Words By C.K. Lam
Relaxing and unwinding in a chic yet classy retreat is definitely the overwhelming feature here at Vino Vino Bistro, Penang. This Japanese-themed wine bar is a perfect choice to celebrate memorable events, business-outings or simply chill-out with close friends and family.
This bistro is really proving to be a gem in Penang’s culinary scene. The outlet has its walls lined up with rows of wines.
According to its general manager William Chong, the liquor selection including more than 20 types of sake, shochu, 100 types of single malt whiskies and 30 types of beer will certainly make the bistro a good watering spot.
Sake lovers will enjoy picking out from the wide selection that includes the Tengumai Junmai Daiginjo 50, and the full-bodied Fudoh Special Junmai.
The pleasure of enjoying the vast variety of alcohol is greatly enhanced by the selection from the kitchen, with the crowd’s favourite being the Yakitori. Diners can enjoy their favourite drinks along with a host of yakitori prepared from its glass-covered grilling area.
Seafood lovers would want to titillate the taste buds with skewers of hotate teriyaki (scallop), and the kaki kushi (oyster). The kaki kushi offers the freshest of two huge oysters. Diners who prefer shrimp-like cravings may choose to have the ebi cheese grilled with three prawns.
For the grilled chicken, there are various parts of the chicken to choose from. The salt flavour of the chewy sunagimo (chicken gizzard) is light while the reba (chicken liver) is done just right with enough fresh ground black pepper by the chef. Another item worth trying is the tebasaki chicken, a popular serving of grilled chicken wings with crispy skin, moist tender meat and sweet chicken flavour.
Delectable chicken skewers include the tori kawa (chicken skin), hiza nankotsu (chicken cartilage) and the rare bonjiri (chicken tail) – also known as the bishop’s nose, it is the juiciest part of the chicken.
While on the chapter of poultry, don’t miss out on the ai gamo kushi. The duck breast meat charred over charcoal fire tastes delicious. Pork is also amazingly prepared and skewered and the choices are aplenty.
The prominent Japanese influence is further evidenced from the list of chef’s specialty which includes onigiri (grilled rice ball) with several fillings to choose from, namely shake (salmon), okaka (bonito), ume (plum) or mentaiko (fish roe). The yaki onigiri on the other hand, without filling carries a flavour of sesame seeds.
Vino Vino Bistro at Bay Avenue in Bayan Lepas, Penang, also offers a sensational selection of dishes from its set menu. Each set is served with a side of salad, soup and rice. The crowd’s favourite is the yakitori don, with its runny egg yolk that simply adds more flavour and creamy texture to the dish.
For those with a penchant for large cuts of meat can revel in the grilled lamb rack or the wagyu steak accompanied with a side dish of salad and special sauce. Diners can also indulge their palate in the foie gras grilled with teriyaki sauce.
Don’t hesitate to ask the staff for recommendations – you’ll definitely be in good hands. Diners can enjoy a spot of karaoke while wining and dining in the private room upstairs! Call 04 6459922 for reservation.