36 hours in Penang: Two Frenchies ft a Coffee Affair and a whole lotta emotions
29 Feb 2020 // Singapore - Penang - Singapore
A short weekend escape home. 36 hours to the next flight. Now, how do I best use it to chill, to spend time with my family and satisfy my craving for new cafe discoveries?
- Homeward Bound -
SHUT UP. How can it be time for work already? I just fell asleep!
Wait no, its Saturday. WAKE UP. You've got to go to the airport!
Urgh, I'm starving.
*Scarfs down a bowl of granola topped with a banana. Scurries down stairs twice.*
Uber's here. Passport? Checked.
Dimly lit residential buildings of a sleeping city roll past as the cab speeds down empty roads, eventually giving way to the ever brightly-lit Changi Airport.
'Thank you, have a nice day!' ' And you, have a safe trip!'
A boarding pass slips out the machine.
Welcome, SHERYL BEH WEI SHAN. Have a safe flight.
I have a love-hate relationship with flights at dawn. As a kid, that was my favourite time to fly. The thought of leaving for a whole new destination before most people are out of bed- I still think that there is a certain magic in early morning flights in comparison to afternoon (dullll) and night flights. Having to wake up early though, especially with my bad habit of sleeping after 1am despite said situations, is another problem. So naturally, my still drowsy self bought a cup of hot Teh C Kosong as I got a seat by one of my favourite spots: the row of tables behind food stalls facing huge glass windows that allow a full view of the runway where I could read, sip my tea, and stare, as a plane took off into the sunrise.
- Food & Coffee -
Lebuh Bishop, Georgetown
My mum and I have been eyeing this Cafe Bistrot for a while now. The menu featured no-fuss, authentic French comfort food- complete with bread and butter for starters. So think Classic French Onion soup, quiches, and croque madame.
Housed in a heritage shophouse, the length of it comprised of two dining sections adjoined by a narrow corridor-cum-bar area. The interior was warm, homey, quiet, peaceful- great for dates or family outings whereby conversations could be heard. My favourite section was actually the bar area that was bathed in light pouring through the central light well - as is typical of traditional Penang shophouse typology. Basically, any cafe with cosy interiors and plenty of daylighting? I'm sold. Because I think that creates a bright, airy and happy atmosphere. Plus, it's good for reading and photography! So you guessed it- lighting here is pretty good for photography.
- On the Menu -
Quiche Lorraine: Quiche with bacon
Quiche aux Poireaux: Vegetarian quiche with leeks.
I was famished, and was craving a good quiche, which this, did not disappoint. The soft egg custard was not too eggy, perfectly seasoned, and encased within a thin, extremely flaky and buttery crust. Oh my god, the rate me and my mum polished it off the plate was sooo not polished (pun intended) but dang- was it satisfying.
Do Not Leave without dessert- the Tarte aux Pomme was seriously, one of the best ever. A good, old-fashioned apple tart with no frills and not too sweet. The thin flaky pastry was topped with generous slices of thick, juicy apple. If there's one criticism though, I'd say that the pastry was just a tad dry, and I would prefer the pastry to be a bit flakier.
Would you look at that cute table mat! If you read the beginnings of this cafe on their website, it was a really YOLO! venture between the two friends, illustrated in this graphic conversation between the two bulldogs. 'Frenchies' refers to the French Bulldog. But with the whole LOL! vibe of this cafe, I initially thought that it meant the two French buddies?? Yes Sheryl, I wonder why ALL THE BULLDOGS in the cafe, heck, the cafe SYMBOL ITSELF didn't give you a hint eh??
Lebuh Bishop, Georgetown
Coffee Affairs was just across the road. This cafe focuses on coffee- they roast their own beans and hold coffee workshops too. They offer an extensive coffee menu, with several enticing flavoured lattes. They also offer sandwiches, waffles, cakes, dutch pancakes, and pasta. The unagi pasta smelled so good, but I was unfortunately, too full.
Unsurprisingly, the coffee here was really good. The coffee took longer than the food actually and you can see the barista carefully pouring milk into each cup.
- Coffee Fix -
Creme Brûlée Latte
Despite my Health Nut rant, as far as no-sugar-latte goes, I made an exception for this Creme Brûlée Latte which was so worth it! The frothed milk was encrusted with a thin layer of burnt sugar. In one sip, you get the crunch and the flash of sweetness from the burnt sugar. Its nutty notes provided a depth of flavour that complemented the really good quality latte underneath.
Wild Honey Latte: Equally amazing- the honey flavour really came through.
Coffee aside, I gotta rave about the architecture! This cafe really took advantage of the
passive ventilation in the traditional shophouse typology. Beyond the dining area lay a coffee roaster and where, I presume, they hold workshops. This whole area only had an air cooler, but felt like it was air-conditioned. Money plants hung from the beams- a very zen addition that complemented the industrial chic aesthetic very well, creating the impression of a vertical garden.
- A Cute Find -
An encounter with an antique shop. Dust and cobwebs- a wondrous treasure trove of memories sandwiched between a modern heritage context.
Overview - Based on my opinions-
Ambience : 10/10 Homey and chill vibe. Quiet and peaceful- was pretty empty at brunch time. Great place for dates or family outings! Coffee : 3/10 Um... Not their strongest suit. Food : 9/10
Simple, authentic French comfort food. Classics like salad, quiche, croque madame and French onion soup. And a superb Apple Tart to end. They also serve lunch and dinner. Price Range :
Around RM 25 +.
Parking : 10/10
Easy- there's a parking lot just opposite it. Return? 5/10
Definitely. I'm craving the quiche already! Or even if it's just for the apple tart.
36, Lebuh Bishop,
10200 George Town,
Tuesday to Sunday: 11.30am-22.30pm
Weekend Breakfast: 10.00am-11.30am
Closed on Monday
Ambience : 7/10 I love the back-of-house : the money plants, the daylighting, the passive ventilation. I'm not a fan of dark interiors (unless its a fancy dinner) so I didn't quite like the dimly-lit cafe space. Coffee : 10/10 They have a lot of different specialty lattes. I really liked the creme brûlée latte- have never had anything quite like it before. Price Range :
Slightly pricier than the norm for the special lattes- around RM 15+.
Parking : 10/10
Same parking lot as Two Frenchies (which was just opposite Coffee Affairs).
I want to try the Unagi Pasta, so yes. Will return. Great coffee too!
21, Lebuh Bishop,
George Town, Malaysia 10200
10am - 11.30pm Daily
- Films -
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
My weekend was balanced by two films at two ends of the spectrum in terms of emotion and genre.
Parasite. I'm usually slow on the uptake when it comes to films. I'm pretty sure everyone's watched this already but better late than never right?
I can see why they are award-winning- the cinematography, the metaphors, the emotion, the acting. Amazing.
// SPOILER ALERT // This movie is so evocative. It ended with an open-ended statement which left me questioning hope and humanity, questioning my own place in the world and society in general. To be honest though, I feel like this is one of those you've GOT to watch this film kind of film, but it's not something I would watch repeatedly. But the themes of the film really left such a big impression on me. Its one of those films that I won't ever forget.
Knives Out. A good ol' murder mystery with Agatha Christie vibes. Fun, entertaining, with a good storyline filled with twists that would boggle the mind. Definitely recommend this!
- Singapore Bound -
Harrrr why is there traffic at this time?
*Arrives at Queensbay Mall.* Ok, we have 1 HOUR.
*A mad dash to Sephora for gift shopping.*
'Oh mannnnn but that palette is so nice!'
'Oh look! When did this brand arrive??'
'Oooo coconut scrub. Smells delicious.'
'Help! Which palette? *GASP* 'I did NOT know that Huda Beauty has such beautiful colours!'
*Dashes to Canton-i*
'Food is here! Thank god- We're starving!'
A delicious meal of congee and wanton mee, dim sum and a ton of vegetables disappears amidst mumbled praises and a Dragon-i vs Canton-i food fact chat.
Honks and traffic lights. Passport check.
Huh. So empty- no queue at the check-in counter for once.
'Ok la. Text me WHEN you arrive in Singapore, and AGAIN when you arrive at home.'
And with that endearing command, gone is the throng of people, replaced with the quiet cream-tiled departure hall.
The flight was a pretty empty one. We boarded early, took off and landed in Singapore 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
It was a blissful flight - with my head (literally) in the clouds, immersed in thoughts, against a playlist of depressing acoustics. What is it about the night scene that romanticises it all? That cloaks all mundane worries, thoughts of work, world issues. There is something so ethereal about a night scene- an endless darkness, an abstract painting dotted with light. Perhaps it is the many blank spaces the light fails to fill that sub-consciously offers the opportunity for deep contemplation? That momentary escape for that little voice in your head that whispers of deep, dark secrets, desires, thoughts that the daylight would otherwise drive away?
I found it both enlightening and frightful at the same time. Part of me basked in the peace whereby I could entertain hidden thoughts; the other, frightened at the depth of negativity it could bring. Deeper and deeper I fell, into that dark pit, where swallowed whole, came an aching desperation to write. To pour all the worries, the thoughts into words- words that I had to share for it was too much for my psyche to handle. Words that temporarily drove away all introverted worries of being judged, words that had to be published that night, before reality, work, daylight, crowds drove it back to the dark recesses of my mind once again.
Have a great week everyone!
Thank you for reading!