二更 Clock Eleven & 815 Paliro | Two new Asian-fusion food cafes to try in Georgetown, Penang
Featuring a Chinese-Japanese fusion war-inspired hideout and a modern Korean dessert cafe.
Running a cafe is becoming as big a trend as cafe-hopping on the island where cafe-hopping is the favoured weekend activity. Cafes are striving to outdo each other with as unique a twist on their food as possible.
So my new definition for 'cafes in Georgetown'?
A beautiful, 'Instagrammable' place with nice ambience, with a food or drinks-focused menu (sometimes, both) that would suffice a session of hanging out with friends or even studying in an aesthetically pleasing setting.
And while many cafes in Georgetown serve a Western or Aussie brunch, these are some unique eateries I chanced upon offering an Asian menu for the next time you're craving Asian food while trawling heritage Georgetown!
- For Japanese rice bowls -
There is always the classic Fuku Eatery & Dessert at Beach Street to satisfy your Japanese food cravings. But if you're up for something new, you could try...
二更 Clock Eleven
27 Jalan Magazine, Georgetown
Situated in a row of heritage shophouses along the busy Magazine Road, this newly-opened hipster Japanese-Chinese fusion restaurant is easy to miss. Not to mention the lack of information and pictures I could find regarding this mysterious place before my visit. So let's spill the tea on this new find.
Dark. Quiet. Hipster.
Walk into a rustic wartime hideout for secret discussions with your partner in crime, or quiet gatherings. Rally the troops! It's a new don!
Jokes aside, this restaurant was largely inspired by the Chinese and Japanese wartimes. So I'd say they really nailed it in setting the scene!
The interiors actually reminded me of the famous booths in Ichiran Ramen, Japan. Wooden partitions between the tables make for more private dining spaces. And by the entrance is a long and tall table fitted with booths for couples.
- Food -
On the menu :
The small menu was limited to Japanese rice bowls served with varied toppings and Japanese butter rice. Dishes here are of a smaller portion which I personally prefer because it does leave space for dessert after!
But the only qualm I have about the place is the lack of drinks except for a few canned drinks.
(Top) Sichuan Pepper Shrimp Don
/ RM 18.90
This was one of my favourites. I thought the shrimp was well cooked and perfectly spiced: giving that nice 'ma la' kick with being overly numbing. Plus, it had a nice sauce that went really well with the rice.
(Bottom) Salmon Sashimi Don
/ RM 27.90
I loved the salmon sashimi! Topped with furikake, it had a slightly citrusy taste as well. However, I did find the taste of butter way too strong here.
Truffle Garlic Capellini / RM 14.90
A light bowl of angel hair pasta doused in olive oil with a generous serving of truffle. A very simple dish but I loved it!
- At a glance -
Ambience & Food /
A good place for couples and groups for a quick lunch serving Japanese rice bowls, light snacks and capellini.
I highly recommend calling ahead to reserve a seat! Because it was filled by 12 pm.
Price / $$
The mains range from RM 12.90 - RM 27.90.
Extremely limited as it is beside a busy road. There is an outdoor parking lot directly opposite.
Contact details & recent news/
- For Modern Korean Food -
214, Lebuh Victoria, Georgetown
Bright. Airy. Modern.
I came here expecting Lavish's custard lava croissants and was rather confused with the 'Korean food' sign. It turned out to be a very happy discovery.
Situated beside the Container Hotel, where the popular Lavish Cafe was previously located, two friendly Koreans have taken over this newly-opened Korean cafe.
Other than the colour change, everything else was pretty much the same. The nook with the glass ceiling was retained for plenty of sunlight enough for every Instagrammer.
Like every other minimalistic Korean cafe, this place had a very relaxed atmosphere as we dined to a playlist of chill Kpop songs.
- Food & Coffee -
In comparison to 二更 Clock Eleven, portions here were very generous.
There was a rather limited selection of traditional Korean food, such as
Japchae / RM 23. And a very vibrant one at that.
Other than that, the menu focused on more contemporary Korean offerings:
Kimchi Fried Rice / RM 20
Spicy, sticky, sunny-side-up with a runny yolk - need I say anymore?
Buldak Pasta / RM 24
Think carbonara pasta meets spicy, creamy, delicious Tteokbokki sauce.
815 Egg Drop / RM 14
A delicious brioche sandwich - crispy, fluffy brioche toast encasing buttery scrambled eggs, melted cheddar cheese and ham in a sweet and savoury bite.
While they do serve a good latte / RM 13, they too offer some rather interesting coffee options like a Mint Mojito Latte, or in my case, a Macaroon Iced Latte / RM 16. I asked for no sugar at all, so it was essentially a really nice iced latte with macaroon bits in it.
For dessert, this cafe specialises in Ddungcaron: a Korean macaron which is bigger, thicker and less sweet. This one had a dusting of soybean powder and a chewy filling with pieces of Korean rice-cake, encased in a sweet macaron shell. While I think it is a little too big for one person, it was a dessert I really enjoyed.
- At a glance -
A quiet place perfect for a casual meal with friends and family, or for studying.
Food / Modern Korean-fusion food
The menu featured more contemporary, Korean-Western fusion food which was heavier and richer in flavour. Most of the dishes had both a sweet and savoury bite.
Coffee-lovers would love this place. The coffee here is smooth, with a robust flavour and very low acidity. They too offer some interesting options for the more adventurous.
Price / $$
The mains ranged from RM 14 - RM 24.
Extremely limited as always. Come early or at odd times.
Contact details & recent news/
- Other classic cafes serving Asian food -
Well, these were two very happy discoveries that I would gladly return for a second round!
Other than these, a few other classics I recommend that would satisfy those Asian food cravings in an aesthetic cafe setting or a beautifully renovated shophouse in heritage Georgetown are:
For Malaysian-fusion food /
Kota Dine & Coffee, Fort Cornwallis
For Dim Sum & Chinese food /
Bao Teck Teahouse, Lebuh Melayu
For Japanese food /
Fuku Eatery & Desserts, Beach Street
For a Sarawak Hawker favourite - Kolo Mee /
Daily Dose Cafe, Stewart Lane
Till the next cafe adventure, thank you for reading!