Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Penang - China House, Beach Street

Back in the month of August 2012, I took the advantage of the Merdeka holiday to have a one day road trip to the island of Penang with few of my hometown friends. I can never get enough of George Town, the hip and happening state capital of the Pearl of Oriental, even after spending 3 years of my university life there.

China House, Beach Street
This time around, the main objective of this road trip is to hunt down those beautifully painted mural arts along the streets of Penang commissioned by the state government for the George Town Festival 2012. However, the first stop was not for the feast of the eyes but rather to please the callings of our stomachs. Actually, it works both ways since the foods are aesthetically appealing and fulfilling.

Today's special at China House

China House is becoming quite a regular staple whenever there is a road trip to Penang. Maybe it’s because of the companions for the journey but somehow, this hip café is slowly turning into the place-to-be for brunch or lunch for us. Located along Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai), China House used to be the Kopi Cine at the corner of the Stewart Lane but due to the expansion, it has been relocated to the present spot. And it is for the better for the new place is more spacious and can accommodate a larger crowd as well. Plus, it is easier to find compared to the previous lot.

The array of cakes welcoming you in

One of the main attractions, to me, is its laid back atmosphere and inviting interior decorations. I just love how the management team of China House retains the original structure of the heritage building and renovates it with retro decorations. 

China House's interior

This is one way that I just like when it comes to preserving historical buildings. Rather than leaving it in a dilapidated states like many old shop houses in the Old Town district of Ipoh, old Chinese shop houses in the UNESCO enclave are given a new lease of life in a form of chic cafes and boutique hotels. 

Old world charm at China House

Of course, it goes without saying that its foods are delicious as well. Main courses are as followed:

Vegetarian quiche with...

...mashed sweet potato for side dish

Homemade beef sausages with scrambled egg

Ginger bud pesto spaghetti with chicken breast

Breakfast wrap with roasted chicken

I just love the ginger bud pesto spaghetti. The perfect description has to be something like this, dried up laksa with spaghetti, for it seriously tastes like laksa. And their scrambled eggs are nothing short of perfection.

As for desserts, we have:

Chocolate cake with macadamia nut 

Pear and ginger cake

Salted caramel and apple pie

Gula Melaka ice cream

Salted caramel ice cream

Their home made gula melaka ice cream is my personal favourite. The chunky bits of gula melaka hiding inside the scoop that melts on your mouth will surely increase your chances of getting diabetes but simply worth it.

The massive China House (which utilises 3 of these heritage houses) also has an art gallery upstair. It serves as a podium for up-and-coming artists as well as well-established ones to have their pieces showcase here. 

The art gallery

It is not fair to have Kopi Cine (which takes the front portion of China House) to take the spotlight as there are other restaurants and cafes that China House houses. 

Gateway to Courtyard Cafe and Burger Bar

Beautiful graffiti in the middle of China House

Canteen and Bar

There are musical performances at Canteen and Bar. During our visit, there was the jazz performance that we all wanted to go but due to time schedule, we had to opt out of it.

We all love China House. You can tell by our constant patrons to the place. I mean, what not to like? Relaxing vibe, enchanting decorations, delightful delicacies, this is what every aspiring cafe aims to be. I will definitely make another visit to China House and it will be sooner than later, for sure.

Me and the gang

p/s My Vietnam post will continue soon.

Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

China House is located at 153 and 155, Beach Street and 183B, Victoria Street, George Town, Penang and open from 9.00 am until midnight. For more information, you can go to its website here.


  1. tell me when is the next China House visit =D

  2. The next visit to China House will sure invite you one...

  3. I will visit it again to try the gula melaka ice cream.

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