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  • Writer's pictureSheryl

Narrow Marrow Cafe, Penang | Rustic antiquities, tiramisu & a caffeine boost

Adequately boozy Tiramisu, amazingly smooth coffee, in a wondrously eclectic, artistic space. A weekend-only exclusive so don't let anyone cut your queue.

Narrow Marrow Cafe review, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia | RollingBear Travels.

It is just that tad bit awkward to start writing again after taking a blogging hiatus for the last few months. That, and perhaps my senses are struggling also, to grapple with the wonderful sensation of sitting down in an aesthetic setting, reading a physical book *cries*, sipping coffee against background chatter and a playlist of cafe music while taking petite bites of my tiramisu like the lady I am not.

What a fantastic Zoom escape. But gosh, this place was packed!

... as is every trend in Penang. It is worth noting to visit at odd hours. Located just beside the extremely popular Le Petit Four Patisserie, if it isn't to avoid having to queue for both cafes under the sweltering heat, then save yourself the stress of wrestling for a car park.

~ Interiors & Ambience ~

Rustic barista counter, Narrow Marrow Cafe Interior design, Penang, Malaysia | RollingBear Travels.

I think 'cafes' no longer serve as just a place to drink coffee. Oh no, it is an embodiment of creativity. From aesthetic Instagram squares to the interiors and the presentation. If anything, the 'cafe' is merely a conceptual framework for this form of design. I'd say Narrow Marrow is an example of this claim.

It is nothing short of a heritage shophouse version of curiosities. A melange of antiques, plants, books, and the incongruence of modern coffee machines! I realise how much I am going on about the interiors, but I was simply at awe. So much, that I almost trespassed on their living quarters which I thought was an art gallery.

Apart from the visual ambush, it was actually a very calming, cosy place to catch up with friends. Perhaps I was overreacting a bit, but being a part of a physical (but socially-distanced) crowd, it was exceedingly ... socially normal? I believe there is a one-hour limit per table - a very relaxing 1 hour. Nevertheless, Narrow Marrow has certainly succeeded in its goal of becoming a social hub.

~ Coffee! ~

A glass of Espresso Lemongrab in Narrow Marrow, Penang, Malaysia | RollingBear Travels.

Narrow Marrow, according to their Facebook page, is 'the cafe that everyone wanted to be a bar'. Whether or not it is a bar, I can say that alcohol has been sneakily introduced in every aspect of the menu.

Tiramisu in Narrow Marrow, Penang, Malaysia | RollingBear Travels.

The Coffee/

Fear not. For it satisfies.

Smooth, its flavour more on the robust side, their coffee beans hail from the famous PPP Coffee, formerly known as Papa Palheta. There is also a whole range of coffee meets Toddy drinks (a type of coconut palm wine).

The Espresso Lemongrab was one of my favourites - a very refreshing, honey-lemon-meets-espresso combination that I did not realise I needed in my life.

Let them eat Cake/

Their menu features a variety of cakes, the most popular being their Tiramisu. Which (unsurprisingly) comes also with a variety of alcohol from the Original Kahlua to bourbon. Light, melt-in-your-mouth Mascarpone with a Kahlua-soaked sponge as you daydream? Sign me up.


Personally, I love how they've retrofitted this shophouse. The owners actually live on the 2nd floor, which is quite the ironic parallel to how these shophouses were historically used in the past! But in a modern context. Time here, unlike most cafes that are purely for commercial uses, is not constrained to this period. It is sort of mirroring the society and economies of old but in the form of a modern economy to revive this building in this new age.

The atmosphere was great, the coffee and Tiramisu were amazing. The only problem I had really, was going in circles for a car park. Which makes me wonder why despite my complaints, I was so willing to go to those lengths just to visit a space that Instagram prompted me to go to? But again, that is a discussion for another time.

In the meantime, stay safe! Thank you for reading!

- Sheryl

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