Quietly tucked in an alley, a tiny road branched from the busy Burmah Road, is a very interesting Japanese restaurant, called Isaribi Tei. From outside, it really seemed like a small rundown single storey house. When I stepped inside, the scene changed altogether.
Apparently, the owner is a Japanese expat residing in Penang for years already. You could embrace his enthusiasm and love for his country from the decors. There were many articles which featured his restaurant.
This is what I call a patriotic citizen with the spirit of helping his nation. Even from afar! How many of us Malaysians will do this for our country if we are residing abroad and a tragedy happens to our homeland.
I ordered my favourite sashimi set, RM 35. I found the set served in a rather interesting manner, slightly different from the usuals. My soup had no coverings and the the chopped tofus were fried. The salad too, was added with some sourish spicy dressing, instead of Jap mayo. Sashimis were very fresh too. All in all, I was truly surprised and very much enjoyed my meal.
Fried calamaris for RM 17. Golden ring goodies, nicely fried so that the squiddy rings did not turn out shriveled and chewy.
Chicken teriyaki. Nicely grilled sliced chicken, and not too oily either. A kick twist to its flavour was the addition of sesame seeds and oil. Thumbs up. RM 25.
These guys make their own ice cream. I loved the green tea ice cream. Not sweet at all, which complemented well with the sweetened red bean paste served next to the green scoop. The paste was a little rough, with small chunks of red beans in between, I believe it was intentionally made that way to give its edge being home made.
Normally, I am not a huge fan of black sesame ice cream (sometimes the taste can be too heavy for me) but surprisingly again, this one was light, yet at the end palate, the sesame taste kicked in with a pow!
The only slight down side of this restaurant, personally, was its staff. The waiters were mainly youths, most likely high school student part timers/ college kids earning some cash during study breaks. The service was a bit of a let down and they weren’t very friendly.
I would come back here again, if I am ever in Penang… keen to try out their other dishes!