Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Manabu Sedaap Bintan. Resort Style Restaurant in Tanjung Pinang

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The Manabu restaurant in Tanjung Pinang was recommended to us by Marc Thalmann owner of Mutiara Beach Resort when he heard that we were going to spend the night in the port city. Marc knew The Manabu's owner, Chef Gaku for over a decade when Chef was working with the resorts such as Nirwana Gardens in Bintan.

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Marc knows Chef Gaku as a "perfectionist" and one who "knows his trade". Throughout our dinner, we saw Chef Gaku on his feet between the kitchen and the dining area making sure everything ran smoothly and customers had a good experience. Opening The Manabu just last month, Chef Gaku is bringing Bintan Resorts type experience to Tanjung Pinang.

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The Manabu has an al fresco dining area where we can look out to major Tanjung Pinang landmarks, Monumen Raja Hj Fisabilillah and Pulau Penyegat. Raja Hj Fisabilillah was the Crown Prince of the Johor-Riau Sultanate from 1727 to 1784. He was killed in 1784 fighting Dutch invaders and was buried in Pulau Penyegat.

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The sunset was beautiful outside, but we chose to sit inside as there wasn't enough light for usable photos in the al fresco dining area (food blogger problem, doesn't apply to others 😂). The interior decor was simple and functional, yet elegant with a welcoming feel. It was comfortable inside with air conditioning and the insects were kept outside.

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Resort style Ninja Theory mocktail and Manabu Signature Coconut juice.

The Manabu's extensive menu features local Indonesian signatures and a whole range of international cuisines such as Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Thai etc. It reads like a menu from a luxury international resort.

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Our appetiser was the Thai Fresh Spring Roll (price Rp25,000++ | SGD2.40++).

I like this as the fresh greens, julienned root vegetables, and slice of prawn wrapped in rice paper were all very fresh. I enjoyed the juicy crunch and natural sweetness of the fresh ingredients in the thin rice paper wrap.

The dish was served with a Thai sweet chili dip and Tartar sauce but I didn't use them as I like to taste the natural flavours in the spring roll.

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Come to Bintan (and Batam) must, of course, try their iconic Gong Gong dishes. Gong Gong is a sea snail living among seaweeds on the sandy shores of Bintan and Batam.

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Gong Gong is so much part of Bintan's identity that they have a monument in its honour in Tanjung Pinang (which is visible from The Manabu).

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The Manabu's Garlic Chili Gong Gong (price Rp55,000++ | SGD5.25++).

The flesh was pulled from the snail and sauteed with garlic, chili and soy sauce.

The snail flesh was tender, chewy and crunchy but had little flavour. The pieces of Gong Gong flesh were enveloped with savoury spicy flavours from the soy sauce, garlic and chili. It was a nice combination of flavours and texture which accounts for the popularity of Gong Gong.

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Grouper fish steamed Cantonese style (price Rp130,000++ | SGD12.35++).

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The foot long grouper fish was steamed with soy sauce and dressed with fried ginger, spring onion and cilantro before serving.

The fish was fresh and sweet, and cooked to the right doneness, but the soy sauce was a little flat tasting to me (due to absence of aromatic oil).

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Sup Tulang or Beef Bone Soup (price RP48,000++ | SGD4.50++).

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Tender beef with bone cooked in a savoury soup sweetened with carrot, celery, potato, onion, and tomato. It's a tasty rendition of the Indonesian classic.

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The Manabu's Quattro Formagi pizza - thin crust topped with Mozzarella, Bocconcini, Italian Grana Padano, and Italian Blue Gorgonzola cheeses studded with toasted cashew (price Rp55,000++ | SGD5.25++).

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I enjoyed this thin crust pizza with a crispy fringe. The four cheeses melded together to form layers of savouriness. The toasted cashews added nutty crunchy accents to the pizza.

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For dessert, we shared a Creme Brulee (price Rp30,000++ | SGD2.85++).

It's rich vanilla custard capped with caramelised sugar glaze and topped with cubes of mango and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.



👉 The Manabu boasts a view of the Bintan sunset comparable with the luxury Bintan Resorts. The menu is extensive, with local and most international cuisines well represented. The ingredients are fresh and dishes are well executed. Prices are competitive, at a fraction of prices in Bintan Resorts and Lagoi. Worth checking this place out when you are in Tanjung Pinang.

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Restaurant name: The Manabu
AddressJalan Hang Tuah No.17, Tepi Laut, Tanjung Pinang
GPS0°55'33.8"N 104°26'17.5"E | 0.926058, 104.438189
Tel+62 771 4502898 | +62 823 83330001
Hours: 5:00pm - 11:00pm (Mon & Tues off)

No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date visited: 26 Mar 2018

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