[Penang] Modern-Penang cuisine at A.Maze

Fresh-faced young Penang-born Chong Peng Wei aka Chef Wei currently serves up the most rewarding “omakase” dinner in Penang. A.Maze is a dining gem ensconced in a quiet back-alley off Nagore Square. The tiny eatery can accommodate 8 diners at the most, and Chef Wei works alone. Dinner reservations need to be made 24 hours’ in advance, so Chef Wei can get the ingredients for his omakase spread. We only need to let him know of any dietary restrictions or allergies.

What we had:

  1. Amuse Bouche: Lemon Jelly with Mache, and sea salt; Beetroot and Watermelon Consommé.

  2. Beef Salami with Buffalo Mozzarella, Balsamic Reduction, Dried Black Olives and Baby Cucumber.

  3. Braised Tea-and-Soy-flavoured Quail Eggs, served with Pastry Nest and Mashed Sweet Potato.

  4. Trio of Sous-vide Scallops.

  5. Sous-Vide Salmon served with Chacee Sauce, Mizuna Leaves and Dill Milk.

  6. Shoulder & Sirloin Steak served with Potato Puree, Maitake Mushrooms, Carrots and Mustard Seeds.

  7. Pre-Dessert Palate Cleanser- Olive Oil Sorbet + Jasmine Rice Sorbet + Dragonfruit + Mercato.

  8. Deconstructed Black Forest Cake, paired with a Vodka Orange Cocktail.

A cup of warm green tea was served at the end with some good whisky jellies. A perfect end to a very nice dining experience.

Chef Wei honed his skills in at least a couple of Singapore Michelin-starred establishments, including the much-touted Andre’s. He’s returned to his hometown of Penang to set-up this small, cosy but very sophisticated eatery. Truly A.Mazing!

Address
A.Maze
63A, Jalan Nagore, Georgetown
Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6017-376 3762

5 Likes

Actually, as much as I like the local food there, I think it’s a healthy trend to have diversity of different types of restaurants. It’s amazing for a solo chef to cook up 8 courses meal for 8. Good work!

Do you recall how much was the meal? Is the waiting line long?

1 Like

One of my local Michelin 1* places used to do a tasting menu that approached 20 courses. About 10 covers and only a solo chef. He’s now cut it back to just 8 diners and, also, recruited a sous chef. It’s listed as a six course meal but with all the amuse bouche, etc, it’s into the teens.

2 Likes

They must have exceptional organising skill, I don’t think they have a big kitchen, and they need to clean up the place too. Gee, me when I need to do a meal for 8 people, just 4 or 5 courses, the aftermath of the kitchen is like an earthquake…

2 Likes

Mine is like that even if I’m only cooking for me.

2 Likes

What is the name of the place and the chef you are talking about?

Marc Wilkinson, Fraiche

https://www.restaurantfraiche.com/

And my recentish review - [Oxton, Birkenhead] Fraiche

2 Likes

naf - the meal was an absolute bargain: MYR128 net (US$28) per person. I’d paid 4 times more per pax for a less satisfying meal in Kuala Lumpur. But that’s Penang for you.

The eatery was still pretty new when I was there early this month, so no waiting queue at all.

2 Likes

Harters - what amazed me about chefs who worked alone is their ability to remain focused on their work, churning out different courses at different timings for different diners, and yet able to look cool and chat with the guests at the same time! That takes skill!

1 Like

$28pp for 8 courses? Its worth it to fly to Penang just for that. Within Asia of course.

1 Like

sck - It’s always worth flying to Penang to eat - with or without a visit to A.Maze. Singaporeans and Malaysians from other states go to Penang just to eat.

I am familiar with tea flavoured egg. What’s soy flavoured egg? How did the sous vide scallop taste like?

sck - Chef Wei combined the smoky fragrance of tea-smoked egg and the Fujianese/Hokkien soy-braised egg (similar to the ones you also find in Japanese buta no kakuni) - i.e. first boiled, peeled then cooked in a soy-based gravy - to come up with a unique rendition which is both herbal yet with a slight salty tang.

The scallops were barely cooked, allowing the sweetness to come through. I’d actually would have preferred them to be more raw.

Not seeing the “Modern-Penang” elements of the meal. Seems like the standard continental modern/nordic-esque style of cooking.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold