China House in Penang stretches between Beach and Victoria Street – a clever play of heritage chic, with seasoned concrete floors, plastered walls and exposed beams. It is a popular spot in town, serving all-day breakfasts, assorted cakes and pastries, coffee and alcoholic beverages. Basically everything under one roof.
The place is crowded at night, especially when there’s a band. We wanted to sit by the bar for a session but it was such a full house that even standing was difficult. The café was less boisterous so we sat there instead.
Service needs improvement. While the staff were efficient, I feel they could have been friendlier. China House offers a large variety of cakes; baked in-house and the tiramisu (RM15) comes highly recommended. That said, I found this average as there was too much cream versus cake.
The Black & White (RM15) looked good on display but it was a big disappointment. The chocolate layers were dry and hard while the icing was way too sweet for comfort. I wouldn’t recommend you order this.
rif’s iced Americano was decent but not good enough to warrant a visit. My rum & raisin milkshake was not bad – bittersweet from the alcohol and adequately thick. All in, our experience at China House was hardly memorable. While not everything we tried were disappointing, I expected better for such a popular establishment.
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Food: 5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Mediocre cakes and service. But it is a nice hangout place if you like the heritage feel.
183-B, Lebuh Victoria,
George Town, Penang.
Tel: 04-263 7299