[Penang] Dinner at Beach Street Bistrot

It’s finally here – the much-awaited Chin father-and-son duo’s sumptuous temple to gastronomy: Beach Street Bistrot by David & Brian Chin.

The Chins are, of course, no strangers to a whole generation of food-loving Malaysians: father, David Chin, is the legendary founder of the eponymously-named Dave’s Deli, whilst son No. 1, Darren Chin, is the owner-chef of 1-Michelin-star DC by Darren Chin in Kuala Lumpur, plus a brace of Michelin-selected eateries: Bref and Gai. Brian Chin is son No.2 who’ll be managing the Chins’ first foray out of Kuala Lumpur and into the heartland of Malaysian street food: Penang!

And what a beautiful restaurant Beach Street Bistrot is: it looked a million dollars. Divided into 3 dining sections: upstairs, on the second floor, one finds the sun-lit White Room at the rear which overlooks the resplendent Cheah clan-house and its green lawns; a seductive Brasserie & Bar upfront with its beautiful stained-glass and wrought iron décor; and a large Communal Table downstairs which afforded diners a glimpse into the open kitchen.

Downstairs, a massive, gleaming marble-topped communal table zig-zagged its way across the main dining area, whilst the open kitchens, where all the action is, hummed along with quiet efficiency in the background.

We needed a quick pre-theatre meal this evening, something which the nimble-footed, ultra-attentive waiters did not forget, as our orders were swiftly passed onto the kitchen. We were just admiring the striking portraits adorning the walls when our food arrived in perfectly-timed intervals.

We started off with a carafe of BSB’s Sangria: Negroamaro red wine, brandy, orange and chopped fruits.

A good hunk of 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦-𝘣𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘬𝘰𝘮𝘣𝘶 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘰.

The 8 Leaf and Herb Salad, with mustard vinaigrette and tonka dressing, was a refreshing mix of fresh, crisp arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled onions and fresh dill.

O𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘉𝘚𝘉 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘢 - fresh from Puglia, Italy, with 𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘦𝘴, 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘧 𝘤𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘢, 𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘰, 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 & 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘻𝘻𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘭 𝘰𝘪𝘭

C𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘴 - very sweet milk corn, covered with 𝘣𝘦𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦, 𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘰 and 𝘊𝘢𝘫𝘶𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴.

The 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘻𝘰 𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘪 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮 was nice – small packages with intense flavours derived from the fermented, cured filling, spiked with pimentos.

𝘞𝘢𝘨𝘺𝘶 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘧 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘯 - slow-braised in red wine, beef & bone marrow reduction, mushrooms and onions, served with a buttery 𝘱𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘳é𝘦.

M𝘪𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘢, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘴, 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘸𝘯𝘴, 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘢𝘣𝘺 𝘰𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘶𝘴, with the crunchy 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘵 (rice crust) which we scraped off the bottom of the pan.

M𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘪è𝘳𝘦, where fresh mussels air-flown from Port Philip Bay, Australia, were cooked with leeks, celery, white wine, butter and 𝘤𝘳è𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘢î𝘤𝘩𝘦.
The flavours were a bit too strong here, overwhelming the delicate taste of the very fresh mussels.

The luscious pies here are some of 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗦𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘁’s signature offerings, produced in the same kitchens as for 𝗖𝗮𝗳é-𝗕𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘁 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 in KL then sent to Penang. These were the best pies one would’ve ever tasted: buttery pastry-crusts enfolding some really luscious fillings: we ordered the 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘬-𝘢𝘯𝘥-𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮, 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯-𝘢𝘯𝘥-𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮, and 𝘧𝘪𝘴𝘩 versions. 𝘱𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘳é𝘦 (buttery, creamy mashed potato) and mushy peas accompany each pie, together with specific, accompanying sauces: a deeply-flavoured beef jus for the beef pie, a lighter chicken gravy for the chicken pie, and a creamy white sauce for the fish pie. We polished off every single one to the last crumb.

Red wine-beef jus gravy for the steam-and-mushroom pie

Creamy white sauce for the fish pie

𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗦𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘁 has only two desserts on their menu, both are must-orders: the classic 𝘊𝘳ê𝘱𝘦𝘴 𝘚𝘶𝘻𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦 was a personal favourite, spectacularly flambeed in the open kitchen and visible if one opts to sit at the Communal Table part of the restaurant downstairs.

An elegant, intensely-flavoured, tri-layered 𝘛𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘶 𝘊𝘩𝘰𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘢𝘵, was even better. Concocted using Valrhona and served with whipped cream and berries, it was a sensory delight.

𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗦𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘁’s menu is like a cave of wonders – the more one explores, the more interesting it gets. Wondrous tasty delights await those who venture forth.

Beach Street Bistrot
240, Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street), 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6018-208 8171
Opening hours: 6pm-11pm, Mon, Wed to Fri.
12 noon-4pm, 6pn-11pm Sat & Sun. Closed on Tuesdays.



And really clever of them to weave into such a “fine dining” (hate that phrase) experience, the likes of chicken & mushroom pie, mash and mushy peas (cafe or home food here).

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Agreed - it was a brilliant idea!

Owner-chef, the mop-haired and tattooed septuagenarian David Chin, was at pains to emphasize that he does casual dining, and not fine dining. He loved nothing more than to cook for customers-turned-friends in his restaurant, and then sit down and chat with us, like he’s doing here. :joy:

This place is really setting a new benchmark for smart-casual dining in Penang, like it did for Kuala Lumpur with Cafe-Bistrot David.



OK, I’m spurred into action. Homemade chicken & mushroom pie is now on the Casa Harters dinner arrangements for Friday.


Wonderful lunch at 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗦𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘁 today. Started off with the 8 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘧 & 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘣 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘥: crisp lettuce and dill, dressed in a mustard vinaigrette & tonka dressing, and studded with cherry tomatoes, strawberries & blue berries this time (the composition of this menu item changes according to what’s in season).

This was followed by a 𝘚𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘱 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘣 𝘉𝘪𝘴𝘲𝘶𝘦 - thick & creamy, with fresh local clams and ikura providing delightful salty bursts than danced on one’s tongue. I shall be back for this.

The 𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘝𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘋𝘶𝘤𝘬 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘵 & 𝘍𝘰𝘪𝘦 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘴 was pure sinful indulgence: fork-tender duck paired with a generous lobe of melt-in-the-mouth, pan-seared duck liver. Really enjoyed the accompanying mash, beetroot and scalloped potatoes.

Maitre’d, Jason Lee, indulged us further by affording us an advance tasting of their soon-to-be-introduced 𝘉𝘦𝘦𝘧 𝘙𝘢𝘨𝘶 𝘗𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦. This was the best pasta dish I’d tasted for quite a while: perfectly 𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦 sheets of pasta, blanketed with a deep-flavoured meat stew full of fall-apart-tender beef. Delightful combination of textures and flavours that are sure to make this dish a hit in the future.

We finished off with the 𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘴 𝘚𝘶𝘻𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦. So good - I shall have to resist the temptation to bring some Armagnac to pour over the crepes.


Best meal I’d had so far this year! 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗦𝘁 𝗕𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝘆 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 & 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗻 upped the ante this evening with some really amazing cooking by Head Chef Sue Lim. Everything was on point.

𝘗𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘵, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘶𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢.

𝘚𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘸𝘯 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘦-𝘴𝘮𝘰𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘰𝘯-𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘯𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘶𝘤𝘦.

𝘌𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘰𝘵 𝘢 𝘓𝘢 𝘉𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦 (𝘴𝘯𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳).

𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘥-𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘻𝘻𝘢𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘪 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘢, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘢, 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘭 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮𝘴, 𝘐𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯. Tastiest dish I’d had in a while.

𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘳-𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘐𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘰 𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘬-𝘳𝘪𝘣 𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘵.

𝘊𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭 - it has the taste and texture of a croissant, and the structural hold of a bread roll. Served with truffle butter and kaya.

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘚𝘉 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯 - the gold-flecked rose-shaped apple “petals” looked too beautiful to eat.

Really good meal.