Ete Café (Summer Café in French) is a hole in the wall, tucked among a row of old shop houses along Carnavon Street in Penang. It is easy to miss, as there isn’t a large enough signage to attract attention when you’re driving along this busy stretch. And in Penang, there’s no such thing as a slow drive. If you know what I mean…
The décor is simple; old school charm, with wooden tables and metal chairs, random wall paintings and a hand painted signboard. Ete Café serves mainly coffee and houses a good number of beans, along with a selection of cakes and pastries. One of the owners has a qualification from Le Cordon Bleu, so desserts had to be quite good. So I thought.
I opted for the Brazil Santos (RM10) and rif, the Ete House Blend (RM10). Both were prepared using the syphon method and served without milk or sugar to allow us to savour the taste and aroma of the coffee.
The Brazil Santos was medium-bodied and became progressively mellower as the temperature dropped. I liked this better than the house blend, which was flat at first taste. Like the former, flavours only started developing as the coffee cooled down.
We tried a Hazelnut Chocolate Cake (RM10) and Mont Blanc (RM15), both we found to be rather average. For such a portion, it was expensive. I was disappointed with the chocolate cake as the ganache was uneven and the cake texture was dry.
Mont Blanc tasted better, but lacked a certain nuttiness I look for in this dessert. I did however like how the cake came layered with chestnut puree – made it a lot moister. We paid RM45 for the above, which I thought was overpriced even for KL standard.
Note that Ete isn’t air-conditioned so expect the place to be stuffy on hot days. Dress accordingly if you’re planning to have coffee here.
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Food: 5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Not great, but not terrible either. But it is expensive.
79 Lebuh Carnarvon
Business Hours: 11am – 6:30pm
Tel: 017-435 0922