This year for our anniversary we decided to take a short trip to Penang to gorge ourselves silly on the food there. I wanted it to be a little different so we went to restaurants we had never been to. A friend shared multiple locations with us and boy, his choices were spot on. One of them was Bottega in George Town.
The first thing that stood out was the array of foodstuff sold, similar to a deli. Then gaze upon an open floor space where diners not only get to see the chefs cooking, but you get a front-row view. I knew that I wanted to enjoy the whole action of the kitchen so we sat at the countertop.
Our first dish was an oven-baked parmigiana, it came piping hot and absolutely delicious. Oven-baked Eggplant with Mozzarella, Parmesan Cheese and Italian basil in tomato sauce. A great start to the meal.
To accompany the parmigiana, we ordered a seafood stew to share as well. Called Zuppeta, it is a seafood stew with cherry tomatoes, Italian Basil & light spicy tomato sauce. Everything was well balanced and it didn’t taste completely overpowered by the tomatoes. You could still taste the seafood especially the mussels in the stew.
As we enjoyed our starters and appetizers, we continued to admire as the chefs went about making dishes for other diners in the restaurant.
Since it was lunchtime, we decided to get pasta and boy were we completely stuffed. It was great to see how they made traditional carbonara and then fried the pork guanciale to top it up. The carbonara uses Rigatoni with Aged Pork Guanciale with Free-Range Egg Yolk, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano and roasted black peppers. Simply divine where both the crispiness of the fat and the pasta combine.
I ordered something different, the Malloreddus, which is the Sardinian Gnocchetti Sardi with Pork Sausage and fennel Seed Ragù. They imported Italy’s premier GliAironi rice and Cavaliere Giuseppe Cocco pasta (made using ancient, handmade traditions).
I am definitely no fan of sardines but this is definitely out of the world. Really great if you love tomato-based pasta and the whole dish seems to come well together. The only issue I had was that my stomach was getting completely filled up.
In between meals, we get to admire how quickly and fast the chefs prepped, cooked and plated the dishes. It honestly made me hungry and curious to try out their other dishes as well because everything smelled fantastic and it looks absolutely delicious.
You can also browse through their list of items for sale, from extra virgin olive oil, pasta sauces and cured meats. It is definitely great to have a deli attached to a restaurant especially if you love cooking Italian food at home.
Would I return again? Yes, definitely and I would recommend that you get a seat at the counter-top for the added experience. You won’t regret it. Why? Because as you wait for your food, you get an insight into how the food is cooked. The smell, the energy of the kitchen and also the masterful skill of the chefs just add another dimension of experience that you don’t get whilst seated at a normal table. Of course, if you do want a more private setting, sitting at the table is fine as well. Also if you are not in Penang, they do have branches in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur as well.
Address: 76, Muntri St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang
Phone: 011-1227 6701