JT Restaurant

Special thanks to JT Restaurant for extending this food review invitation.

The Heritage Club is a colonial-era mansion at the corner of Scotland Road (Jalan Scotland) and Jalan Utama. It is a little-known fact that there is also a restaurant here.
Occupying the western wing of the building is JT Restaurant Oriental & Western Cuisine. The restaurant is named after Master Chef James Tan, who also owns and operates this restaurant. JT Restaurant has been running a catering business from here for the past 2 years, but only opened its doors for dine-in customers quite recently.
Despite the exclusive appearance of The Heritage Club, JT Restaurant is actually open to public. It is also a halal-certified restaurant, therefore it is suitable for government agencies and multinational corporations.
Upon stepping past the doors, it is evident that Chef Tan has invested considerably in interior design. The elaborate décor at the serving area is nothing short of elegance.
My visit to JT Restaurant tonight is to shed some light in its Ramadan buffet. I have seen several social media postings about durian-related dishes in this buffet, therefore curiosity got the better of me.

Durian frenzy is manifested at the "Dedicated Paradise Counter", which is located outdoors for obvious reason. This counter features several durian-related delicacies ranging from appetizer to beverage.
To start, there are raw durians to pacify your durian cravings. The durians here are not of any particular breed.
An alternative way to enjoy durians is by coating each piece in batter and deep-frying in hot oil. The resulting snack is similar to deep-fried cempedak.
Another novel way to enjoy durians is by grilling the whole fruit over glowing charcoal. I still prefer the raw form, though. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to try some to see whether it suits your palate.
Durian Pancake is consists of two mini pancakes with sweet durian jam sandwiched in between.
As for Durian Roti Jala, durian paste is first mixed with flour batter. The flavored batter is then poured on a hot griddle in nested strands to form net-like appearance. This snack is quite a treat and is best eaten when hot.
Pulut Durian is made from turmeric-flavored glutinous rice with sweet durian jam on top. These bite-sized pieces can serve as either appetizer or dessert.
Although this is certainly not my first encounter with Durian Coffee, I still enjoy its distinctive aroma. Durian has negligible influence over the taste of coffee, though.
Mangosteens and durians often come in pairs as the former's juiciness helps to negate the heatiness of the latter. Watch out for mangosteen pus as it causes permanent stain on clothing.
Moving on to mainstream Ramadan dishes, there is Braised Beef that is cooked in a large wok called kawah. Kawah is traditionally used to prepare food for large crowds during Ramadan. In this dish, chunks of beef, potato and eggplant are nicely flavored by savory curry.
At the pan-frying station, there are several choices such as lamb, chicken, fish, corn on the cob and baby-cut carrots. I enjoy pan-fried fish in particular.
The Chili Crab is does not have much flesh to begin with, but its intense spiciness brings the taste to an entirely new level.
Sweet & Sour Bean Curd is nicely prepared and is best eaten with rice. Meanwhile, Vegetable Tempura are meant to be dipped in chili sauce before eating.
As for greens, the Mixed Vegetables dish consists of braised cabbage, carrots, scallion and celery. On the side, Kai-Lan With Oyster Sauce is showered with fried garlic for improved aroma.
Moving on to deep-fried items, there are papadom, prawn crackers, rice crackers and spring rolls to delight your palate.
Fried Koay Teow is cooked in batches, so time yourself if you want to catch a hot serving from the frying wok. This noodles dish is mildly spicy but I personally prefer more chili paste. The shrimps are quite soggy; not as crunchy as I want them to be.
Should guests want to try some Lok Lok, there are bamboo skewers with various types of meatballs, fish balls and other processed meat. Diners cook the food by dipping the skewer in a pot of boiling water for one minute.
Meat Rolls are made from minced chicken that are rolled in bean curd skin, then deep-fried so that the skin becomes crispy.
The salad counter has a number of pre-mixed salads to choose from.
For example, the Bean Sprouts Salad has good mouthfeel and is quite refreshing. However, watch out for the spicy chili peppers.
Anchovy Salad is also available. It is quite salty to be eaten directly, so I presume it is best mixed with other types of salad.
In addition, there are also raw vegetables to prepare your own salad. Ranch and Thousand Island dressings are provided.
As for Malay-style pickles (jeruk), there are several types such as cucumber, plums and asam kelubi. Kurma (dates) are also immensely popular during Ramadan.
Cooked Pumpkin is cut into bite-size cubes and presented in its hollowed shell. The golden color of pumpkin flesh is very attractive indeed.
As for desserts, there are several types of fruit jelly and pudding to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Some of these colorful jellies are prepared in cocktail glasses.
As for pastries, there is an assortment of coconut-based Malay kuih. Some of them are even coated with grated coconut kernel. In addition, there are also several types of chocolate and butter cakes.
Bahulu is a Malay sponge cake made from flour, eggs and sugar. This delicacy is often sold in Ramadan bazaars.
As for fruits, there are green apples, papaya, watermelon, honeydew, oranges, grapes, strawberries and rambutans.
The beverage section provides iced drinks such as Air Mata Kucing and Air Cincau.
Should diners require some privacy, JT Restaurant has a private dining room with cozy ambience. It is also possible conduct corporate meetings here.
A visit to the restroom shows that the level of prestige of JT Restaurant is comparable to 5-star hotels.
The Ramadan buffet at JT Restaurant is offered from 26 June to 15 July. Dinner starts from 7:00pm and ends around 10:30pm. Buffet price is RM45.00 per person. There are no fees for entering or parking at The Heritage Club.
As a sneak peek of upcoming promotions, JT Restaurant will be launching the first claypot seafood porridge steamboat in Penang after Hari Raya Aidilfitri. There is also Family Buffet Lunch on Sundays, and Western semi-buffet lunch on other days.
Name: JT Restaurant Oriental & Western Cuisine
Address: 2, Jalan Scotland, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-227-3373, 019-662-1673
Business hours: 12:00pm-10:30pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/JTRestaurant
Coordinates: 5.41921 N, 100.30419 E
Directions: Driving along Scotland Road (Jalan Scotland) towards the Penang Botanic Gardens, follow the left curve to Jalan Utama. The Heritage Club is the building immediately on the left. JT Restaurant is located at the west wing of the building. There are no entry and parking fees for restaurant customers.

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