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1885 Yesterday's Classic Set Menu at E&O Hotel Penang: restaurant review

Fancy enjoying a cozy fine-dining experience in an impressive setting in Penang? Zac Teo explores the set menu at 1885 Restaurant in Eastern & Oriental Hotel

Eastern & Oriental Hotel. or more commonly addressed as E&O Hotel is considered to be one of the handful of premier hotels on the beautiful island of Penang. Gorgeously perched by the coastline of the heart of Georgetown, the hotel was built by the Sarkies Brothers back in the year 1885. Walking through the doors of E&O would be an awe-inspiring experience, as you take in the interiors of colonial features adoring the walls and structure. Quite simply, the epitome of colonial Georgetown where the local oriental flavors meeting the eastern elements are fully encapsulated in this establishment.

On the culinary end of stuff, this hotel plays home to several restaurants, most notably the fine-dining restaurant 1885, Sarkies Corner as well as the Farquhar Bar. At the invitation of the hospitable E&O Hotel, I made my way to the 1885 Restaurant to savor the newly launched Yesterday's Classic Set Menu.

1885 Restaurant is located in the Heritage Wing of Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Named after the year E&O Hotel was established, the 1885 Restaurant has played host to countless occasions over the decades with its posh interiors, adorned with such traditional English settings. Even the lights were kept warm with yellow rays radiating from the chandeliers, setting up the entire restaurant with great touches of class. For these many years, 1885 has been offering classical and contemporary cuisines, and this is taken a notch higher with the Yesterday's Classic Set Menu. Priced at RM120 nett per person, this set menu comprises of a three course set menu of typical setup; starters, main course and dessert. It is available daily for dinner, even throughout the upcoming Chinese New Year!

Cozy interior of the 1885 Restaurant in Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Starters (Smoked Magret de Canard or Lobster Bisque)
With the choice of salad or soup, I simply could not pass up on the opportunity to savor the lobster bisque thus I made it my choice. Served on a aesthetically pleasing white plate, the ragout was thick and reddish, made with fresh ingredients to ensure it had an enveloping lobster flavor. With the ball of lobster chunks in the middle of the plate,it is intense yet startlingly excellent.

Lobster Bisque for starters in the Yesterday's Classic Set Menu at 1885 Restaurant. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Main Course (Pan Fried Red Snapper Fillet or Grilled Grass Fed Fillet Mignon) 
A quick scan on the main course and my mind was made up relatively quickly - one of a good pillars of strength for fine-dining restaurants would be the measure on how a gorgeous piece of steak is done. I opted for my fillet mignon to be done rare, as I really enjoy my steak lightly seared on the outside. The quality was apparent in the details, with the meat served alongside mousseline potatoes and baby vegetables while the dollop of sauce sat beside it all. Simple, uncomplicated, straightforward - the steak is the star of the plate and it really shows. Each cutting was consistent and it was cooked exactly rare, while the outsides were thinly seared and topped with a hint of thyme juice. Tender as the fillet mignon was, this main was simply immaculate.

Delectable grilled grass fed fillet mignon for the main course. Photograph: Zac Teo/

The third of the three course meal came as a gentle reminder that the culinary delights are coming to a close. I was treated to a plate of summer berries pudding, or known as Bavarois alongside a serving of freshly brewed coffee or tea. I would be honest, personally there are times I stare in trepidation when desserts are served after a magnificent main course and wonder how it would match up sometimes. Fortunately, 1885 does not disappoint in this set menu. The enveloping chocolate seductively ponds up a delightful pudding which is enhanced by the berry jam, while the coffee puts a nice ribbon over the entire culinary experience.

Summer Berries Pudding for dessert at 1885 Restaurant, E&O Hotel. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Coffee being served alongside dessert at 1885 Restaurant, E&O Hotel. Photograph: Zac Teo/

The gorgeous hotel plays home to some of the most scenic sights in Penang, with the hotel overlooking the entire eastern bay of the island. 1885 Restaurant faces the sea front and part of the dining experience was greatly enhanced by the view of the sea. Take a stroll along the bay and savor some sights that we take for granted in our busy daily schedules.

 The scenic view outside 1885 Restaurant at E&O Hotel. Photograph: Zac Teo/ would like to record its appreciation to the management of Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang for the invitation to review the Yesterday's Classic Set Menu.

The Yesterday's Classic Set Menu is available for dinner daily at the 1885 Restaurant, from 7:00pm to 10:30pm. E&O Hotel is located on 10, Farquhar Street, 10200 Georgetown. Reservations or bookings can be made at 04-222 2000 extension 3170.

Zac Teo

Zac Teo

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