Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Matsu, Lone Pine Hotel, Penang

We were up in Batu Ferringhi, Penang a couple of weeks ago showing some friend and relative around, when we came across this promotion at Matsu, Lone Pine Hotel. They are currently having this “All You Can Eat Ala Carte Menu Selection” promotion on every Wednesday for Aug and Sept. It also comes with free flow of Sake or Shochu.

We've been to Lone Pine a couple of times before but as the restaurant is on the first floor of the hotel we had no idea how it looked like. When we got there we were amazed to see the sleek and modern interior d├ęcor. We love the restaurant setting which is chic and comfortable. 

As we had made a reservation in advance we were seated in the restaurant where we dine in the comfort of  the air-conditioned room. We saw that the place was quite packed with a lot of diners sitting outside on the balcony in the hot humid weather, we were glad we made reservation in advance. 

After being shown to our table and ordered our first round of sake the waitress left us to browse through the menu. After waiting for like the longest time (as we were quite hungry) the waitress was back to take our orders from the ala carte menu. The service that night was definitely not as per expected. The staff seemed overwhelmed and rushing and that's one of our pet peeves when visiting a pretty high-end restaurant. We would expect the staff to be calm and not rushing.

Matsu described itself as a Japanese charcoal grill restaurant and we were surprise to see that they really do grill their food over charcoal in the kitchen. Impressed! We ordered one of the “charcoal grilled” dish, the lamb and it was delicious. There's also a buffet line consisting of salads, fried rice, noodles and my favorite - fried Salmon heads! Some of the food we tried:

Some stuff from the buffet

Sashimi

Sushis

Agedashi Tofu

Scallops

More Sashimi

Teriyaki Chicken

Mushroom Tempura

Dessert - Green Tea Cake
Overall, the choices of food was pretty extensive and presentation of the food was good. However, the taste of the food itself was just okay and definitely not the best Japanese food that we had. None of the dishes were outstanding and mineblowing. With the food being mediocre and overall service needing improvement, we don't think we'll be trying the buffet again but might return for their ala-carte options.

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