Forget expensive and over-rated dining outlets. This little gem of a place serves quality Italian & Westernised food at reasonable prices.
Located at a less-congested area of Penang, yet easily accessible due to it’s proximity to town, there is NO reason for any Penangite not to give this charming outlet a shot.
Parking is not a problem and service is attentive. Other vital factors such as ambiance and quality of food surpassed our expectations as well.
Thanks to Ken of foodpoi.com,(read about his take here) I was given his “seat” for this session. Organised by Lingzie and sponsored by Mdm Teoh, Proprietor of Louis Cafe, the group of us had a whale of a time yesterday!
Us, the “Penang-standard tastebuds” team..! Don’t play-play!
Note : Oh..yes, not forgetting an invited journalist from the Kwong Wah Yit Poh newspaper as well. I think he was very amused by our antics ;p
The curtain raiser for the session was the Classic Caesar Salad w Smoked Salmon. RM18.
Obligatory romaine leaves, cherry tomatoes and croutons. It was topped generously with strips of smoked salmon, crispy bacon bits and fresh chives. Extremely tasty, for a salad. The chef’s caesar dressing was creamy and sharp, probably due to the parmesan.
On the menu, it says “..garnished with anchovies fillet..” so I asked the chef about that. Apparently it is imported Morrocan anchovies fillet, and was already blended and mixed into the dish, hence it was really miniscule; for we couldn’t detect any.
Anyhow, it was a very positive start and got us geared for more.
Our House Rules Organic Garden Greens. RM15.
After the Caesar, this differs greatly. Very sour & sharp, the lemongrass balsamic vinegar dressing took some getting used to. We couldn’t detect the lemongrass scent nor the taste for it was overpowered by the vinegar. Ideal for those who like their vinaigrette, but since I’m not a fan, I enjoyed the crisp, fresh greens instead. Rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes, carrots and purple cabbage are super-foods after all, no? 😉
The sexy Scallops with Apple Salsa. RM20.
Everyone loved this. Perfectly seared yet retaining the natural sweetness of the scallops, it was fresh and the apple salsa (consisting of chopped green apple, tomatoes & chives) provided the necessary tang to the dish. A refreshing change from the routine mango-variety. Kudos to the chef.
Cream of Tomato – RM9. Not a standard item, do call in advance to request.
Not fiery in taste mind you, but in colour. It was very bold, sharp and acerbic. Got Lingzie’s heart, but for most, it was too sour and strong enough to hold its own as a pasta sauce. Nevertheless, we deduced that it still beats canned ones anytime!
My fav.. Cream of Pumpkin. RM9.
Sweet. Smooth. Glides easily down the throat . Pleasant comforting tummy-warming soup.
My only gripe was the rancid slices of almonds. While I’m all for the match of almonds and pumpkin, stale nuts are a no- no. But hey, shoving the offending almonds aside, I could lick this bowl clean! ;p
Wild Mushroom Soup. RM10.
Most of the floggers commented that they preferred chunkier bites of mushroom in this, to provide some texture to the otherwise perfect funghi soup. Earthy and fragrant, one of the best mushroom soup I have had. Another good one was Continental Bakery’s version at Nagore Rd.
Cream of Broccoli. RM9.
I absolutely love broccoli! And this one achieved the right notch of strong – enough broccoli taste, yet maintained a harmony between the creaminess and broccoli puree. Well done.
Cream of Cauliflower. Rm9
Not a common one, Cream of Cauliflower requires dexterity in obtaining the right balance of taste. Too light & it would be lacking the cauliflower essence, too much of cauliflowers, you’ll have a disaster where the strong cauliflower smell would be overpowering and right down unappetizing. This one, however, hit the right note. Nice!
All in all, the soups were non-overly creamy, thus one wouldn’t feel nauseated (jelak) after finishing a portion.
Each were served garnished with freshly chopped parsley with trails of design using cream.
Just rightly balanced in richness with full robust flavour of the vegetable used shining through, it was definitely freshly prepared from scratch.
Crispy breadcrumbs coating; covering the firm and sweet flesh of the Pacific Dory, stuffed with ham and cheese makes a really delicious piece of fish; even more so with the sweet creamy light tartar sauce, which ends on a slightly sour note due to the chopped gherkins in it. Hmmmm!
An interesting item; Vegetarian Cutlet. RM15.90
Mashed potatoes, smooth & buttery with dices of carrot, corn kernels, onions, soft pre-cooked cauliflower & broccoli, breaded and fried til golden. Light, crispy on the outside and velvety soft textured inside. Indeed, vegetarians are not left out either in Louis.
Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce. RM38
Medium rare, air flown Australian chilled tenderloin.
Grilled to perfection, retaining its juices which was further complimented with the peppercorn sauce. A must for red-meat lovers. Louis Cafe will be offering wines soon in their outlet and I can’t think of a better way to compliment this other than a glass of red wine.
Black Pepper Lamb Chop. RM22.
Black pepper is a very strong spice and should be used in the right amount. Here, the sauce somewhat overpowered the natural flavour of the lamb. May still be alright for those who love their peppers, but as a personal preference, I like my black pepper sauce milder.
Red Snapper with Tomato Pulp (coulis). RM25
This was probably the piece -resistance of the session. The fish was fresh with firm and sweet flesh. The accompanying creamy sweet tomato coulis was marvellous. Right match of fish to the right sauce!
Pan Seared Salmon Steak. RM30.
This was with dijon mustard cream sauce, which lends a sharp tang to the otherwise mild sweet sauce. The well-seared generous thick salmon slab was not called a ‘steak’ for nothing. LOL.
Due to the thickness, I find that the inner layers of the fish retained its natural sweetness since whatever marinate used wasn’t able to infuse right through. Luckily it was so fresh, hence there was no fishy taste presence.
Spaghetti Cabonara. RM16.
It’s hard to get a plate of cabonara with the right balance of creaminess. This one was delightfully non-cloying. The linguine used instead of fettucine absorbs the sauce well. Ham, streaky bacon slices and the abundance of different kinds of mushrooms – abalone, shitake, button and chinese black mushrooms, makes this one hearty dish. Though a bit salty probably due to the amount of bacon added, I truly enjoyed this.
Spaghetti Arrabiatta. RM16.
A decently spicier version and a welcoming relief from the common marinara. The spaghetti was slightly over-cooked, but that is a very minor slip.
The sauce was great – very fresh tomato-ish taste and with more bacon 😉 what’s there not to like?
Baked Stuffed Chicken. RM20.
By now we were almost as stuffed as this piece as chicken! But we floggers don’t waste good food ;p
Well marinated, tender chicken thigh, carefully wrapped around a chicken cheese sausage, fried, and then baked to juicy perfection. Lip-smacking when eaten together with the rich flavourful brown mushroom sauce.
Madam Teoh or the chef must be feeling on the roll, for out of the blue we got Mexican Tortillas!
Another item which is not on the menu, it showcases the flexibility and experience of the chef. The thin crispy layer of tortilla remained crispy even after it cooled. The fillings are chicken pieces, marinated with spices, hence rendering the sauce slightly tangy and sweet. Besides that, it tasted very home-made. With capsicums, onions and melted mozzarella, it was superb really. Fresh coriander and basil leaves were added and this greatly enhances the taste.
Towards the end, we were treated to ice cream from the bar as well as their cooked desserts.
White Fungus with Gingko Nuts. RM5.
The white fungus retained the correct crunchiness and the gingkoes were firm and naturally sweet. The soup was not saccharine-ly sweet, for rock sugar and dates were used instead of ordinary white sugar.
Overall verdict? Louis Cafe scores 8/10.
The food tasted great and was esthetically pleasing as well. It was obvious that the cooks paid great attention to details. There was clever play of colours for each dish and the presentation really opens up a diner’s appetite.
Pains were clearly taken to prepare each dish, such as the sides for the mains; where items like the grilled tomato with cheese and velvety textured mashed potatoes shows good effort to break away from the norm.
Those who attended: Do visit their site for more saliva-inducing pics & write-up!
Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite
Lingzie of Lingzie’s Tummy Treats
CK Lam of What2See Online
Huat Koay of PenangTuaPui
Rebecca of thenomadGourmand
Steven Goh of Steven Goh dot com
Allen Ooi of Yummy Station
Gill & Jason of Gourmet Garden
Carrie of Cariso Delicacies Corner
Mary of Food Paradise
Bee of Buzzing Life
Mr. Lee of Kwong Wah Yit Poh
You can contact Mdm Lee in advance for reservations or for any special request of food. They serve Asian cuisine and finger food as well.
Daily Set Lunch is a steal at only RM16.90+ and set dinners at RM26.90+. The menu rotates daily.
The setting, decor and multiple dining areas are ideal for formal functions or cosy gatherings.
Food and drinks are customise-able to suit the occasion.
+6 04 -228 7729
161-C Argyll Road, oppo Mingood Hotel
Email: [email protected]