of seasonal ingredients. Today's menu features several delicacies with earthy flavors through liberal use of truffles and mushrooms.
Sliced bread is served soon after we are seated. Fresh from the oven, the bread has a chewy texture that goes well with herb and sour cream butter.
It is nice to start with an apéritif to stimulate the palate. Deconstructed Gin & Tonic is a molecular cocktail created by Master Of Spirits 61, the restaurant's sister outlet. Enclosed in spherical shells, gin is infused with butterfly-pea flower to assume a deep blue color.
Today's Amuse-Bouche is a crispy crêpe topped with ikura (salmon roe) and salmon purée. The canapé is presented over a bed of roasted coffee beans for better aroma. This dish is meant to be eaten in one bite.
There are two choices for the next course. Cut into halves, Seared Hokkaido Scallop is served with black garlic aioli, apple strips and crispy chestnuts. The dish is garnished with microgreens too.
If you prefer something more refreshing, the Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio is a better choice. The scallop is served chilled with sake granita, which is essentially shaved ice infused with Japanese sake. Meanwhile, poached pears and green apples provide some fruity sweetness.
Foie Gras is seared to perfection, giving it a distinctive buttery texture that naturally melts in the mouth. The delicacy is served with port wine reduction. Also worth mentioning is apple caviar, another product of molecular gastronomy. The dish also comes with lime meringue and green apples. A daisy flower improves the aesthetics.
Beef Cheek is braised au jus until it becomes delightfully tender. Truffle oil and roasted sesame make the beef even more appealing. On the side is a succulent raviolo filled with mushrooms. Also present are crispy beef bacon, truffle aioli and baby spinach.
Like the previous dish, the Mushroom Espuma enjoys lovely aroma of truffle oil. Dehydrated shiitake mushrooms are added too. As expected, this dish has strong earthy flavors.
There are four options for the main course. One of these choices, Duck Confit, has a scrumptious crisp that delights my palate. The duck is flavored with port wine emulsion, black garlic aioli and a hint of truffle oil. Pickled cucumber, broccoli and potato cream are served on the side.
Diners who prefer spicy flavors can opt for the Salmon. Rubbed with masala, the fish is seared with its delicate skin intact. The Salmon comes with the chef's signature butter yogurt and curry aioli. When combined, they produce a tantalizing blend of sour and spicy flavors. Ikura, potato cream, okra (lady's fingers) and an edible flower are involved in the plating.
Philadelphia Mousse features a slice of baked lemon cheesecake made of Philadelphia cream cheese. Like crème brûlée, the cheesecake is glazed with caramelized sugar. The dessert dish comes with microwave sponge cake, red velvet crumble, fresh strawberries and blueberries. Meringue serves as icing on the cake.
If you still have room in your stomach, Chocolate Martini serves as the finale. The cocktail is concocted from vodka and chocolate-flavored liqueur. Extra chocolate sauce on the glass' rim gives it a "dirty" appearance. Meanwhile, marshmallows can be dipped into Chocolate Martini as a fondue.
Platform 9 3/4 has a reasonably large collection of wines; there are tens of labels to choose from. The wines are stored in a room-size cellar, which is interestingly positioned at the lightwell. By design, the room has a living tree that provides some shade from sunlight.
Besides the 6-course Chef Tasting Menu, Platform 9 3/4 also offers Omakase Bespoke Experiences where dishes are specially crafted to suit customers' taste buds. In fact, the restaurant has a small private room for diners to enjoy such exclusive dining experiences.
Name: Platform 9 3/4 Fine Dining & Cellar
Address: 61, Jalan Magazine, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 017-414-5945
Business hours: 6:00pm-11:00pm, closed on Tuesdays
Website: Click here
Coordinates: 5.41221 N, 100.33206 E
Directions: Platform 9 3/4 is located at Magazine Road (Jalan Magazine), approximately 200 meters from the junction with Jalan C.Y. Choy. The restaurant is located on the left side of this one-way street. There is an outdoor parking space on the opposite side of Magazine Road. The parking fee here is RM3.00 per entry.

Ok Seab

Special thanks to Ok Seab for extending this food review invitation.

Restaurant Ok Seab is a new Thai restaurant near Queensbay Mall. The eatery occupies an intermediate shop at the same road as J-Garden.
Ok Seab has a family-style dining area with air conditioning. Thai pop songs in the background give this place a homely feel. Since both the owner and the chef are ethnic Thais, OK Seab's food recipes are as authentic as the ones in Thailand.
Nam Tok Mu (น้ำตกหมู, RM18.00) is a meat-based salad from northeastern Thailand. Influenced by Laotian cuisine, the dish is made of minced pork, pork liver, ground roasted rice, lime juice, fish sauce, shallots, mint leaves and chili peppers. "Nam tok" means "waterfall" in Thai. This is because the dish appears dripping in meat juice.
Red Tomyam Soup (ต้มยำแดง, RM18.00) is probably the most popular Thai dish in the world. The sour and spicy soup is infused with pungent spices and herbs. Also included is seafood like prawns and squids.
Like Malaysians, Thai people are very fond of petai (stink beans). This fact is exemplified by the next dish, Petai Fried Rice (ข้าวผัดสะตอ, RM12.90), where petai plays a unique role in terms of aroma and mouthfeel. The dish also contains chicken and prawns.
If your prefer something non-spicy, Pineapple Fried Rice (ข้าวผัดสับปะรด, RM12.90) is the right choice for you. Fragrant jasmine rice is cooked with pineapple chunks, carrots, raisins and eggs. The dish is best enjoyed while it is hot.
Pad Ped Gai (ผัดเผ็ดไก่, RM18.00) is a stir-fried chicken dish. Two types of eggplant are used: makhuea suai (มะเขือเสวย) and makhuea phuang (มะเขือพวง). The egg-sized makhuea suai is commonly used in Thai cuisine. Meanwhile, makhuea phuang resembles green peas and is slightly bitter in taste.
The key ingredient in Somtam (ส้มตำ, RM15.00) is papaya, which has a crunchy texture and tastes tangy when unripe. Other ingredients are cucumber, yardlong bean, red chili, bird's eye chili, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime and more. This classic dish combines sour, spicy, sweet, savory and salty elements to create a harmonious finish.
Moving on, Thai Pork Leg Rice (ข้าวขาหมู, RM7.90) was introduced by the Thai Chinese community in Bangkok. Stewed pig's trotter is served with pork rind (skin), soy egg and blanched vegetable. The rice dish also comes with a bowl of soup.
As for drinks, Cha Yen (ชาเย็น, RM6.90) is Thai black tea sweetened with condensed milk. Meanwhile, Nom Yen (นมเย็น, RM6.90) is made from salak syrup, condensed milk and brown sugar. There is a honeydew version too. These iced drinks are hugely popular in Thailand and are often sold by street vendors.
Besides the à la carte menu, Ok Seab also serves set meals for large groups. For instance, a 5-course meal for 7 to 8 people only costs RM99.00 (including rice and drinks). Furthermore, the proprietor of Ok Seab also owns a Thai food stall in Sungai Ara Food Court.

Name: Restaurant Ok Seab
Address: 40-G, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-688-6300
Business hours: 11:30am-12:00am
Coordinates: 5.33612 N, 100.30708 E
Directions: Ok Seab is located next to Queensbay Mall and behind Eastin Hotel. There are parking spaces in front of the shop. Alternatively, you can also park at Queensbay Mall's multistorey car park.


Special thanks to Morganfield's for extending this food review invitation.

Morganfield's, Home of Sticky Bones, is an American-themed restaurant that specializes in chargrilled pork ribs. We visited the outlet in Queensbay Mall today.
The restaurant's main dining area is air-conditioned. Wooden tables and brick walls present a rustic atmosphere reminiscent of the American South. Alternatively, customers can opt for al fresco dining next to the bar. Smoking is now prohibited throughout the restaurant.
Morganfield's celebrates its 8th anniversary this month. In conjunction with National Day celebration, customers who order a main dish can get any Small Plate (side dish) for only RM9.95 (normally priced between RM11.95 and RM25.95). This promotion runs from 30 August 2019 to 1 September 2019 and is available in all Malaysian outlets.
For the purpose of today's food tasting, we are focusing on Small Plates exclusively. The succulent Grilled Chicken Yakitory starts off on the right foot. The two skewers of marinated chicken thigh are grilled to perfection, and then covered in salsa fresca and sesame seeds.
Balinese Style Baby Back Ribs is another recommended dish. It is seasoned with a blend of pungent spices. The pork ribs are tender and mouthwatering too.
Salted Egg Chicken Thigh is my favorite dish on the Small Plates menu. Bite-size chicken chunks are coated with salted egg paste, and then deep-fried to golden crispiness. The snack is served over mesclun salad.
As for something meatless, go for Sautéed Eryngii & Button Mushrooms. Cooked with garlic butter, the mushroom slices are sprinkled with parmesan cheese and spring onions. I appreciate the unique texture of mushrooms.
Mr. Calamari is the perfect choice for children. This snack is essentially deep-fried squids coated with tempura-like batter. The squids are meant to be dipped in marinara sauce. A squeeze lemon juice is recommended.
Flat Bread comes with three choices of topping: smoked salmon, smoked duck and tomato basil. We opted for smoked duck. Other toppings are feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, oranges and frisée.
Morganfield's is famous for stuffing its own sausages. If you have enjoyed them in the past, the Grilled Spiral Sausage is a good choice. The bratwurst is quite salty because it is meant to go with beer. The dish comes with cherry tomatoes, green olives, cornichons (pickled gherkins) and arugula.
Moving on, sautéed Luncheon Meat & Potato Sticks are meant for sharing around the table. This finger food is tossed with spicy tomato sauce, so it may not be the ideal choice for children.
Lastly, Cajun Butter Pork Steak is marinated with mustard and Cajun spices. The steak is then grilled and cut into bite-size pieces. I think the steak is too tough and chewy for my liking.
Morganfield's beverage menu is wide-ranging indeed. Today I ordered a mocktail called Agua Fresca (RM15.95). The thirst-quenching drink is prepared from watermelon juice with a dash of lime juice and rose syrup. Floating on the top are watermelon chunks and a scoop of calamansi sorbet.
Name: Morganfield's
Address: GF-121, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-643-5049
Business hours: 11:00am-1:00am
Coordinates: 5.33421 N, 100.30668 E
Directions: Morganfield's is located on the Ground Floor of Queensbay Mall, right next to Starbucks Coffee. Queensbay Mall has a multilevel parking garage and several outdoor parking spaces.

Tori Deli

Special thanks to Tori Deli Fried Chicken & BBQ for extending this food review invitation.

Tori Deli Fried Chicken & BBQ is a quick service restaurant that specializes in chicken dishes from around the world. The eatery is located in Prominence, a new commercial area at Bandar Baru Perda. In case you are wondering, "Tori" is the Japanese word for "chicken".
Tori Deli uses self-service model where customers place their orders at the front counter. The spacious dining area has several family-style booths and a large table at the center. Tori Deli is a popular venue for birthday parties.
Malaysian Spicy Lemak (RM9.90) is a must-try dish for people who are unafraid of extreme spiciness. The sambal (chili paste) is slow-cooked for several hours until the liquid becomes thick and devilishly spicy. The meal comes with 6 pieces of Country Fried Chicken. Although lean breast is used, the fried chicken is remarkably tender!
Tori Deli offers 12 pieces of fried chicken for RM9.90 only. Besides Country Fried Chicken, there are 4 more flavors. Salted Egg Zhaji (Chinese) and Fragrant Karaage Tori (Japanese) are meant for the mainstream palate. Meanwhile, Sticky Dalg Twigim (Korean) is ideal for people who enjoy spiciness. I personally recommend Tangy Pollo Fritto (Spanish) as it has a unique fruity sweetness.
Buffalo Wings (RM10.70 for 6 pieces) are popular among regular customers. Grilled chicken wings are coated with hot sauce and sesame seeds. A non-spicy version is available too. It takes some time to prepare Buffalo Wings because Tori Deli cooks them to order.
For an additional RM6.00, customers can choose any 2 sides to supplement their meals. If you select soft drink, you can have your drink refilled for free. Nevertheless, I highly recommend Bouncy Potatoes and Homemade Mash Potato.
Bouncy Potatoes are battered baby potatoes with their skins intact. Meanwhile, Homemade Mash Potato is mashed by hand and is served with mushroom sauce. In both cases, you can feel the rough texture of potato skin.
Tori Deli serves breakfast items from 7:00am to 11:00am. Soup In A Bowl (RM8.90) is essentially mushroom soup served in a bread bowl. The bread bowl is baked fresh in a combi oven.
Another popular choice is Mini Croissants & Scrambled Egg (RM5.90). But if you prefer croissants with filling, try the Chocolate Croissant (RM9.90), Hazelnut Croissant (RM9.90) or Salted Egg Croissant (RM9.90) instead.
Each breakfast item comes with a cup of coffee or tea. For a limited time, Tori Deli is offering discounted breakfast exclusively for my readers. It is important to note that Tori Deli has halal
Name: Tori Deli Fried Chicken & BBQ
Address: 61, Lorong Perda Utama 3, Bandar Baru Perda, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-423-2408
Business hours: 7:00am-10:00pm, closed on Mondays
Coordinates: 5.36537 N, 100.42809 E
Directions: From the large Seberang Perai roundabout, take the west exit towards Bandar Perda. After 200 meters, turn left to Lorong Perda Utama 3. Tori Deli is located on the right. There are parking spaces on both sides of the road.