I was surprised to spot this building at the side of the main road on my way to Simpang Ampat. This barn-inspired building design really stood out among the conventional shop-lots & small industries in the area. After a quick Google search revealing that it's a newly opened restaurant, I made time to drop by for lunch.
Ample parking spots were available outside the restaurant but there were no trees outside so it was scorching hot on that sunny afternoon.
The interior is clean and modern with the bar acting as the focal point of the spacious dining room.
Tables were widely spaced out so it was nice to dine with more comfort & privacy.
As they are newly opened (January or February 2022 if I'm not mistaken), they are currently serving their soft launch menu. It's a small menu featuring both Western & Japanese dishes with a touch of local ingredients and flavours.
While the menu seemed promising, their service was disappointing. Two items were unavailable on the menu but we're only informed upon ordering. For one of the items, even the waitress was unaware of its availability until she placed our orders with the kitchen.
Thankfully food arrived within 10-15minutes before I got hangry.
Fried Lotus Root (2.5/5)
These deep-fried slices of lotus root are served with wasabi mayo. The batter is crispy but I found the lotus root too oily and bland on the inside. Personally, I'm not a fan of wasabi mayo as well so this wasn't an enjoyable dish for me.
Seafood Laksa Risotto (4/5)
This has got to be my first time trying Laksa Risotto. The homemade laksa soup was less sour than expected and had a strong bunga kantan (torch ginger) aroma. The Arborio rice was cooked just right and tasted creamy & flavourful. Seafood wise, the huge prawns and mussels were fresh but the clams were slightly fishy and small. Still pretty delicious nonetheless.
Pan Seared Barramundi with Couscous (3/5)
The Barramundi fish was moist but it's a shame that the skin wasn't crispy enough. As a complete dish, I found the flavours slightly confusing. The sweet & tart blueberry sauce goes well with the fish but I personally think the flavours clash with the capsicum couscous and deep-fried cauliflower.
Overall, the Seafood Laksa Risotto was tasty but I can't say I enjoyed the other two dishes. In terms of service, there's definitely room for improvement. Aside from better communication with customers, it's generally a norm for these types of establishments to be proactive in clearing empty plates, refilling water, thanking guests as they leave etc. Small acts like this can really enhance the dining experience to match the comfortable ambience.
It's unfortunate that I didn't enjoy my visit this round. But since they are newly opened and I have yet to sample their Tuna Tataki & Wagyu Beef Gyudon, perhaps I'll revisit after a few months - hopefully, their service improves by then!
Sabbylicious Makan Rating
Food : 3/5
Price : 3/5
Environment : 4/5
Service : 2.5/5
Must order : Laksa Risotto
Operating Hours Open Wednesday-Sunday (12.00pm - 11.30pm)
FÊTE at the Barn
765, Jalan Besar, Sungai Bakap, 14200 Sungai Jawi, Pulau Pinang