Black Kettle

Special thanks to Black Kettle for extending this food review invitation.

Black Kettle stands at the intersection of Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia). Its yellow facade and black roller blinds are impossible to overlook. Occupying two contiguous shops, the restaurant-cum-café-cum-bakery is spacious indeed.
Black Kettle presents a casual dining atmosphere. A lightwell at its center allows sunlight to illuminate the dining area. As a family-friendly restaurant, the place is very popular especially on weekends.
Black Kettle specializes in French cuisine, or European fare in general. The food menu has been substantially revamped last month, so it is high time for me to pay another visit.

For starters, Authentic French Onion Soup Au Gratin (Soupe à l'oignon Lyonnaise, RM18.00) is a traditional comfort food from Lyon. The soup is prepared from chicken stock, caramelized onions and herbs. In the middle lies a piece of Swiss cheese crouton. In addition, the soup also contains an infusion of white wine.
Hongos Con Paprika Ahumado (RM19.00) is a popular Spanish tapas dish which literally means "mushrooms with smoked paprika". I am immediately taken by its mouthwatering aroma. The wild mushrooms are sautéed with pimentón (smoked paprika), garlic, tarragon, olive oil and cream. This delectable appetizer comes with slices of sourdough bread.
Black Kettle's Famous Chicken Chop (RM23.50) is one of the restaurant's bestselling dishes. The fried cutlet uses panko bread crumbs, which explains why it has an airy crispiness like the Classic Fish And Chips. Served on the side are the restaurant's signature pomodoro (tomato) sauce, fried egg and thick-cut fries (pommes frites).
Bouillabaisse (RM29.00) is a unique fish stew from Marseille, France. The recipe was originally invented by fishermen in order to salvage unsold fish. Black Kettle's version uses white fish, squid, mussels, shrimps, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, spices and a dash of white wine. The French customarily dip some bread into a rouille (garlic mayonnaise), and then redip it into the rich seafood broth. I cannot recommend this stew highly enough.
Across the Mediterranean, Fillet Of Sea Bass Chamoula (RM29.00) is inspired by flavors of Morocco. The fillet is marinated with chamoula, and then pan-fried with olive oil. Chamoula (شرمولة‎) is a traditional relish from North Africa. As the taste of chamoula is exceptionally pungent, the fillet is best eaten with pilaf rice. Fresh arugula is served on the side.
Several dishes at Black Kettle are inspired by Penang's local flavors. For instance, Kettle's Heh Bee (RM32.00) combines Italian pasta with dried shrimps (虾米) and bird's eye chili. The spaghetti is also sautéed with lemon zest, garlic and herbs. Several shrimps are presented on the side.
As for confectionery, Black Kettle provides a variety of artisan bread made from sourdough. The sourdough here is prepared from a 15-year levain culture. Although it takes levain more time than instant yeast to leaven bread, the resulting taste and texture are subjectively better. Black Kettle's bakery does not use artificial additives.
Black Kettle's cakes are sold by the slice. The Chocolate Truffle Cake (RM14.00 per slice) has layers of chocolate mousse with a hint of Grand Marnier liqueur. The cake is also dusted with fine cocoa powder. Meanwhile, the Dutch Apple Pie (Appelkruimeltaart, RM14.00 per slice) is filled with crispy apples, raisins and cinnamon. The pie's sweet crust is topped with almond flakes.
As for tarts, today's choices are Lemon Meringue Tart, Chocolate Caramel Tart and Tarte Aux Fraises (Strawberry Tart). The Lemon Meringue Tart (RM7.00) comprises of a shortcrust pastry base, lemon custard and meringue. The tangy taste of lemon delights my palate.
Flat White (RM10.00) and Chocolate (RM11.00) are popular drinks from the menu. At Black Kettle, coffee beans are supplied by Degayo. The House Blend is a combination of beans from Sumatra and Java.
Alternative beverages include Matcha Milkshake (RM17.00) and Choco Mint Frappes (RM17.00). Although the latter is sweeter than my personal preference, I enjoy the refreshing breath of peppermint in my mouth.
Black Kettle's new menu has a number of interesting dishes that your taste buds deserve savoring. The food here is specially crafted to suit the local palate, but at the same time differentiates itself with a twist of culinary creativity. If you have not visited Black Kettle before, I highly recommended that you give it a shot.
Name: Black Kettle
Address: 105, Lebuh Pantai, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-251-9270
Business hours: 9:00am-11:30pm (Sunday-Thursday), 9:00am-12:00am (Friday-Saturday)
Website: http://www.blackkettle.com.my
Coordinates: 5.41539 N, 100.33977 E
Directions: Black Kettle is located at the intersection of Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia). Street parking is available along both streets.

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