Many restaurants and cafes in Penang are amazing but the one that really grabbed our attention was The Canteen at ChinaHouse (唐人厝). To be precise the Canteen at ChinaHouse is a bar, bistro and a venue for live performance. However, since we visited joint during the Covid-19 pandemic, there was of course no live performance. Still the ambiance was spectacular to say the least. That alone warrants a recommendation from me for you to visit this place which serves amazing spread of delicate food.
Before we look at what we had devoured, here's a brief introduction about The Canteen at ChinaHouse. Apparently, this bistro (Canteen) is just part of ChinaHouse. For the uninitiated, ChinaHouse concists of 3 buildings adjoined together by a central courtyard. There are 14 different sections and the Canteen is just one of it. For the record, ChinaHouse is the longest cafe in Penang spanning 400 feet (120 metres) from end to end. It is located between Victoria Street (Lebuh Victoria) and Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai).
Stage for Live Performance
Adore the splendid decorations in The Canteen
It is like an art gallery!
The Canteen is located along Lebuh Victoria while the other famous cafe at the other end is Kopi C which you can access from Lebuh Pantai. It is amazing that ChinaHouse has different menus catering to different customers. There is also a fine dining restaurant in ChinaHouse known as BTB aka Bon Ton Bistro. Hopefully we will be able to visit ChinaHouse again to enjoy the food at Kopi C and Bon Ton Bistro. Now let's get back to Canteen, shall we?
So what drinks do you want to order?
You would want to indulge in these toothsome cakes
What is underneath the table?
The Canteen at ChinaHouse is the place to be if you want to enjoy live music while savouring your delectable food. The moment we stepped into The Canteen, there was a makeshift platform for performers to strut their stuff. However when we visited the bistro, it was a shame that we could only sample their exquisite food. There were not many patrons yet as we were quite early.
Love the vibe and music in The Canteen
It's a pretty romantic place for dates as well 😍
Obviously, the Canteen was very popular with foreign tourists as we were the only locals there. I am sure they were there not only for the food but also the unbelievable backdrop. I must say that the ambiance in The Canteen was really soothing and vibrant, setting the mood for you to relax and unwind. The decorations were really full of vibe and colours with impeccable antiques and brilliant lightings. In fact the whole place looks like an art gallery with beautiful abstract paintings gracing the walls and different backgrounds for you to take those insta-worthy snaps.
Our drink for the night-Lychee Cranberry Lemonade
The enigmatic Candle Apple Red colour took center stage here, illuminating the whole place and infusing with lively background music. Of course by then we had already ordered our food and beverage. Since this is a bistro where a lot of alcoholic beverages are served, we only ordered one drink that our little kids could enjoy as well-Lychee Cranberry Lemonade which I thought was refreshing and a bit different from what we usually had. Perhaps it was the cranberry.
Nachos For Appetizer
Kids love nachos for sure!
First platter to land on our table was my Nachos. The last time we had one was 5 years ago at Hard Rock Cafe Melaka. Certainly, this appetizer had immediately whetted our taste buds. I mean what not to like right? The crunchy tortilla chips, the combo of melted cheese, sour cream and salsa really complemented the jalapeno peppers and olive perfectly. Honestly, we wished that were more tortilla chips for our gaping drooling mouths.
Pizza of The Day
Someone is digging the burnt cheese and tuna chunks 😁
Our kids had pizza of the day which was a hand tossed tuna pizza. We really appreciate the generous chunks of tuna covered in melted cheese. The burnt cheese and tuna chunks really combined to give you that unmistakable mouth-watering fragrant. The basil leaves and chopped onions scattered on the thin-crust pizza also did wonder in elevating the flavour and aroma of this savoury Italian delight. I would rather it second to the Salmon Pizza we had at Fugo Ryori.
Ayam Perchik Will Tantalize Your Tastebuds
Wifey gave her nod of approval
The ayam perchik was tender and flavourful
The next main course for my wife's Ayam Perchik aka Coconut BBQ Chicken. Honestly, this was an eye-opening dish that even my wife gave her nod of approval. Served with cashew salad with loads of basils and green mango, the Ayam Perchik dish also came with bite-size roast sweet potatoes. The coconut (Santan) rice was so good that my wife even waxed lyrical about it. I tried a few spoons and couldn't agree more. Every grain of the rice was fluffy and tasty. The chicken was flawlessly marinated with the juice oozing out the moment you sink your teeth into it. I bet the green lemon sauce played a huge role to make the whole package even more scrumptious.
Smoked Salmon Bagel
Exquisite and yet delightful!
It swept me off my feet for sure (especially the smoked salmon)
The highlight for our (my) dinner was the huge Smoked Salmon Bagel. Of course I was the only one who savoured this "hamburger" as my wife and children found the combination of bagel, rocket salad and smoked salmon slices were too exotic for their palate. Being a big fan of salmon, I must say that I love the how well the salmon slices were smoked and they went really well with the balsamic and rocket salad of course. If was an acquired taste and one that I truly want to try again. 🤤
Salted Caramel Cheese Cake
Last but not least, we sweeten our already pleasant dinner with a piece of Salted Caramel Cheese Cake. It was rich, firm and of course with a hint of brine. I love how the nectarous caramel added more texture to our cheesy piece of dessert. It was so good that we almost forgot to take a picture. Guess we were craving for it too badly. LOL 😂
Doddled this as I was in the mood
In the Chinese Courtyard
We will definitely return to ChinaHouse again!
After our dinner we actually went to do some sightseeing and snapped some photos. All in all The Canteen at ChinaHouse is really a great place to have your dinner or maybe supper. Hopefully during our next visit, we could try out the food at their Kopi C cafe and Bon Ton Bistro. So if you happen to be in Penang or Georgetown to be precise, do pay The Canteen at ChinaHouse a visit. I would go as far to say it is a must visit cafe in Penang.
The Canteen at ChinaHouse
Address: 183-B, Lebuh Victoria, George Town, 10300 Pulau Pinang.
Opening Hours: Daily (9:00a.m.-2:00a.m.)
Map of The Canteen at ChinaHouse