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.

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