We grabbed a quick dinner at Blue Reef at Straits Quay mall on our way to an evening meeting last night.
Sea-fronting Straits Quay always reminds one of George Town’s nautical beginnings - its founding in 1786 by Captain Francis Light, who was looking to build a new port for the British East India Company. The yachts at the marina were 21st-century successors to the 18th- and 19th-century tall ships which used to call in on Penang, part of the trading route from British India to the coastal cities of China, the Spice Islands, and beyond.
The old part of George Town now stretched across the Gurney Drive waterfront, lined with apartment buildings, retail complexes and hotels, a far cry from the swampy, malaria-infested coastal area two centuries ago. The Marriott Residences Tower, with construction cranes on top of it, will be one of the tallest buildings in Penang upon completion, and is about the same height as Los Angeles’ Bank of America Plaza at 732 feet.
Blue Reef, is one of the most popular eateries in Straits Quay. The casual family restaurant had its beginnings in Lebuh Lembah Permai, a quiet neighbourhood street in the northern suburb of Tanjung Bungah - that was back in Dec 2008. It moved into its current location, looking out to the marina, in Oct 2010, when Straits Quay mall first opened.
Blue Reef’s house specialty was fish-and-chips - its rendition is regarded by Penagites as the best in town, and which remained its best-seller to this day.
They have a few choices of fish, but the barramundi had just the right texture for me. I’d come back for this.
The breaded fish salad consisted of mixed greens, with pickled shallots, radish and apple-cider vinaigrette. It was excellent.
The restaurant also offered 6 types of pasta on their menu - we opted for the prawn aglio olio. Not exactly the best rendition in town, and perhaps a bit too garlicky for my taste but the prawns were very fresh.
3A-G-20 Ground Floor, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tg Pinang, Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6 016-405 9182
Operating hours: 11am-9.15pm Mon-Thu, 11am-930pm Fri-Sun