Penang is named as the World’s Number 1 Spot for Foodies in 2014 for her popularity of her local food. Adding more to the already vibrant culinary scene are the ubiquitous cafes popping up, some even infusing local flavours in them. Below are several cafes that I have been to, definitely only a small percentage of the cafe scene there. I have ranked the cafes I have been to, in accordance to order of mention.
PASSION HEART CAFE
Cempedak Cake – Cempedak is a type of fruit that is commonly found in South East Asia. What is surprising is this cafe actually managed to make a cake that incorporates cempedak! The cake’s texture resembles that of a banana cake. It is moist on the inside and a little crumbly. On top of that, it has cempedak bits inside for some texture. An excellent amalgamation of Eastern and Western ingredients.
Gula Melaka and Jackfruit Yogurt – The homemade yogurt is smooth and thick, without it being excessively sweet and managed to integrate a tinge of sourness to keep it refreshing. The combination of gula melaka, jackfruit and yogurt is to be applauded for letting Malaysian flavours to shine through.
Mango and Walnut Yogurt (background) – Tried a second yogurt of theirs. It tasted pretty dull and seemed like a far cry from the gula melaka one. Mango and walnut do not help in elevating each other for this dessert.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese (foreground) – A light and sweet dessert. It is moist enough and the cinnamon is just nice. The cream cheese complements the carrot cake well.
Smoked Salmon Bagel – Nothing out of the ordinary. Apparently this is the trademark of this cafe which features a black sesame bun baked using a traditional oven, buttered and sandwiched with smoked salmon slices. Probably popular due to the novelty of the traditional oven but the bun lacks fragrance. Salmon was nicely smoked though.
Churros (background) -Nicely fried and crispy, soft on the inside. It is dusted with icing sugar to give an aesthetic touch. We chose salted caramel and nutella as our dipping sauces. A decedent but calorie-worthy indulgent!
Cronut (foreground) – A cross between croissant and doughnut. With chocolate sauce as its base, oreo bits and crushed almond nuts are sprinkled over to complement the chocolate. However, the butter taste is not strong enough for me. The texture is to be commended for though, hitting the balance of being flaky and doughy.
BRICKLIN BAR CAFE
Green Tea with Brownie (background)* – A really bad combination. Green tea layer was too overwhelming and leaves a sandy texture. The brownie was over crumbly and dry. Basically, it is sweet on sweet.
Layered Vanilla Crepe Cake (foreground) – A visual symphony, alternating layers of cream and crepe was precisely executed, finished off with powdered icing sugar. It didn’t taste as good as it looked though. Worse was when I sank the fork in, the crepe layers do not tear off easily and they tend to stick together. It seemed to me like it was the result of leaving in the fridge overnight.
Though I have met with some bad desserts over the course of cafe hopping, the good ones continue to surprise me. I definitely will be adding more cafes to this list when I am back in Penang. Please feel free to share with me your cafes’ experiences in Penang!
*I apologise for the bad photo of the dessert!