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Matsu,
Lone Pine Hotel,
97 Batu Ferringhi,
11100 Batu Feringgi,
Malaysia.

FLAVOURS past and present come together to make Lone Pine Hotel’s Matsu one of the best places in Penang to savour refined Japanese cuisine.

Diners will find dishes that remain true to tradition alongside those with modern interpretations, at the stylish restaurant located on the first floor.

Chef Alex Ong and his team take great pride in dishing up these delights — which not only taste good, but are a treat for the eyes too.

The comprehensive a la carte menu will spoil one for choice, but patrons would not go wrong with items like the Sumo-San Maki (top pic).

A reverse roll with shrimp, crabstick, ebiko, avocado and cucumber topped with salmon, salmon roe and sesame seeds, it is delicious.

“It’s quite popular in Japan among sumo wrestlers, as it packs a lot of nutrition,” Ong said about its origins.

Ebi Chizu Tempura Roll, packing prawns, snow peas and Philadelphia cream cheese, is a prime example of modern Tokyo fare.

Ebi Chizu Tempura Roll, packing prawns, snow peas and Philadelphia cream cheese, is a prime example of modern Tokyo fare.

Otherwise, try the Ebi Chizu Tempura Roll, which combines prawns, snow peas and Philadelphia cream cheese with crispy batter for a mouthful of textures.

“This is the kind of food you’ll find in modern Tokyo,” added the experienced chef.

There is also Aburi Salmon, which comprises nicely seared chunks of the fish’s rich and fatty belly meat, with a little lemon and sweetened shoyu reduction.

Adding an intense smoky flavour is the special sauce made from garlic and sweet miso. It all combines well for a savoury symphony.

For something heartier, order a bowl of Spicy Miso Ramen, which has Japanese yellow noodles in a bean paste broth with vegetables and tempura prawns.

Have a comforting bowl of Spicy Miso Ramen, with aromatic and spicy flavours locals should love.

Have a comforting bowl of Spicy Miso Ramen, with aromatic and spicy flavours locals should love.

“It is different from what you’ll find elsewhere as we’ve subtly added a few extra ingredients to make the soup more appetising and flavourful,” Ong pointed out.

Highlight among the desserts is the Macha Tiramisu with Orange Twist, a colourful and citrusy version of the uplifting sweet that crowds cannot get enough of.

Besides these, Matsu continues to offer the Chef’s Kaiseki Set, a traditional multi-course dining experience that spotlights the finest ingredients, priced at RM125.90 nett or RM180.70 nett with wine pairing.

There are also Nigiri and Bento specials.

For September, a Creamy Soup Ramen promotion will be introduced, offering heartwarming bowls of slow-boiled soup with tasty components.

The restaurant is open from 6.30pm to 11pm daily. For reservations, call 04-8868555.

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