Wednesday, August 31, 2011

La Boheme

A touch of French in the heart of heritage George Town...

Which I did not even know existed until yesterday. And lo and behold, it was so obvious yet hidden at the same time; just along Sri Bahari road and it looked like any ordinary pre-war house occupied by normal Penangites, down to the motorcycles in the front porch covered by canvases to hide from the rain. And yes, we walked right past it without even bothering to take a glance inside until SHuey called out to us [which is another funny story altogether no thanks to our declining hearing..] and we were suprised beyond words.

How in the world could anyone find this place?! There was no signboard, save for a mini wooden chopping board hanging on the gates with "42 La Boheme" written in marker.

The place is sparsely decorated and you don't actually feel you are inside a French cafe at all except for that black and white photograph of ground level Eiffel Tower. And also of course the food. The food served were at least mostly French☺. There were ready-baked pies on display at the counter, a fridge full of mouth-watering desserts, and tables decorated with mini glasses of water with fresh blooms of chrysanthemums. The owner is a European-looking man, my guess French, who prepares the food in the kitchen behind and whose wife was not in at that time thus no coffee could be served (he said his wife makes the coffee..haha).

Anyway, tea was fine with us and there were the usual selection (earl grey, english breakfast and the likes) as well as a list of scented teas. I decided to go the apple flower tea which I found to be not much different from chamomile. All the teas were not off-the-shelf tea bags, and they came in individual pots with Japanese-like tea cups.

Food wise, we decided to share so we could have space for desserts as well as opportunity to sample a wider variety. We had the almond croissant (served on a mini chopping board), the chicken salad (colorfully displayed on a wide plate), the quiche Lorraine which came with a side salad as well, and the crème brûlée, which they caramelized immediately only before serving.

(They serve pizzas too which we were lucky we did not order for it was huge and definitely not a 1-person share, not even for 2 or 3 small eaters if you get what I mean.)

No complains really on the food. The croissant had chocolate fillings and tasted pretty good. The salad - drizzled with balsamic vinegar, if not mistaken - was appetizing. The crème brûlée's custard base was smooth while the caramel disc was crispy although CPeng find it to be a tad over-burnt for her liking. And lastly, the quiche.

Well, if you have been following my posts, quiches have been quite under the spotlight lately thus that dish was one I was more eager to try out the moment I saw it scribbled on the menu blackboard. So drum rolls please, here's my verdict:

That Little Wine Bar's quiche still reigned supreme! But La Boheme's quiche is definitely better than Delicious's *pins the silver ribbon on La Boheme's quiche Lorraine.

Also, while we were the first customers but as the day progressed, all the tables were occupied. I guess we were probably one of those few who never heard of the place until that day. Overall, La Boheme is worth going back to; both for its food as well as for it's "invisibility" for as I watched the cars and passersby strolled past, for a moment there it was as though I'd escaped the hecticness of life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Muntri Mews

So it was my birthday and I had a bad cough thus Soo Huey was supposed to bring me out for "Khor Teh" or Bitter Tea, a chinese tea remedy for those feeling under the weather, having a sore-throat or a cough. We decided to have brunch first at Moon Tree; which I will hopefully cover in a future post for the lack of pictures. I was too busy enjoying my bacon sandwich, bruschetta, and honey lemon tea as well as the relaxing, quiet environment that is Moon Tree.

We ended up only having the tea some other night but we did discover a cozy, grand place for desserts that cloudy afternoon. Conveniently, it was just a few pre-war buildings away from Moon Tree.

Muntri Mews cafe is a lovely place for a peaceful and cooling afternoon - it's air conditioned - where one can sit sipping tea, snacking on nyonya kuih-s while admiring the beautifully landscaped surroundings with shady tropical plants dancing in the breeze. Not to forget the heritage picture books of Penang and portraits of her people in a basket to be perused at the pleasure of customers.

Some pictures of the Mews' special tiramisu and some jaw-dropping cum funny moments later, we noticed that Muntri Mews was not just only a cafe. In fact, the cafe is actually part of a boutique hotel with a gated area only for in-house guests. Checking out the rooms was a great idea because it really was pretty sight. The rooms were spacious and very elegantly decorated with local antiques and paraphernalia. I managed to grab the pamphlet on my way out which not only introduced Muntri Mews, it was also a map of Penang with a list of interesting places to visit and recommended eateries.

And according to the pamphlet, Muntri Mews only comes with 9 suites thus "creating a feeling of intimate conviviality but also allowing for the privacy when desired." No wonder the price per night is a bit steep (~RM300++) but for a tourist with a stronger currency, I would certainly recommend to give the place a try. I like the thoughts and details put into restoring the place (it was formerly a dilapidated row of Peranakan townhouse) making it into one of the more upscale and classy locations in the heart of George Town.

Would definitely revisit the place. Still have the unfinished picture books to flip through...☺

P/S: Mews apparently were private stables for horse carriages, with staff quarters upstairs, which then became garages for motor cars during the Edwardian era. --courtesy of the Muntri Mews pamphlet 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I've heard and seen so many pictures of this place when it was first opened and to think I never could find time to go. I've heard of how popular they were in Kuala Lumpur and how Penangites were rejoiced that it finally opened its doors at the beautiful Straits Quay. So needless to say, I just had to find an opportunity to see the place for myself.

And the first impression of the place was really good. I love the ambience, the decorations made up of bird cages, the cozy color combinations of mostly white and blue, the layout with ceiling-to-floor glass windows that overlooked the sea with warm sunny rays streaming in. On my first visit, I was seated at one of the desserts table by the window - I only had time for desserts then - and it was a nice experience like I was without a care in the world, just enjoying the "yuppie-ness" (definitely thanks to a glass of St. Claire "bubbles" sparkling wine).

Delicious is supposed to be famous for its desserts if I'm not mistaken. However, truth be told I've yet to discover that. Thus far, I've tried the Tiramisu in a glass, Macadamia Cheesecake topped with crunchy macadamia nut brittle & caramel, Strawberry Shortcake, and the Peach & Banana Crumble with vanilla ice cream. None made me crave to go back for more with the peach & banana crumble not even making it into my 2nd-try list. Yup, I didn't like that one at all.

Besides desserts, I've also heard of the pies, mains and pasta. A friend of mine told me the quiche is really good, definitely a must-try. If you've been following my blog you would know how I've sang praises of That Little Wine Bar's quiche, so my ears definitely pricked up when I heard there's a better quiche in town. Okayyy, I gotta find another time to go for a proper meal then. And find time I did.

As usual, mushroom soup was a must so the Wild mushroom soup with garlic bread got a tick. Aglio olio is another favourite so on the order list the Aglio Olio Spaghettini went as well. Lastly, the oh-so-famous quiche. I had the Smoked Salmon Quiche although the Quiche Lorraine with beef bacon caught my eye but too bad I don't really take beef.  Then comes the afterthought (pun intended).

Maybe I had such high hopes for the quiche, you know, so I was a tad disappointed by it. Somehow the smoked salmon, cheese and crust just did not go well together. I hereby declare, the numero uno quiche in town is still the one at That Little Wine Bar, hah. Nothing to complain about the soup and pasta though as I ended up eating more of the pasta than the quiche☺.

Well, there's still a lot to try so it's not my last visit for sure. I do, however, feel that it gets pretty noisy in there. There's always a buzzing of people's voices and the clink-clanking of cutleries. Tone that down a notch and it would be perfect.

Also, one important thing on the menu caught my eye; Traditional English Afternoon Tea for Two (RM59.90):
Served in a Triple-Tier:
  •  Warm scones with preserves & fresh cream
  • Assortment of finger sandwiches & duck confit in filo pastry
  • Strawberry chocolate dip & hand-rolled chocolate truffles
  • Rosemary & cheese cookies
  • Choice of any one cake on display
  • Choice of any two cups of tea
Yay, another mission for me!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Life is like a boat

Nobody knows who I really am
I never felt this empty before
And if I ever need someone to come along
Who's gonna comfort me, and keep me strong?

We are all rowing a boat of fate
The waves keep on comin' and we can't escape
But if we ever get lost on our way
The waves would guide you through another day

Tooku de iki o shiteru [Far away, I'm breathing]
Toumei ni natta mitai [As if I were transparent]
Kurayami ni omoeta kedo [It would seem I was in the dark]
Mekakushi sareteta dake [But I was only blindfolded]

Inori o sasagete [I give a prayer]
Atarashii hi o matsu [As I wait for the new day]
Azayaka  ni hikaru umi [Shining vividly]
Sono hate made [Up to the edge of that sea]

Nobody knows who I really am
Maybe they just don't give a damn
But if I ever need someone to come along
I know you would follow me, and keep me strong

Hito no kokoro wa utsuriyuku [People's hearts change]
Mukedashitaku naru [And sneak away from them]
Tsuki wa mata atarashii shuuki de [The moon in its new cycle]
Fune o tsureteku [Leads the boat again]

And every time I see your face, the oceans heave up to my heart
You make me wanna strain at the oars
and soon I can see the shore

Oh, I can see the shore
When will I see the shore?

I want you to know who I really am
I never thought I'd feel this way towards you
And if you ever need someone to come along
I will follow you, and keep you strong

Tabi wa mada tsuzuiteku [And still the journey continues]
Odayaka na hi mo [On quiet days as well]
Tsuki wa mata atarashii shuuki de [The moon in its new cycle]
Fune o terashi dasu [Shines on the boats again]

Inori o sasagete [I give a prayer]
Atarashii hi o matsu [As I wait for the new day]
Azayaka ni  hikaru umi [Shining vividly]
Sono hate made [Up to the edge of that sea]

And every time I see your face, the oceans heave up to my heart
You make me wanna strain at the oars
and soon I can see the shore

Unmei no fune o kogi [We are rowing the boat of fate]
Nami wa tsugi kara tsugi e to watashitachi o osou kedo [But the waves keep attacking us]
Sore mo suteki na tabi ne [But isn't that still a wonderful journey?]
Dore mo suteki na tabi ne [Aren't any of them a wonderful journey?]

Note: Lyrics courtesy of