Our new favourite spot to sit and watch life in Penang pass by is this airy, spacious and bright café right in the heart of Little India. The café’s neat, uncomplicated bar reflects the interior style of the rest of the café. It’s dotted with handmade tables and notice the wood on top of the bar topped with glass – it’s was used to sun-dry herbs upon and it was salvaged while restoring this old building.
Occasionally, expect thick, almost palpable whiffs of delicious cooking from nearby eateries. When this happens, be sure that hunger will strike and it’s a good thing the café’s menu offers a nice selection of mainly western fare, coffees and charming glass bottles of Coca-Cola from Thailand.
There are soups and salads from RM9, good for sharing small bites such as dips served wtih papadoms or Indonesian keropok emping, brushcetta and wedges from RM5 and main dishes such as pasta, fish and chips, beef brisket sandwich, chicken chop and stir-fried udon with prawns from RM14.
However, a surprising find on their menu and the only local main dish is the Tang Laksa. It can be considered as a total crowd pleaser in our books. Their delicately spicy laksa has a creamy tinge from, we suspect, a dash of coconut milk. Besides that, sprinklings of finely sliced kacang panjang or local string beans give each chopstick-full of this fish based gravy-coated glass noodles a lovely crunch.
A small bowl of this colourful laksa dish is RM10.50 and it’s a good portion for lunch or an in-between meal. The larger one at RM16.50 is definitely the one to order to satiate a laksa craving. They have a small list of desserts but what not to miss here is their homemade crème brûlée.
Our tip here for an especially hot day, or simply to wet a dry throat, is to order their Kalamanzi Freeze at RM9. They've got the tangy-sweet balance just right and it definitely redefines refreshing. Remember to sip this ice-blended drink slowly or you may be hit with a brain freeze! Su Aziz