Sunday, January 8, 2012
China House, Beach street, Penang.
On Friday's lunch with my boss H, he told me of a new food joint in Penang and it was called China House. I have heard about this food outlet from my friend, Charles who moved his office on the same stretch as China House. I was told there are two portion to the outlet ie fine dinning or mediterranean food.
Last saturday, I convinced my wife and daughter to join me to have dinner at this outlet. When I reach the place at the junction of Chulia street and Beach Street, I notice signboards showing China House. Three of them and I thought it was trading house,just like other shoplots along the same stretch. I missed it and I make a big round, moving into Victoria Street and then to Beach street again and I find a space to park. It was abit early at 6.30pm. The shop front was simple and abit rundown and I push open the door leading into the restuarant. It was a long shoplot and the restuarant was make up of two shoplots. One side for fine dining and the other side for meditteranean cuisine.
I was lead to fa table for four and I found that the restuarant was barely renovated and much of the old structure was maintained. The chairs and tables were simple and there are old paintings and artifacts. After sitting down, my wife ordered a tiramitsu and a bread while my daughter ordered a steak. I ordered a speggati. The taste of the steak was okay to my daugther but my wife did not like it. The bread was normal and speggati was normal but the tiramitsu was good. The menu was simple and there was not much variaty.
The captive point of the place is that it is maintained in a heritage style and have the feeling of living in the past which you dine in modern time. I was told that the restuarant was managed by two foreign chef and I happen to meet one of them. A ordinary westerner, nothing spectacular. From where I sit, I could not see the far end of the restuarant and I decided to explore the area. Behind the fine dining area, there is wine bar and anothe room for the normal food apart from the main hall. I walk towards the end of the restuarant and I enter into another dining area. An open space with dining tables and a pond.It was newly renovated but have th eold look. I ventured further and past the toilets and the cooking area and after that another section of the restuarant and it looks like a cafe or a bar. That was the end of the journey and all in all , there was four main sections of different dining style. On the upstairs, it was a art gallery.
In Penang, such type of joints is getting very popular especially in the heritage zone. Foreigner are buying up the pre-war houses and convert them into living quarters , mini hotels, banquet hotels, dining areas, bars, etc. It brings along alot of excitement to the change the landscape of Penang Georgetwon. It is an experience for foreigners to explore the heritage city of Penang and the best way is by walking along the streets of Penang. Like I say we should practice engaged tourism to know the place better.
Have a good experience in China House. It may look old and haunted but it is an experience you should not miss.