Ever since Penang won the title of “World Heritage City” in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Cities Program, there are many heritage houses that had been restored back to its own glory. This recognition by UNESCO has created awareness to everyone to help Penang regain its lustre as the Pearl of the Orient.
One of the examples of a successful restoration project which presented some of fine arts of the heritage building and at the same time offered delicious western cuisine is the China House.
China House is located at Beach street. If you are driving from Jelutong Express way to Weld Quay, turn left to Magazine Road then turn right again at the first junction which is Beach Street. Keep driving for another 400 metres, just a few doors before reaching Bomba (Fire House) you will see China House on your right.
China House consists of 2 units of heritage houses, both units are located next to each other.
Upon entering the first section of China house, it welcomed you with a common dining area and a drinks bar.
Just beside the common dinning area is a separate room catering for fine dining patrons. The menu offered in this area is different than the menu in the common dining area.
It is a very long stretch along the hallway. As you walk past the common dining area, you will see there are also some dining tables which is slightly secluded from the crowd.
The third section is an extension of the second dining area.
There is also a private wine corner.
This room is temperature-controlled due to storage of wines. Customers will get to savour some of the finest wines in this restaurant at a comfortable seating area.
Just after the wine room is the private room for customers in a larger group.
If you keep walking towards the end of the hallway, you will come to a round arch that will lead you to the outdoor.
The outdoor has also been simply yet beautifully landscaped with a large fish pond and some tables at the side for those who wish to enjoy an outdoor drink or meal.
Each table has also been delicately lit up with candles.
Back to the food. Guests will be tempted by looking at the wide range of cakes available at the common dining area. The cakes offered differed from one day to another.
One of the great cakes served is the Flourless Chocolate Cake – RM10, each slice.
For chocolate lovers, Double Chocolate Pecan Brownie – RM10, each slice is another must-try.
The chocolate-flavoured cup cakes looked very tempting than the usual cup cakes sold elsewhere. Over here, the cup cakes looked original without colouring and they used assorted nuts to decorate the top of the cake instead of icing sugar. It was selling at RM10 each.
Next, we had the main course.
Seared Sea Bass with Ras-el-Hanout Spices, Caulifower Puree and Roasted Pumpkin, Pine nut and Pomgranate Dressing – RM38
The fish had a crispy skin as it had been deep fried while the fish meat was soft. Serving together with the fish were roasted pumpkin cubes, pine nuts and homemade pomegranate dressing. It had a unique preparation and was simply delicious.
Roasted Chicken with Sumac and Zaatar, Quinoa, Preserved Lemon and Coriander Salad, Chicken and Red Wine Jus – RM40
The chicken meat was so tasty and tender after marination and roasted. It served perfectly together with red wine sauce. A generous portion of quinoa (“Goosefoot”) was laid beneath the chicken. It is a kind of healthy grain and had a very unique texture. It was a very well combined dish. However, not everyone knows how to enjoy the goodness of quinoa.
Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Potato and Parsnip Skodalia, Roasted Cauliflower, Celery and Lemon Salad – RM44
The lamb shoulder was soft after slow cooked. The gravy was slightly sourish which madee this dish more appetizing. The lemon salad was not common at all but it still tasted nice.
Hot Coffee – RM8, Thick and nice aroma coffee after a meal is always an excellent complement.
Orange + Carrot Juice – RM8, the mixture of both carrot and orange is rare yet proves to be a nice combination drink.
Pineapple Juice – RM8, sourish yet appetizing pineapple juice.
Double Chocolate Pecan Brownie – RM10, the taste of the chocolate was so rich and the top portion was covered with chocolate chips, pecan and preserved cherries. It was a delicious but filling cake.
Orange Almond Cake – RM8, was a combination of mashed almond with orange. The refreshing orange flavour and the crunchy texture of almonds could be felt from the cake. It was a very delightful cake indeed.
Almond and Love Apple Cake – RM10, the top portion of the cake was covered with preserved apple slices and there were also mashed almonds in the cake. The specialty was on the love apple for this cake.
Overall, this place had a very long hallway that could cater for 30 pax for fine dining and 60 pax for casual dining. For casual dining, this place needs to be pre-booked to secure a table. The food and ambiance was very nice and the heritage architecture was also well preserved. However, for average spender to dine in the fine dining area, it was on the high side. Parking at this place was also a very big headache.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
Operation hours: 9:00am – 12:00am; kitchen close 10:30pm (7 days a week)
Contact: 04-263 7299
Address: 183B, Victoria Street and 153 & 155 Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang
GPS: 5° 41′ 49.40″ N, 100° 33′ 91.00″ E