Sunday, June 23, 2013

China House: Kopi C. Espresso

China House is a traditional compound of three heritage buildings, linked by an open air courtyard and converted into 14 spaces comprising shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries and multi-purpose performance theatre. 
- China House Penang

China House is an uprising popular place in Penang. Two weeks ago I've been there for my second time and to my surprise, I did not know that there's actually so many different food and beverages outlet in one place. I have been to Kopi C. Espresso last year and I thought that is all about China House.

To my surprise, I have only get to know that there's actually more after walking in from Kopi C. Espresso after checking their website. It gives a thorough introduction and walkthrough of the place and you should really check it out [here] before heading to the shop itself.
Espresso. Kopi C. Espresso is a very Australian style cafe that serve breakfast all day and brunch on Sunday. Salads and sandwiches for lunch and mezze & simple fast mains for dinner. Single origin and blended coffee beans espresso style are available from the trained baristas. 
- China House Penang

Now I feel like I have yet to been to China House but only Kopi C. My first experience there was not very pleasant though I can understand that it was a very busy day for them. So this time, I had the chance to head there on a Monday and I am so glad that I decided to go there again. The shop was not packed like the weekend and the waitress actually have the time to have us seated up and serve us instead of having the customers ordering at the counter.

I've always thought their main attraction is their desserts and pastries due to their famous homemade ice-cream as well as the long line of desserts at the huge table behind the counter. I actually took the risk to head there in the morning thinking they might not have breakfast.
So imagine my surprise when I actually get to look at their menu. They have a list of breakfast food and oh my, they all sound so delicious. I had their scrambled eggs with english muffins and patty, they have a long description but I don't remember. With this two words 'scrambled eggs' is enough to convince me to order for it. While Karen ordered their big breakfast.

The scrambled eggs are simple and nice. No side dishes, just muffin, patty and a slice of tomato with the creamy scrambled eggs. I gotta give two thumbs up for their scrambled eggs, it was soooooo good. (Don't mind the misspelling, it was just very good.) While their big breakfast was nothing to be shout about. I think Karen regretted on her order and was eyeing my plate.
Then I couldn't miss out on the dessert even though it's a little weird to have dessert after right after breakfast. Again, I couldn't try their salted caramel ice-cream and so I have to settled with gula melaka (sugar malacca) flavor instead. It wasn't even freeze properly when it came and it was all runny but I took it because I really wanted to have a taste of it. Don't mind the repetition but it was so good! The down side was it's just overly sweet  even for a sweet tooth like me. But the fragrance of gula melaka make it up instead. We also ordered a cake but I think the order came wrong and we did not realize it until we had a bite.

I guess the second visit change my view of the place and one advice for all of you, try not to go there on a weekend. If you manage to head there on a weekday instead, it would be a much better experience. I think it's worth it to go there again but it's difficult to travel on weekdays.

I was actually planning to blog about this after the first time I went there but I guess I did not manage to until I go there a second time. I'm glad that I blog about this only after the second visit because the first one did no justice to the place. If you would want to read about my first experience there, click below.

It was so crowded and packed the first time I was there. It was a Sunday and there's a lot of people in Penang due to some marathon and stuff. When we walked into the place, even the walkway was packed considering their walkway is already very small. Waitress and waiters bustling around and there's nobody who can serve us.

I ended up enquiring at the counter and they did not even hand us the menu. Hence explained why I didn't know they serve breakfast and main meals. All I saw was desserts, rows and rows of desserts on show and that's why we only have desserts that time. I ordered at the counter, paid and couldn't find a table. They have a small table outside the shop and I doubt anyone actually sit there but we didn't have a choice plus it wasn't too hot that day.
They actually have a long list of homemade ice-cream beside the counter but not all flavors are available at the same time I guess. The first time I was there, I asked for salted caramel too but it was not available. Then I asked for gula melaka and it's also not available. In the end, we settled for coffee. I wasn't interested in trying such a common flavors, almost all ice-cream brands have a coffee flavor ice-cream.

Then, I was surprised with the flavor when I had my first spoonful. I guess I'm surprised a lot at this place. It was really good for a coffee ice-cream, the taste was very strong, awesome for a coffee lover like me. It's not for a faint hearted, I mean in terms of coffee. Some might say it's too strong and it has a hint of bitterness due to the strong coffee taste, but it's a good bitter.
We had two slices of cakes, both my favorite; cheesecake and chocolate cake. I forgot what's exactly it is but the first one is a lemon cheesecake with chocolate top. It's very hard to find a nice cheesecake nowadays but this is definitely one of them. But my friend commented that it's too sour for his liking, but what do you expect from a lemon cheesecake. I like how it's paired with a chocolate top, the cake texture is so smooth and creamy and it's almost like a perfect match. Almost, can't be perfect, can it?

Then it's a chocolate cake which I forgot the name. I call everything that is a cake and has chocolate in it chocolate cake but I only like those that is made without flour. Or at least, I don't feel the flour. I suspect that was made purely with chocolate because it was so chocolatey. You can see from the picture itself, it's just awesome pawesome melting chocolate in the shape of a cake slice.

I guess though the experience wasn't all pleasant during my first visit, the food sold me. The ice-cream was good and the cakes are awesome. Hence I gave it a second try which earned me a better experience and definitely not disappointed. I'm sorry I did not include the price in this post as I have forgotten what's the price range.

If I have a chance again, I would go back. Only if it's a weekday. I wouldn't risk it on a weekend again, then if you're not afraid of overly crowded place like I do, you may go ahead. On a side note, I've heard and seen pictures of this place that it has intricate decorations and also the galleries, I am too clueless (or lazy) to check them out. Don't miss out like me if you happened to go there or at least plan to.

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