Irama

Special thanks to Irama for extending this food review invitation.

Today is the grand opening of Irama at Penang Street (Lebuh Penang) in George Town. Located on Level 2 of the Chinese Chamber Of Commerce, the restaurant occupies the former premises of The Chambers.
Irama has a rustic-looking dining hall with a wooden ceiling. Floral tablecloths on each dining table gives the restaurant a special charm. Al fresco dining is possible at the eatery's outdoor section.
Customers are welcomed by a large mural near the main entrance. The portrait depicts a Malay lady in traditional baju kebaya. The mural was painted by MāMa, who took 3 days to complete the artwork. MāMa is a local artist who also created a mural at Cubopark.
Irama is under the same management as Lagenda Cafe. Like its sister restaurant, Irama specializes in classic Malay cuisine. For today's preview event, the restaurant serves a selection of signature dishes from the actual menu.
Our meal commences with a platter of appetizers. Ayam Pandan is a tasty dish of marinated chicken wrapped in banana leaf. Next, Pulut Kelapa is glutinous rice steamed with a coating of coconut butter. Meanwhile, Kerang Rendang is essentially cockles cooked with coconut milk and spices.
Chicken Percik is a poultry dish from the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Marinated chicken basted with sweet-and-spicy coconut gravy. Extra gravy is provided in a bowl.
The next dish is Smoked Duck Massaman Curry. The curry contains pea-sized eggplants called terung pipit. The eggplants have a mild bitter aftertaste. The dish is garnished with daun pegaga (Asiatic pennywort leaves).
Kerabu Kacang Botol Kerang is an appetizing salad that contains cockles, winged beans, bean sprouts, ginger torch, coconut butter and chili peppers. The spicy salad is laced with lime juice.
Pais Barramundi uses sea bass, which is known locally as ikan siakap. Sea bass has a firm texture that is particularly suitable for this dish. The fish is seasoned with grated coconut and spices, and then grilled in banana leaf for a nice aroma.
Condiments play an essential role in Malay cuisine. From the left, the condiments this evening are Air Asam Kerisik (tamarind sauce with coconut butter), Sambal Hijau Petai (green chili paste with stink beans) and Raitar (cucumber slices with yogurt).
As for desserts, Bubur Sumsum is a creamy custard sweetened with gula melaka (palm sugar). The word "sumsum" means bone marrow in Malay. In reality, this dessert does not contain any marrow. The dessert's name refers to its soft and creamy consistency.
Kuih Koleh Kacang is a soft cake topped with tahi minyak. Tahi minyak is prepared by cooking coconut milk until coconut oil is released. The salty topping gives the dessert a unique taste.
All in all, Irama excels in serving authentic Malay cuisine. The restaurant uses premium ingredients and does not cut corners when it comes to food preparation. If you are looking for an exquisite Malay dining experience, I cannot recommend Irama highly enough.
Name: Irama
Address: 2, Lebuh Light, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-914-0908
Business hours: 11:00am-1:00am
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Irama-Dining-102378764470663
Coordinates: 5.42001 N, 100.34183 E
Directions: From Jubilee Clock Tower, travel along Light Street (Lebuh Light) with the Penang State Assembly Building (Bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri) on the left and Fort Cornwallis (Kota Cornwallis) on the right. After Hong Leong Bank on the left, the next block is Penang Chinese Chamber Of Commerce Building. Irama is located at Level 2 of this block. Street parking is available along Penang Street (Lebuh Penang) and King Street (Lebuh King).

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