Thursday, 7 March 2013

Restaurant: 'Five27' - Straits Quay, Seri Tanjung Pinang (Top Pick)

Pick of Penang was delighted to be invited recently to the media celebration launch party for the excellent new bistro style restaurant 'Five27' at Straits Quay in Seri Tanjung Pinang.

Five27 is definitely a novelty in Penang in that it is a Nordic style restaurant and as far as I know, the first in Penang.  But while Nordic is a novelty cuisine in Penang it is not the novelty factor upon which Five27 plans to stake its reputation.  Rather it plans to earn a great reputation for great food at great prices in a sophisticated bistro environment where diners can take their fill from the extensive menu, dining inside or al fresco, and after sit back and take in a few cocktails outside, basking in the evening warmth next to the stunning marina which is at the heart of Straits Quay.

The restaurant is tastefully designed and appointed with just the right balance of light and is immediately inviting, the atmosphere finished off with examples of nordic style contemporary art adorning the walls.

While this event was billed as a media launch the restaurant has been open around a month or so and is already proving very popular.  Guests were invited to sample the food and some of the beverages available at the restaurant and to gain a better understanding of the concept of Five27 (the names derives from the longtitude line upon which Five 27 sits) from its French owner and Executive Chef Nizar Achmad.  The restaurant is a joint venture and one of the other partners has a history of involvement with restaurants associated with fine dining in Penang.  The ingredients to success it seems are there.

Nizar Achmad who is also the General Manager of Five27, is the backbone of the experience. Having spent 14 years establishing and mastering his unique culinary skills in Sweden, Chef Nizar has cooked for a list of high-profile patrons which includes the likes of stars, royalty, and Nobel Prize winners. Now he is here in Penang for us all to enjoy. 

Nordic cuisine has always been renowned for being healthy, yet it has not evolved extensively from its traditional techniques and style. With globalisation accelerating the evolution of culinary arts, it was just a matter of time before someone did something about revolutionising Nordic cuisine. Over the past few years, some of the most talented and extraordinary Nordic chefs in the world have begun experimenting with natural ingredients from the Nordic region to establish a new culinary standard for the cuisine. The emphasis is on fresh and organic natural ingredients, health, taste, presentation, and innovation. Today, New Nordic cuisine has already attracted global attention and recognition, putting the exciting culinary movement in a league of its own.  Indeed, the restaurant voted 'Best in the World' for the last three years running is the Nordic Michelin '2 star' restaurant 'Noma' in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chanterelle soup and breads baked on the premises

Some of the dishes prepared for the event can be seen below.  To the left is s hot of the wonderful mushroom soup on offer, a welcome change from the, sadly, somewhat ubiquitous packet mushroom soup many restaurants offer.

I think this can rightly be described as one of Five27s signature dishes.  A delicious cured salmon with a Dijon mustard based dressing.

These superb meatballs were just one of the dishes on offer.

A delightful Nordic take on lasagne, full of flavour and one of my favourites of the day.

beautiful braised lamb dish that was also full of flavour.

Diners can round off their meal with a variety of deserts including moist and sumptuous cakes such as this one, again, freshly baked on the premises

Overall I found Five27 very impressive indeed and a welcome arrival at Straits Quay where at times the F&B outlets can be quite lacklustre.  The attention to detail at Five27 extends far beyond the quality of the food and beverages, providing diners and cocktail aficionados with the perfect place to spend quality time with their friends and family. A lunchtime menu if offered for just RM 35 including soup, main course, desert and coffee/tea which, considering the standard of the food on offer here is amazing good value.  The evening 'a la carte' menu is equally good value with many mouthwatering dishes which, if you taste in food is somewhat localised and conservative, I really hope people will expand their horizons to try.

Five 27 is a superb restaurant IMHO and deserves to do well.  On the basis of what I tried when I visited I am happy to award Five27 a 'Top Pick' and certainly plan to return in future.

NB: Five27 has now relocated to new premises giving more spacious surroundings at 357 Chulia Street, Georgetown.

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