Penang, Malaysia - French bistro fare at Les Memoires
The rather spartan decor (think wooden garden furniture!) of the newly-opened Les Mémoires at the beautiful, retro Loke Thye Kee Building belies the fact that the very talented chef, Aames Ang, currently churns out some of the best-tasting French bistro fare in Penang, ever.
Unlike in posher establishments in Georgetown we'd tried previously (Thirty-Two, Suffolk House, etc) where the dishes tasted rather stodgy, unimaginative and plasticky, what we had here at Les Mémoires all tasted freshly-prepared, light and with attention to detail.
Our lunch options:
- Curried pumpkin soup with crostini: very flavorsome, and with a distinct curried aroma which enhanced but did not overwhelm the pumpkin flavors.
- Potage Parmentier: nicely-balanced classic potato-leek soup - it was the soup of the day option.
- Sous vide of duck roulade with wild mushroom ragout and polenta: extremely well-prepared duck, with the perfect texture. The mushroom ragout had deep, robust flavors which complemented the creamy polenta. Best-tasting dish I'd ever had in Georgetown for this trip!
- Tagliatelle pasta with beef ragout: another very well-prepared dish with strong, delicious beefy flavors.
- Loin of lamb roulade with jackfruit salsa, balsamic reduction and crispy potato. Good, with the sweetish jackfruit salsa providing an interesting contrast to the savory lamb.
- Pan-seared snapper with cauliflower puree, baby vegetables and sesame-soy sauce: moist, tasty snapper fillets, delicately seared till the skin was crisp.
- Cheesecake: overly-sweet and not creamy enough for me.
- Coffee panna cotta: Nice!
- Les Memoires Tiramisu: Pretty average. No alcohol used in preparing this dessert.
- Banana Crepe Suzette a la mode: more pancake than thin crepe, but I liked the caramelised bananas.
- Creme brulee with biscotti: Okay, but no fireworks here.
The starters/mains were good. The desserts need improvement. Warning: Forget about the coffee here - tepid.
I wished Les Mémoires would get better furniture, and enhance its ambience a bit, in keeping with Loke Thye Kee Building's premier location in the old downtown.
Les Mémoires Bistro
The Loke Thye Kee Building
2A-2B, Burma Road
Tel: +6016 4619894/ +604 2613120