Porky Sensations & St. Patrick’s Day Specials
One big ‘haram’ post coming right up! And it starts at Boathouse Restaurant and Bar at Taman Tun Dr Ismail. There is always a reason why certain restaurants have been operating for more than a decade. It simply because food is great, price is value-for-money and service is decent. That just about sums up Boathouse and with the addition of the fact that the food is superb and is a swine-laden haven for many porky fans just like me!
Helmed under Chef Yenni Law, a very passionate and humble chef, whose love for good food and cooking led her to open Boathouse 11 years ago. Many foodies, especially those around the neighborhood have been patronizing the restaurant for its luscious and tempting list of porky menu, both international and local. Chef Yenni has also recently launched her own cookbook, Meatology in partnership with MPH. In her book, she stated that it was her mother who ignited her passion and also trained her for her passion in the F&B world.
Boathouse is a regular haunt for every one of all ages. It is open throughout the day so one can walk in anytime for a bite or simply to hang out by the bar. There is a tv as well for those who enjoys some sport actions. A whole long chalkboard on the wall displays more enticing porky dishes. Boathouse’s ambience may not shout fine food but gourmands can dine on foie gras, lobsters, escargots, oysters and more fine ingredients here at the restaurant. The interior is lite with soft warm lights for comfort. The restaurant is split into two sections, with one more casual than the other. The bar is actually a long aquarium tank with live fishes as the counter and is set with bricks on its base. The other section offers more restaurant dining with white furniture, bright orange walls with tiled panels and worn wood flooring. There is a wine section that separates both areas. The whole restaurant is filled with various memorabilia and has an easy-going vibe.
First up, Boathouse is offering three St. Patrick’s Day specials that are available through March this month. Themed Guinness, all three dishes are cleverly cooked with the black gold stout and pair with pork, lamb and fish. Besides enjoying the Irish stout on its own, Guinness also works well when it is use as an ingredient for flavouring because it produces a rich and light sweetness note that goes really well with meat, seafood and dessert as well.
The first of three dishes is Guinness Porker (RM59), paying tribute to the hog where bacon steak and cured bacon loin ruled on the plate. The luscious pieces of bacon sat on a bed of stewed legumes, topped with Guinness pepper mushrooms and served with some mashed potato. Cured meat tends to lean towards a heavier salty end but I didn’t mind this one. The medley of beans and lentils managed to offset the saltiness of the bacon well while the flavourful mushrooms added more levels of flavours to the dish.
Guinness Shepherd (RM68) is the next trilogy of the St. Patrick’s Day special and is quite a force of flavours to be reckoned with. Lamb loin blackened and grilled, is smothered in apple BBQ and Guinness sauce. It is served with a light salad of greens and potatoes. The loin has a good ratio of lean and fat so the lamb is tender and flavourful. The apple BBQ & Guinness sauce is not overly heavy and has a nice balance of tangy and sweet notes with deep smoky hints. Lamb and Guinness has always been a great combo and it certainly worked really well again here.
I would never ever thought to pair the black stout with fish but Chef Yenni surprised me with her Guinness Catch (RM78). The Atlantic cod is fresh and sweet as can be. Its flesh is smooth and lightly firm. The cod sat on a bed of caramelized onions and is served with rice studded with cured duck meat, fresh sliced tomatoes, broccoli and a side of Guinness Balsamic Honey sauce in a shot glass. The onions were also infused with the black stout for richer notes. When they all savored together, the flavours worked like a perfect symphony. Indeed a lovely match!
Besides the St. Patrick’s Day specials, we also sampled some signatures from their regular menu. Boathouse’s menu is pretty extensive and offers foodies a little of everything from the finest to street favorites. It has Western and local dishes, modern and classic dishes. Basically, foodies can enjoy Baked Whole Lobster and Duck Egg Char Kway Teow together in Boathouse.
Going luxe, we had their appetizer of Lumpfish Caviar Oysters (RM23 – 3pcs/RM43 – 6pcs). The freshest bivalve molluscs are enhanced further with tiny black lumpfish caviar, orange ebiko, julienned scallion, chopped capers and lemon wedges. The briny oysters went surprisingly well with all the salty condiments. The caviar and capers were salty but it didn’t overwhelm the whole taste. The sharp fresh lemon juice did wonders for the whole dish and brought it alive and refreshing. I could taste salty, sweet and sour all at once as I took as I enjoyed the oyster.
Next dish of Foie Gras French Air-Flown (RM67) was literally orgasmic in flavours and aroma. I have such fondness for foie gras and really enjoy the sinful goose liver. We had 100gm of sliced foie gras pan-seared and deglazed with Pinot Grigio till it had a gorgeous caramelized aroma. Served with side of dressed rocket leaves, raspberry relish, crouton and a few more condiments, it was such a pretty plate of ingredients. The aroma was heavenly and the taste of the foie gras was divine. Its moreish and creamy savory notes of the goose liver are countered by tangy sweet raspberry while the crouton provided some textures. The light bitter note of rocket leaves completed all the basic taste senses. If you love foie gras just like me, you have to order this dish…
Another popular dish of Boathouse is the Caramel of Bacon & Roast Pork with Garlic Clove (RM28). It is without a doubt that this dish is the perfect appetizer or snack to go with some beer. As if Roast Pork is not addictive enough, here it is sautéed with bacon, whole garlic cloves and chilies, then caramelized and flambé with brandy. Crispy roast pork and bacon has a luscious caramelized sweetness while the garlic added hits of garlicky flavours. The dish is not spicy unless you bite into one of the chilies. At that point, I had almost wished for a tall glass of beer to go with this dish.
More sinful and comfort dishes took place in the form of Fettuccine Carbonara Real Bacon & Caviar (RM39). The wide strands of fettuccine are generously covered in a white wine cream sauce and an egg yolk and topped with generous crispy bacon bits and a dollop of caviar. Talked about going all the way, the carbonara is very rich and creamy. Enjoy this hot for its maximum flavours.
Steak Au Poivre a la Gueridon (RM76) showed off 320gm prime steak tenderloin seasoned with black pepper and charbroiled to your likings. Served with mashed potato and some greens, the steak is pretty impressive in size. Just like how the French serve up their steak, this was flambé right at our table side. We watch as the wait staff lite up the stove and proceed to melt a generous knob of butter. Once the butter is melted, the steak is placed in the melted butter to coat and then brandy is added and lite up for some flaming actions. Once the alchohol burns off, the steak is then served on the plate.
As we cut into the steak, we can see a beautiful pink flush which indicated that the steak was cooked to medium doneness. It was very moist too. The steak yield to my knife cut easily which is another indication of how tender the meat was. The VSOP brandy sauce served on the side is creamy, peppery and robust, taking on more flavours for the beef. The dish is bold and big on flavours.
Just when I thought it can’t get any better, the Slow-Baked Holland Pork Belly Rib (RM78) showed up and we were all quite taken at first sight of this mammoth rib. It’s full-fledge swine glory. The cut is pork belly roasted on its ribs. Slow roasted with granny smith apple till the meat is tender, it is then charbroiled to give the pork skin its crispy crackling that many fans like me would go nuts over it. It is then covered with home-made Apple Barbeque sauce.
I wished that I had taken photos of the pork belly rib when we cut into it. The pork was moist and the skin was super crunchy. There is a light sweetness and savory in the dish. The apple barbeque sauce was not overly heavy and not sweet like most BBQ sauces are. It has a soothing mellow richness with just the right balance of savory, sweet and umami flavours. If there is one only must-order dish at Boathouse, then I highly recommend this dish which is perfect for 2 to 3 person sharing!
Chef Yenni believes in making almost everything from scratch and preparing it as a la minute as she can, even for desserts. Usually bread & butter pudding is made in advance but Chef Yenni only prepares hers upon each order. Her Jamaican Bread & Banana Butter Pudding (RM26), read off the menu, is layers of bread with butter layered with banana and raisins steeped in rum, soaked in fresh egg custard and baked to perfection with a layer of caramelized crust – topped off with vanilla ice cream. Its certainly a mouthful and the mouthful of the dessert is pretty darn good. I think it’s the rum that made this dessert so addictive.
If the first dessert doesn’t impress you, then the Bombe Alaska (RM35) will. This is such a classic dish and it took me down to memory lane again when I recalled growing up savoring this dessert at certain Western restaurants. Chef Yenni has put on her own twist to this classic dessert. The dessert called for cake and ice cream to be covered up in a dome of meringue which will insulate the dessert while it is finished off with some flaming action with brandy. The version here as an added crunchy texture crust and is fully loaded with brandy. It’s a great way to end a meal here at Boathouse for sure…
Boathouse has more to offer that what I had just tasted. I haven’t even touched much of its regular menu and there are plenty more enticing dishes that I would to return for. Prices are above average but rest assured its value-for-money as these are premium ingredients and portions are quite generous. There’s a reason why Boathouse has been operating for a while and the reason is quite obvious. Its hearty and delicious food that’s enticing many diners back here. Cnef Yenni certainly takes her passion to another level of deliciousness in her dishes. So if you haven’t had a trip here yet, you might want too soon. By the way, Boathouse serves Roast Pork aka Siew Yoke every Friday after 5pm… need I say more?
BOATHOUSE RESTAURANT & BAR
16, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur