One of the stand out places in Penang, Malaysia was ChinaHouse. Set on a seemingly quiet street in George Town, it’s comprised of three restored heritage buildings reworked together into a long sectional maze. It’s a bakery, a bar, a lounge, a restaurant, an art gallery, a store, and all around cool spot.
When I first went (because yes, it was so good I had to go again) there was a band playing their own funky renditions of cover songs in the canteen area. While you listen to the tunes (because it’s a little too loud to talk), you can enjoy their offering of food or drinks (the cranberry, lemon, mint cocktail was really lovely) and relax while taking in the aural scenery. Wander further in and you’ll find yourself in a romantic and inviting outdoor courtyard softly lit with christmas lights that cast a sweet sparkle over the pool.
Further still there’s more narrow restaurant area with rooms like the vino lounge extending out. To sit in this lounge one must order and consume alcoholic beverages – not a problem. I had the cocktail of the day, which was a lychee martini, which was delicious (not as syrupy sweet as many I’ve had in the past).
Take the stairs upon entering the next area and you’ll find yourself in the upstairs gallery full of contemporary work for a range of artists.
From above you also have a great view onto the cake table below, which is literally the sweetest part of the place. A smorgasboard of sweets is laid out daily for drooling and indulging. Being an indecisive chocoholic (confirmed chocolate lover, but indecisive in nature) the scrumptious selection was torture. I eventually went with the richest looking cake and washed the dessert down with a nice cup of tea.