Penang is a foodie’s version of heaven and gaining weight while you’re there for a couple of days is inevitable. Well, unless you have the self-restraint of a Buddhist monk then maybe you can resist overeating. But for me, it was just too hard. I even dropped by the hotel gym at some point just to work out because I was feeling a bit guilty.
The trainer told me that I’m actually pretty thin and I could use a couple more pounds but to stay healthy and to get stronger, I should workout around 3 times a week and eat healthy (READ: veggies and fruits). My first question was: How many cheat meals am I allowed then? Lol, typical Carol. He told me I could have as much as 3-4 as I’m still quite frail-looking. But to be honest, I only get to do a maximum of 3 healthy meals a week. And that’s a HUGE improvement for this junk-food loving carnivore. 😉 (RELATED POST: Travel+ Food + Photos: Getting to Penang, Penang Hill, and some Food Worship)
While Penang is known for its Chinese food, the influx of expat workers brought in different kinds of cuisine from all over the world. It’s easy enough to spot a Middle Eastern diner where they serve authentic Naan and Chicken Masala that will make you think twice as to where you actually are – Malaysia? Saudi Arabia? Yemen??? The last day of Alvin’s conference ended at around 1 p.m. and since our flight back to Kuala Lumpur was scheduled the next day, we had a whole afternoon to ourselves. We decided to eat in George Town just so Alvin can walk around and see it as well (I’ve been doing my own sightseeing while he was attending the conference). We got off at Lebuh Chulia and ended up in Lorong Love (Love Lane) which is a backpacker and cafe area of George Town. We wandered into Wheeler’s Coffee for that afternoon.
The cafe is a haven for bicycle lovers, with artwork dedicated to the two-wheeler. You can also rent brand new bicycles (complete with those cute baskets in front) for you to use around George Town.
In fact, if you’re into biking around the city as a way of exploring, there are a good number of shops along Lorong Love and Lebuh Armenian (Armenian Street) that rent out bicycles. I highly suggest it too. If only I was confident enough to bike (my husband taught me how back in Manila but I’m afraid my muscles have forgotten how to do it by now) on my own, I would have rented a bike. It’s cheaper than taking modernised (read: decorated with lights and plastic flowers) rickshaws or a cab.
I ended up doing a walking tour of George Town two days before our visit to Wheeler’s Coffee. It’s highly doable (don’t believe the cab drivers when they tell you that the key places in George Town are too far apart) and it’s great exercise.
The cafe has a second floor but we weren’t able to go up there as our food arrived soon enough and we devoured it in minutes. We were so hungry. This was around 3 in the afternoon and both of us hadn’t had our lunch yet. Alvin skipped the lunch at his conference so we can eat together. 10 points for being such a sweet husband! One thing about Alvin and I is that we tend to order the same things from a certain menu. Our taste buds are pretty much the same except for spicy food to which he has a higher tolerance than I do. So we both ordered the Chicken Mushroom Ragout as our main dish.
We loved this dish. The sauce was just the right kind of creamy and was very tasty. The vegetables were fresh and the mashed potatoes had great texture and a garlicky hint to it. The chicken meat was not as tender as expected but it was tolerable. You just have to put a bit of extra effort in slicing it.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of tartar sauce but these wedges are good enough to eat on their own as the light breading has a tinge of garlicky flavour. The edges are a bit crispy and the centres are totally soft.
The Oreo Cheese Cake was pretty ok. You hardly get to taste the “cheese”. It’s more of a cookies and cream kind of cake. It’s got the right amount of sweetness and is structured like several (and I mean a LOT) of really thin crepes piled on top of each other. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s worth a try. All in all, we paid RM52 for a meal for two people. Not bad. I think Wheeler’s Coffee is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon in Penang. It’s very laid back and is also suitable for either hanging out with friends or sending emails back home and posting your travel photos while in George Town (they have wifi!). The food, I’m gonna have to give it a 7 over 10. All the menu items we ordered were tasty and very filling. Wheeler’s Coffee is located at 67 Love Lane, Chinatown, Georgetown, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. They’re open everyday from 9 in the morning till midnight. (RELATED POST: Travel + Photos: Purrfect Cat Cafe (Penang)) More later. Love, Carol