Penang’s charm is best summed up by the people who were born and bred here, and who now run their own successful establishments. “We’re a relatively slow and relaxed city,” says Vince Ong, a co-founder of Macallum Connoisseurs, a popular cafe, coffee roastery and training academy in a sprawling refurbished warehouse (try the spaghetti with chicken sausages & coffee-tinged dressing). “But we’re inspired to show that we can do things as well as anyone else.”
1 Gat Lebuh Macallum, George Town, Penang. Daily, 9am-12am. Tel: 04-261359
“This is a place where you can build a meaningful business with character, soul, warmth and identity,” says Ben Ng, a respected mixologist who spent years in Kuala Lumpur and abroad before returning to George Town to launch Mish Mash, a bistro that attracts bustling crowds for its hearty pub grub (recommendations include the roast pork belly) and imaginative cocktails in an atmospheric setting lined with portraits of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and a cigar-smoking Fidel Castro. “It’s really good to be back in Penang.”
24 Muntri Street, George Town, Penang. Tues-Sun, 5pm-12am
This spotlight on George Town is part of a feature on Penang's recommended restaurants, cafes & bars - read the full feature in the November 2015 issue of Going Places, Malaysia Airlines' in-flight magazine, or on Going Places' website (link here).
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