Cafes in Penang

HELLO! Happy 2014, although this comes a bit late. I’ve had a very eventful and fulfilling last couple of weeks of holiday before my last semester in school, and school’s been incredibly insane so far. But I’ve managed to procrastinate over the weekend and started uploading Penang photos, which made me want to blog about the food there. My brother’s been asking me to post about my overseas eats, and I probably will start posting more overseas stuff soon, it brings back all the good memories!!!

Anyway, when we were doing some research on Penang, my friends and I were both surprised and excited about visiting the many cafes in Georgetown. My sentiments are that the cafe scene in Penang is still budding, and we were actually a bit let down by some of the most raved-about finds, and vowed to stick to hawker food. BUT the scene does have a lot, a lot of potential and I can’t wait to check it out again!

COZY IN THE ROCKET

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My friends and I saw and tried many cafes, and were rather disappointed, but we decided to pop by this place anyway. AND THIS WAS THE SAVING GRACE. We were all patting ourselves on the backs for making the right decision to enter. Ambience is very PS Cafe style, but less pretentious (oops) – lots of huge windows to let light in, eclectic styled tables, centerpieces and deco. Friend had a latte, and it was the most decent one we had out of all cafes. Also tried the Caramel Jasmine Flower Panna Cotta and the Chempedak Creme Brûlée. INCREDIBLY ENJOYABLE DESSERTS. The texture of both were silky smooth and the flavours were well-balanced. Caramel wasn’t too sweet, and the subtle fragrance of jasmine could be detected. The chempedak was also not overpowering, but lent the dessert this strong and unmistakeable aroma. LOVED the creme brûlée, I had so much fun breaking through that torched layer and scooping up spoonfuls of smoooooooth cream beneath. And then we were so elated we ordered a second helping. And the last dessert on the menu, which was Chempedak Pudding. Also tasty, with chunks of chempedak, but the first two were the stars of the show. Saw some tables having pasta, they even make fresh pasta! Extremely impressed 🙂

Cozy in the Rocket
262 & 264 Lebuh Pantai (it’s incredibly near the Children on Bicycle street art!)
Georgetown, Penang
Tel: +6012 496 7838
Open Tues to Sun: 10am-5pm, Closed on Mondays

CHINA HOUSE

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We visited this place on our first day, after walking around in the sweltering heat. I didn’t get too many photos of this place, but the space is a very, very impressive space. The compound is huge and is cleverly split up into 14 spaces, including a cafe, a private dining area, a mexican restaurant, a reading room, an art gallery, a court yard and a lounge. It’s really something I’d wanna start if I had the chance to! You could spend the whole day here. Start off by eating breakfast, reading, look at art, then have dinner and desserts, and round it off with a drink.

We had our drinks and desserts at Beach Street Bakery (lol so Bourke Street Bakery). There’s a very wide range to choose from, from the chocolatey ones, to fruity ones, to denser looking ones. And in the chiller there’s stuff like tiramisu, and homemade ice-creams. We had a passionfruit, raspberry and lemon sponge which was very well done. Light, zingy sponge and layers of fruit and cream. Friend picked out another cake which isn’t worth much mention. They use beans from Nylon, but the coffee was disappointing. Ordered a smoothie made out of fresh fruit, but it had such a strange smell it really spoilt it.

So I REALLY loved the ambience and the use of space here. The cakes are also quite worth it, though a tad expensive, you just have to pick the right ones out! But drinks and hygiene (flies around ugh) wise, they could do much better, I feel. Still pay a visit anyway!

China House
Address: 153 & 155, Lebuh Pantai (down the road from Cozy in the Rocket)
Georgetown, Penang
Tel: +604 263 7299
Opening times: 11am – 11pm daily
Explore here: http://www.chinahouse.com.my/ 

TOH SOON CAFE

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This was on our last day, where the sky threatened to start pouring. We managed to get a table here and we could hear the rain beating down on the very sturdy panels put up to block the rain. We stuffed ourselves with good charcoal toast and perfect soft boiled eggs. I was very intrigued by the oil-drum charcoal toaster – from the photo above you can see someone having to squat by the toaster and slide the bread in and out. Then flip it manually and repeat. So tedious! But still good.

It was so crowded at 4pm on a random weekday afternoon. One thing we noticed about Penang – some times the streets look so quiet, but once we get to a popular food place, we hear tons of people and we have trouble getting tables, and then you realise where all of Penang is. Eating only the best food.

Toh Soon Cafe
Campbell Street, Off Penang Road,
George Town, 10100 Penang
Tel : +604 2613754
Mon – Sat: 8am – 6pm

CAFE 55

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We dropped by this place to have a cuppa, since it was known for its 3D coffee art. Yes, it makes for a good photo but we felt like the milk wasn’t very well-steamed. Also had some other drinks which tasted like canned drinks. But a lot of people were having lunch – think well-plated Western courses and glasses of bubbly – and to be honest, the food looked rather appetising. Drop by for lunch rather than the drinks!

Cafe 55
47-55 Lorong Stewart
George Town, Penang
Tel: +604 261 2261
Open daily from 9am-5pm

MOONTREE 47

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This is a homestay plus cafe, and the guy who opened this place does photography and a lot of designing in his own time. You can chop your postcards with an array of stamps he makes himself (see first photo). He sells a nice range of postcards, from photos of colourful shophouses to photos of the abundant street art in Georgetown, and it helps you to spot nice street art that you’ll wanna go search for! The guy isn’t that friendly though hahahaha so please don’t attempt taking photos in here!

MoonTree 47
47 Muntri Street (few doors down from the Camera Museum)
George Town, Penang
Tel: +604 264 4021
Opening hours: Mon to Tue 9am – 7pm; Thu to Sun 9am – 7pm

ETE CAFE

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This cafe is opened by a Taiwanese couple who studied at Le Cordon Bleu. It’s a very simple place, not the sort of cafe you’d imagine. Rustic – with beer crates as stools and gunny sacks as table cloths. Coffee is known here and they had an assortment of pastries. We had the mont blanc, which had a strong chestnut taste, which was good. Also had a cheesecake, which was decent, but not something I’d travel all the way for.

Ete Cafe
79 Lebuh Carnarvon
George Town, Penang
Tel: +6017 4350922
Daily: 11am-6.30pm

I hope you enjoyed this post! (: The cafe food seemed so much more expensive than the hawker food, but it’s always nice to get a brief respite of the heat, enjoy well-made desserts and have a variety of experiences. Do share your experiences too if you have any!

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One response to “Cafes in Penang

  1. Pingback: Where to Eat Good Hawker Food in Penang | OMG I'M SO HUNGRY·

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