CHULIA Court The Tavern,
10200 Pulau Pinang.
CHULIA Court The Tavern in Penang highlights one of the world’s most mouth-watering dishes, alongside several of its equally tasty variants.
Penang Asam Laksa, which trumped many other notable delicacies to rank 7th in a global survey by CNN Travel in 2011, is among the highlights of the ala carte menu here.
With a sour tamarind fish gravy loaded with chilli, mint, lemongrass, torch ginger flower, rice noodles, prawn paste and more, its distinctive taste is one that locals and even tourists, have come to enjoy.
Everyone can sample this iconic hawker favourite, together with a quartet of its cousins – the Laksa Lemak, Crab Laksa, Katong Laksa (top pic) and Sarawak Laksa – conveniently and comfortably under one roof.
These are drawn from the vast recipe collection of owner Yeoh Kah Hock, and feature slightly different ingredients and tastes due to differing geographical and cultural influences.
The Laksa Lemak, otherwise known as Nyonya Laksa, has a richer and slightly sweet gravy that is infused with coconut milk and not too dissimilar from the Thai version.
The Katong Laksa is inspired by the Peranakans who lived in the Katong area of Singapore, and also has a light coconut gravy topped with shrimps, cuttlefish and fish cakes alongside thick noodles.
Meanwhile, the Crab Laksa is an elevated version of the former using crustacean meat to flavour the gravy. It is a house specialty that one would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
From East Malaysia, there is Sarawak Laksa with a prawn and chicken gravy to go with rice vermicelli, herbs and spices. It strikes a happy medium between lemak and tanginess, and has sambal belacan added to it.
Besides these, the fusion restaurant housed in a trio of refurbished pre-war shophouses along bustling Chulia Street in central George Town also serves a good selection of gastro pub-styled dishes with a local touch.
There are creations like Kapitan Chicken Burger, Rendang Beef Burger, Slow Cooked Lamb Sandwich, Hainanese Style Chicken Chop, Duck Confit with Braised Young Jackfruit, and Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Cardamom Sauce, to name a few.
For desserts, one cannot go wrong with Warm Apple Pie with Ice Cream (below), Creme Brulee or Sticky Toffee Pudding with Banana and Coconut Caramel.
Otherwise, try the homemade ice cream with flavours like Earl Grey Tea, Cream Cheese, Salted Palm Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate or Ambra Sorbet.
All these in the ala carte menu are available for lunch and dinner daily.
For breakfast, there is a separate menu of morning staples.
Complementing these are the St. Presso range of coffee, tea and pastries like triple chocolate and strawberry white chocolate muffins, as well as apple, blueberry or Oreo marble cheesecakes.
Those who love beverages would be pleased to know that there are a good selection of beers, wines, champagnes and more to go with your meals.
Chulia Court The Tavern was formerly known as Five27 at Chulia Court, but reinvented itself around six months ago. It is also a boutique guesthouse now, and has a dozen rooms in various configurations as well as a large mixed dorm. All come with breakfast.
Opening hours for the restaurant are from 8am to 1am on weekdays, and up till 2am for Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays. For more information, visit www.chuliacourt.com.my or call 04-2613809 for reservations.