Le Venue in Penang was recommended to us by a Penangite friend, who claims the food is excellent but steep in price. Since Jien and I are always open to new experiences, we decided to give Le Venue a try to see if it’s really that good.
Booking was made 2 weeks prior to our visit in December, so we got a decent table spot. It’s recommended to book ahead as Le Venue isn’t a large space so you’d want to get a nice table rather than be seated at a corner or a far end where service is difficult to obtain.
There isn’t a wine list to refer to – you’ll need to walk over to their wine display and select a wine of your fancy. We opted for a simple red, which I thought would pair with our mains. For starters, I ordered the Miyagi oyster (RM30 per piece) and seared foie gras (RM82) while Jien ordered the white asparagus (seasonal) with poached egg.
The oyster was fresh and the dressing was light and pleasant, I preferred this to the white asparagus, which I felt was a tad weighed down by the sauce. If it’s a good ingredient, little needs to be done to accentuate the flavour, and too much sauce would take away the highlight from what’s important, I feel.
My foie gras was seared and served with port wine figs and balsamic reduction. Nicely cooked but I feel presentation was a bit scattered. Aesthetics aside, I enjoyed this starter as the foie gras was crisp on the outside and creamy at the centre.
Jien had the rack of lamb (RM128) for his main course and I, the Spanish Iberian pork chop (RM98). Both were properly executed so the meat was tender and juicy. If I had to pick, I feel the pork chop was better than the lamb. Plating style is too eccentric for my liking, and not quite fine dining since it’s more Picasso rather than French finesse.
For dessert, I stuck with my default – cheese platter (RM48) while Jien picked chocolate raspberry (RM38). I wished they had a cheese cart as it adds to the experience, but sadly, not a popular option in Malaysia. Cheese selection was basic so can’t go wrong. But nothing excellent.
The chocolate raspberry dessert felt like they were attempting to do an entremet, but a rustic one at that. Not exactly refined, but enjoyable enough as a sweet end.
Overall, I feel the food is casual rather than fine dining French which they are known for. Prices are a tad steep for the kind of food served and also the ambiance we’re dining in – we paid close to RM900 for dinner, which is fair if we were in a fine dining setting.
Verdict: Casual food at fine dining prices. The place is cosy and service is friendly.
80, Lebuh Tye Sin,
10300 George Town,
Tel: 04-251 9833
Business hours: 11.30am till 11.30pm