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Once upon a time in little China | A trip to China House, Penang

China House  | 153, Lebuh Pantai, Georgetown, 10300 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Contact  |
China House
Price  |
Tea and cake will set you back around 30 MYR


I sat at the cafe side.

I’m sure that by now, everyone is sick of me talking about tea. But, as any tea obsessed person will know, it is a lifestyle. I’ve gone nearly two decades in this vein, and it doesn’t look like I’m going back now. While the rest of the world has disloyally moves on to cocktails, mocktails and the likes, us tea-folk (that’s my new name for those in the fold), are still at the lunch table sampling all the dried and preserved goodness that nature has to offer.
Am I the only one that misses dinner ladies at school?

I went to China House.


Now, that's a sign! I really didn't know what to make of it.

A famous landmark on the George Town scene, it borders on blasphemy to  leave without paying a visit to this eclectic home of cakes, coffee, art and music. I can’t quite put my finger on what to call this place. It’s trendyness is somewhat intimidating. Let’s just settle on art gallery-cum-coffee shop-cum-bar-restaurant.


Apparently there are two entrances. How very snazzy.

As soon as you walk in, the first thing you notice is the noise. It’s loud, in a vibrant sort of way, but you wouldn’t believe me if I said there wasn’t a hipster in sight. There wasn’t.
The music was pumping, so much so, that I wasn’t sure whether to say hi to the smiling waiters or to grab the nearest person and bust a move. I sat down at the cafe area.

I later found out that, as you head towards the quieter restaurant area, all that revelry is left behind and you have a more sophisticated but secluded seating area; I immediately imagined it as the sort of place where you could go on a date.


The restaurant side is much quieter.

China house is it’s own unique entity. There are levels within levels and like a layer cake, will need more that one visit to even make a dent on it. There was a wine lounge with comfy couches and even a gallery upstairs. I should have gone snap happy, but I was starting to feel like an over-zealous groupie and an after party.


There are tons of little 'homey' touches that catch your eye all over this place.


                               What is the meaning 府内?                             Does it mean prefecture? Or is it a transliteration for funny (Funei)? I've decided  that it's got a story behind it; a secret only the China House can tell...

Being by my lonesome is tough. Travelling alone is tough.  Primarily because when you discover somewhere as fun and as vibrant as China House. There’s no one to get excited with.
Poor me.
Before you crack out the violin, just know that I consoled myself with a monstrous slice of one of the many cakes on offer.


No one can accuse them of not having enough. There's going to be something for you.

What’s popular here?
I really shouldn’t have asked. What I got was something short of a monster cake.
The tiramisu (featured as the main picture), was shockingly large! Don’t be fooled by the filter, that is to scale. It was nearly as high as my teapot, creamy, filled with chocolate. I’ve never had anything like it. To be perfectly honest, it was less tiramisu and more spongy creamy chocolate cake.
But I ain’t complaining.
Unable to finish it. I had half of it packaged up to take home.


The bar entrance/exit. I got confused. By this time, I was in a cake coma. I barely  made it back to my hotel.


  1. Yum that looks delicious! I might check it out when I’m in Penang this August. The deco also looks great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I’m so jealous. I want to go back!
      I loved this place, not just for the cakes but because it’s a great place to kick back and collect your thoughts. You’re going to love it, and also if you have time pay a visit to the spice garden (I’ll put up my review tomorrow about it).

      Thanks for stopping by xo

      • I’ve never been to Penang and have no idea how the place will be. You’re making me really curious 🙂 I’m hoping for some vegan options though!

        It’s so cool that you’re always at different places! Are you currently in London again?

        You’re welcome, your blog is awesome! 🙂

      • Aaaw thanks. I’m just really enjoying sharing my experiences.

        Penang is wonderful, as it’s got a fantastic a mix of everything. I stayed at the Old Penang Guesthouse for a bit, and then at the Love Lane Inn… but I’m sure that you’ll like wherever you decide to stay. Most tourists stay in George Town and of that number, even more stay near Love lane / Chulia Street. Everyone’s really helpful and knowledgeable so I doubt you’ll have difficulty getting around. Just watch out for the taxi touts. It’s the same in most countries, but they’ll try to rip you off.

        I actually live in Thailand now, so for me it was just a small hop, skip and a jump away. ^_^

        My friend who’s vegan came to visit me a couple of weeks back and she’s been using this guide:
        From what I can see there are a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly places.
        I hope it helps and I really look forward to reading about your experience in this crazy (but cool) city. x

      • Thank you for your recommendations! If things work out I’m going to stay with my mum’s cousin but I’ll check out the guesthouses in case it doesn’t work out!
        wow, cool that you’re living in Thailand! For how long are you going to stay there?

        Thank you for the guide, it helps! 🙂 there are indeed much more options than here in Uruguay. Lucky me, haha.

        Have a great day! xox

    • Penang is awesome. I’m planning on going again because I feel like there’s still so much I didn’t do.

      Thanks for stopping by. x

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