JT Restaurant – Heritage Club
by Doris Lim
The teaser photo that got me asking Dr Joeson Khor of PG Food Hunter A-Team recently and challenged him to name a restaurant that is able to meet the criteria below.
1. Centrally located but Not in a Hotel
2. Serves good Western Food
3. Serves good Chinese Chu Char style dishes with white rice
4. Serves Hawker fare like Char Koay Teow, Hokkien Mee and Char Hor Fun
5. Serves Steamboat and/or BBQ
6. Serves Yee Sang for Chinese New Year Reunion
7. Has a table that seats more than 10 with private room setting
8. Ample Free Parking
9. Clean dry washroom that is tastefully decorated
10. Must be HALAL certified!
Dr Joeson smiled and said, “I know a restaurant that not only meets ALL 10 criteria set out but also has a very talented Master Chef who creates very interesting fusion food.”
With that, I set out with Harian Metro journalist Rudy Syareme Sheriffudin for a food review. Rudy’s only question was “Sure Halal?”
When I mentioned that JT Restaurant had the necessary approved Halal Certification, Rudy was game to try out the food.
To answer the criteria here are the obvious conclusions.
Centrally located but Not in a Hotel
JT Restaurant is located in The Heritage Club of Penang. Now to dispel the misnomer, the restaurant is opened to the public and not solely for club members.
The Heritage Club is on the left hand side after the Penang Turf Club on Scotland Road. JT Restaurant is opposite Chi Fitness (Previously known as Absolute Fitness) as you enter the lobby.
Master Chef James Tan
Helmed by a Chef-Restaurateur-Caterer who is member of the prestigious Chaîne Des Rôtisseurs, Master Chef James Tan has over 30-year of F&B experience. Chef James has cooked in the best hotel kitchens in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
A certified Food Hygiene Officer by Singapore Chefs Association, Chef James places food safety and quality as important aspect in his restaurant.
Having worked in the prestigious The Fullerton Hotel Singapore which faces the Marina Bay riverfront, Chef James is still very hands on and loves being the kitchen to create new recipes.
“My passion is cooking and my forte is catering. In my restaurant, we provide good quality fresh ingredients.
My chefs are all trained to prepare various international cuisines and offer choices from Japanese food, Indian Food, Chinese food, Korean food and Penang hawker food.
BBQ, steamboat, reunion dinners, wedding banquets with event planning and decorations, sound system or Karaoke is no problem!
If there’s something my customers want, we can arrange for them, if the price is right. We can cater for private functions in the restaurant or bring the restaurant to your private homes, offices or even turn a multi-purpose hall into a dream wedding venue with the correct lighting!”
We saw the photos of his capability statement displayed proudly at the porch of The Heritage Club of Penang.
Halal Certification and Local Chefs
Chef James jokingly said, “I have 3 Malay Chefs, 1 Chinese Chef and an Indian Chef to whip up the dishes on the menu.
You can’t tell the difference between my 1Malaysia Chefs at a glance. The Chinese chef is darker whilst the Malay chef is fair.
What is important is the taste of the food that comes out of our kitchen is appealing to all Malaysians.
We are Halal certified so our Malay friends are able to try the Chinese style Chu Char Food now in Penang without having to travel elsewhere.”
The two plates in the foreground are the Mongolian Chicken and Fried Beef Slices with Ginger and Spring Onions, both popular Chinese style Chu Char dishes .
Chef James Tan Introduces the New Menu
“The fusion recipes are created with repeated cooking, tempering and adjustments to get the correct balance, texture, colour and taste.
We tried out each recipe at least 20 times to get the right texture and aroma that is appealing for a balanced taste. I have selected the best 10 dishes to launch this new menu.
Salted Egg Chicken Chop (金沙鸡扒) combines perfectly Oriental ingredients with the Westernised Chicken Chop.
I used four salted egg yolks per portion of the sauce cooked with cream and curry leaves for the bright flavouring.”
Rudy and I agree that the richness and texture of the sauce is well bodied and balanced with the distinct aroma of salted egg yolks.
Mongolian Lamb Shank with Crispy Fried Rice (蒙古小羊腿) is a 4 hour slow braised lamb shank which is oven baked with crispy edges and smothered with the rich Mongolian sauce. The bone in shank is soft succulent and moist.
The slow braising on low flame has kept the entire shank in place without the meat falling apart. A gentle nudge with knife and fork is enough to break this into tender flavourful morsels.
For carbs, Chef deep fries the rice then mixes it with cooked rice for the fried rice dish.
If you love fried rice, this simple dish will hit the right spot with the added crunch.
Deep Fried Lychee with Ice Cream (冰山金球)
Deep fried desserts are popular with Malaysians generally. Think Banana Fritter with the ultimate twist. Chef presents not Goreng Chempedak by Lychee Fritters.
The Canned Lychees are filled with a simple secret ingredient that balances the sweetness of the fruit. It’s slightly salty with a hint of sour.
This dessert comes in a 6pcs/set with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The other dishes in the newly launched menu which were not presented in this private review include;
Harlock King Prawn with Crispy Fried Rice ( 蛟龙戏水) for seafood lovers.
JT Lamb Shank (JT 秘制小羊腿) cooked traditionally and served with mash potatoes.
Spring Chicken with Glutinous Rice (特色火凤凰) 2pcs/set which has a “Lor Mai Kai” flavoured Glutinous Rice stuffing with Chinese Mushroom.
Deep Fried Hor Fun with King Prawn ( 香脆黄金粉) for noodle lovers; the Hor Fun is deep fried with crispy edges and cooked with egg gravy and served with 6 pc. XXL prawns.
Needless to say, here are some photos of happy patrons enjoying their meals at the restaurant.
JT Restaurant @ Heritage Club
Business hours: 12noon to 10pm
Location: 2, Jalan Scotland Road
(inside The Heritage Club)
For reservations, please contact: 04-2273373
Photo credit: Doris Lim and JT Restaurant’s Facebook Page
Food Styling & Photo Shoot: Rudy Syareme Sheriffudin