Indigo Restaurant at the Blue Mansion in Penang is a great place to visit when you want to experience some fine dining – and take a break from the ubiquitous Penang street food! We had a very special evening dining in the restaurant which is based at the historic Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, known locally as The Blue Mansion.
Indigo Restaurant is inspired by Cheong Fatt Tze and is promises a “marriage of East and West not just in the setting but the cuisine”.
Cheong Fatt Tze and the Blue Mansion
Cheong Fatt Tze was one of the founding Hakka businessmen of Penang, and lovingly built his mansion in the style of traditional Chinese houses. The craftsmanship, materials and grandeur of the mansion led to it becoming one of the most elaborate buildings of this style outside of China. In the late 19th century the Blue Mansion became the hub of the city.
After Cheong Fatt Tze’s death, the mansion fell into decline and was partly damaged by bombing in World War Two. After the passing of Tze’s last son, a group of Penang conservationists purchased the property and set about restoring it to former glory.
It was re-opened to the public in 1995 and is now operating as a boutique hotel. Check out prices and book a room at The Blue Mansion.
The Blue Mansion is also open for public tours if you want to learn more about the fascinating history of Cheong Fatt Tze and the building.
The setting of Indigo Restaurant is simply stunning and it’s worth arriving early for your reservation so you can take in the sights of the mansion. As you wander through the front door and up the intricately carved staircase, there are all kinds of interesting anecdotes and artefacts from the life of Cheong Fatt Tze.
The restaurant decor is very in keeping with the rest of the style of the Blue Mansion and you can almost imagine yourself back in colonial times! From the beautiful floors, to the stained glass windows and gorgeous ceilings, it certainly gives you a feeling of dining in grandeur.
The restaurant is perfectly air-conditioned which makes for pleasant dining in Penang’s humid and hot climate. However there’s also a beautiful balcony directly outside the restaurant if you want to sit outside.
What we ate
Upon arrival we were served lovely fresh warm dinner rolls and butter.
For our starter we chose the chargrilled calamari with watermelon, cucumber, mint, tumeric mayo and balsamic reduction. The calamari was cooked to perfection and not at all chewy like it can sometimes be. The watermelon, cucumber and mint made the dish beautifully light and refreshing.
We also tried the seared yellowfin tuna which was presented with baby romaine, fried anchovies, kaffir lime and honey lemongrass vinaigrette. The tuna was lightly seared to perfection and absolutely divine.
I chose the grilled chicken with sticky rice, potato and lemongrass curry. The curry sauce was outstanding – I’d LOVE to get my hands on that recipe if Chef Weng would care to share!
The other main dish we ordered was braised boneless (Australian) lambshank with cabbage, yam rice, bean curd skin and lamb jus. The lamb was meltingly tender and very rich, but delicious. The rice was cleverly packaged inside a cabbage leaf to make a neat little parcel.
For dessert we opted to try the orange vanilla creme brulee with Belgian chocolate ice-cream. I’ve tried a lot creme brulee in my time and this was right up there – silky and creamy in the centre with a lovely crackling shell.
Indigo Restaurant had a very comprehensive wine list with a variety of types from many of the main wine growing regions around the world. We opted for an Australian Brown Brothers Pinot Grigio which complemented our meal well.
The staff were extremely friendly and attentive and made us feel welcome. They were very quick to keep the wine and water glasses refilled which was appreciated.
The only slight niggle was that some of the items on the menu weren’t available, but we were only informed after we went to order them. It didn’t really impact on our evening however.
Indigo Restaurant is the perfect place in Penang to sample some delicious fine dining cuisine in a beautiful and historic setting.
Indigo Restaurant at Cheong Fatt Tze The Blue Mansion
14 Leith Street, 102000 Penang,
T: 604 262 0006
Disclaimer: We were hosted guests of Indigo Restaurant at the Blue Mansion. However all views are entirely our own.
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