When it comes to Penang, most of us instinctively have hawker foods in mind, and with good reasons since the island is arguably the best place to be for street food.

Well, the same taste for good food in Penang also extends up the pricing and quality ladder. Case in point – Maple Palace Chinese Restaurant.

Maple Palace, Penang
Maple Palace, Penang

Maple Palace is a pretty well known restaurant among Penangites, in fact, my mom, relatives, and everyone I know who are from Penang knows or have dined there before (sometimes calling it Maple Gold, the building name).

The restaurant has been around for a long time, and for the past decade or so, run by Chef Loy Tan, who was our host for this exclusive lunch session. The special tasting menu we had was created by Chef Loy himself to showcase some of the dishes in his new menu, an exercise that is done every couple of years to keep the restaurant’s offering fresh.

Seafood Ice Plant Salad, Iberico Char Siew
Seafood Ice Plant Salad, Iberico Char Siew

We started off with the Seafood Ice Plant Salad with Iberico Char Siew.

Right off the bat, a marriage between Western Ingredient of the Spanish pork is used in making the traditional char siew that we’re so familiar with, the cut used was perfect with ample fat content, and with the additional nuttiness distinctive of Iberico pork, the result was excellent. Contrasting this with salad gave it an additional layer of sophistication (instead of just raw cucumber, right?)

Pan-seared Foie Gras w/ Breaded Crab Claw, Iberico Pork Rib w/ 8 head South Africa Abalone
Pan-seared Foie Gras w/ Breaded Crab Claw,
Iberico Pork Rib w/ 8 head South Africa Abalone

Next up was Pan-seared Foie Gras with Breaded Crab Claw.

Crab claw covered in a layer of breaded prawn paste is basically the best way to enjoy crab without having to put in any work, and with that piece of foie gras, an exercise in umami overload, heaven.

Then came Iberico Pork Rib with 8 head South Africa Abalone. For those who aren’t familiar with the measurement of abalone, size of this delicacy is measured by 600gram/x where x is number of weight. For example, 8 head abalone = 600/8 = 133 gram. Similarly 12 head abalone would be smaller at 50 gram each.

This dish was a showcase of East meets West, perfectly marinated and baked Iberico pork rib alongside a piece of abalone prepared in the most traditional Chinese method imaginable. Somehow, they worked out very well.

Oven-baked Cod Fish with Egg White & Black Truffle
Oven-baked Cod Fish with Egg White & Black Truffle

The forth dish that came was Oven-baked Cod Fish with Egg White and Black Truffle. Cod is always great when cooked just right, and with the additional flavor of truffle in egg white that’s typically found in Western fine dining menu, the combination elevates the flavor of fish to another level, delicious.

Ramen w/ French Blue Lobster w/ Ginger Scallion
Ramen w/ French Blue Lobster w/ Ginger Scallion

My favorite dish of the day was perhaps the Ramen with French Blue Lobster with Ginger Scallion. The dish is as simple as it is exquisite, the ramen was finished almost like angel hair pasta but with less chewiness, soaking with the juice from lobster and ginger scallion makes for a carb portion that worth a lot more than its calories. The taste of lobster meat, well, spoke for itself.

I could have more of this!

Chilled Mango Sago w/ Pamelo
Chilled Mango Sago w/ Pamelo

Desserts were Chilled Mango Sago with Pamelo (fun fact: scientifically named citrus maxima cos it’s the biggest citrus) and Black Glutinous Rice Dessert, both with accompanying Deep Fried Sesame Ball.

Both were cold desserts fitting for the occasion and provided sweet ending that certainly did not disappoint. Sweetness level were properly calibrated, and if you only have to choose one, go for the glutinous rice version, a Penang favorite.

Black Glutinous Rice Dessert, Deep-fried Sesame Ball
Black Glutinous Rice Dessert, Deep-fried Sesame Ball

I came away very impressed with Chef Loy’s creations and what Maple Palace has to offer.

For fine Chinese dishes, or one with a touch of what the other side of the world has to offer in terms of ingredients and techniques, you can’t go wrong with Maple Palace in Georgetown. Hope to re-visit for sure.

map to Maple Palace Chinese Restaurant, Penang

Address:
Maple Palace Chinese Restaurant
47, Jln Sultan Ahmad Shah,
10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
GPS: 5.425888, 100.323134
Tel: 04-227 9690

KY eats – Maple Palace, Finest Chinese Cuisine in Penang
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10 thoughts on “KY eats – Maple Palace, Finest Chinese Cuisine in Penang

  • August 17, 2022 at 5:00 pm
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    I can imagine how much all those exquisite dishes would cost. I’d love both desserts, the pulut hitam has links with Penang’s peranakan heritage.

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    • August 18, 2022 at 8:53 am
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      suituapui: well they do state the price on the menu in their website, they are quite reasonable all things considered.

      Reply
  • August 18, 2022 at 7:20 am
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    Fulamak… chinese restaurant fine dining. Not that common I supposed. The foie gras dish looks interesting! Yumssss

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    • August 18, 2022 at 8:53 am
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      CleverMunkey: foie gras never disappoint ūüėÄ

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    • August 19, 2022 at 6:02 pm
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      Choi Yen: yesss, delicious max too.

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  • August 19, 2022 at 10:57 pm
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    Everything looks mighty fine…and delicious. Not common to see a combination of western ingredients paired with Chinese ingredients in a Chinese restaurant. I would enjoy everything you’ve showcased here except maybe for the chilled mango sago…that one I would consider an old-school dessert already (lol!) though it was quite the rage when it first came out (more than 10 years ago). P/S: Was that the chef seated with you? >.<

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    • August 22, 2022 at 11:27 am
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      eatwhateatwhere: haha ya chilled mango sago is a bit “traditional” you’re right.

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    • September 5, 2022 at 10:40 am
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      Monica: yes, very cute isn’t it?

      Reply

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