Trendy Cafe Style Western Big Breakfast with Eggs in Penang
“Seize the Morning Penangites” and head out for some great trendy cafe style Western Big Breakfast with eggs in Penang.
A high protein western big breakfast in George Town is what you need to eat well.
No one has time to cook breakfast.
With the work week crawl, errands before clock-ins, the drive-through lane just to get caffeinated is an appealing alternative.
Not all of us live nearby kopitiam or the wet markets. Or have the luxury of getting a favorite hot bowl of noodle every morning.
So does waking up 15minutes earlier to make something on the fly get you excited?
Blend a smoothie with fruit, yogurt and soy powder for a quick power up. Or cook some eggs over toast and chow down with store bought instant coffee.
Nay. Too much hassle you say. No worries, you can always save your weekends to eat your meals, properly.
Trending now; the rise of breakfast cafés have made their presence felt in little Penang.
Inspired by the best joints found in the vibrant metropolitan cities around the globe serving all sorts of tantalizing all-day brunch fare, these cafés are powerhouses of machine pulled coffees and lattes from top range and high-end quality beans and leaves.
Some even have an in-house bakery!
I egged you egged it/she/he egged we egged they egged. All egged!
When I embarked on this project to write about breakfast cafés I decided to use the infamous chef’s “egg test”. If they know how to cook eggs, then they know how to cook properly.
Otherwise, just follow closely to the instruction of my favorite and UK’s most respected chef; Raymond Blanc as he cooks up a simple omelet in just three minutes! Yes, who doesn’t have 3 minutes of their life to make an omelet?
Quite simply, my request to the cafés was for some Breakfast Eggs in any style. And of course, coffee!
With that settled, we proceeded with the nine interviews.
Insta that face!
My focus is on people and communities; collectively all the hands that make the breakfast; be it the chef or owner.
I am so pleased with the results.
These nine Instagram photos attest to the passion of the people of George Town. It cuts across ethnic and age groups. Most of the café owners are strangers I’ve just met on the day of the interview itself.
I took these with my S6 and uploaded one Insta a day with a short description taking care not to disclose the whereabouts of the café.
The clues have shown a backdrop, a small emblem or discreet sign only noticeable if one looks closely at the photo.
Nine smiling faces. The café owners are not known to each other, there is no real preplanning.
It just happened.
To me, it’s simple. Everyone featured is a winner!
“How Do You Want Your Eggs Done?”
Eggs very easily digestible. Nature’s fast food; on-the-go protein; the most versatile ingredient in the kitchen and in the hands of a creative chef, magic happens.
In George Town, the local kopitiam make fabulous soft boiled eggs with warm runny yolks and custard-like whites. It’s something so easy and hard to replicate at home so we eat out for the simple pleasure of being served as we stay engrossed with our devices.
Cubed hot buttered toast is dunked in the eggs seasoned with a dash of soy sauce and white pepper. Warm golden liquid on clouds of white.
With the recent boom in café cultures, the locals have grown to enjoy a poached egg which is akin to boiling an egg without its shell so the white is cooked through and the yolk is warm and runny.
Most cafes are now able to whip up decent poached eggs.
A favorite of mine is Eggs Benedict with a bright hollandaise sauce spooned over, a few rashers of extra crispy bacon and some chopped up fried chorizos. Bliss.
Fish Fun Fact: This meal actually fuelled the naming of www.smartdory.com
Moulmein Gourmet @ Moulmein Road
Featured heavily in the Chinese press and magazine, the little café deco is kitsch and surprisingly popular with elderly Japanese customers who like the simple organic and undersalted food.
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
Getting the eggs done just so as in the “perfect” scrambled eggs is hard to come by. So far the only near perfect scrambled eggs I had was in a small hotel in a northern state prepared by a young commis chef who was so chill at the egg station that he continuously scrambled away as in “stir like mad” with a wooden spoon regardless of the queue at the egg station.
How good was it? I remember the taste well. The scrambled eggs were a pleasing deep yellow color, creamy in texture, not too wet but just set with big, soft curds and velvety smooth to taste. Perfectly salted.
I don’t breakfast regularly in smart hotels but this memory takes me back to standing in line watching the young chef cook and writing down the recipe! I kid you not!
There are several versions of this so-called king of the breakfast table and again preferences in terms of texture are subjective.
Shall I egg you on to try all and decide on your preferred eggy perfection?
Kim Haus @ Campbell Street
Better known as Penang’s first Open Mic Café and a hangout for international fingerstyle guitarists, Kim Haus has its own bakery and serves up a mean breakfast.
The Full English breakfast has firmer fluffy buttery scrambled eggs which is moist and perfectly seasoned on toasted multi-grain bread. The sautéed mushroom and garlic flavored potato mash fritter maybe a tad salty but then since I like a stronger taste, I rather enjoyed that. The only snag was the chicken sausage was overcooked and dry. It would be perfect if the sausage was pan grilled and juicy! At RM17.90 the portion is a good size and overall tasty.
Beangels @ Island Plaza
The new breakfast menu has two items with decadent scrambled eggs which are all buttery, runny and soft and served with a croissant that is crisp on the exterior with tender moist multi-layer interior that pulls apart beautifully and best eaten with extra butter. Overall taste and texture are intensely buttery with a natural dairy sweetness.
I would go for the Cheesy Eggs which is packed in an eight-inch croissant and is served with extra butter as the Big Breakfast has a smaller sized croissant.
Actually, come to think of it, I’ll head there again for just the croissant, butter, and a good cuppa to start my mornings. Price not available at the time of interview.
The Haven Harbour Cafe @ Chime Heritage
With a stack of huge stuffed teddies piled high against a wall, everything in the café seemed sized up at first glance beginning with the Big Breakfast which is Herculean in portion.
The scrambled eggs turned out a little watery. How did that happen? But everything else more than made up for the less than “perfect” scrambled eggs. The streaky bacon wrapped Emmentaler pork sausage which is stuffed with cheese and Black Forest ham with multigrain bread is a huge portion to finish alone. Taste wise, Haven Harbour wins hands down for the best-tasting pork sausage. No complaints at the price of RM26.
The Big Beans @ Madras Lane
A Mom and Pop tuck shop/café Big Beans is run by Chef Susan and barista Mike has a homey feel and taste in the cooking.
Unpretentious, their Big Breakfast set has hard scrambled eggs taste like tiny bits of omelets with Mom’s signature all over it. With 4 chicken frankfurters, 2 slices of chicken ham, 2 rashers of pork bacon, a hash brown, buttered toast, and side salad the RM15 deal is a steal!
If you’re counting; 2 chicken frankfurters sprouted legs and walked away prior to the photoshoot. LOL
Note to chefs, for best-tasting sausages, poach these to lock in moisture before being grilled. Everyone enjoys meaty, juicy sausages that have some color to make them perfect!
Anyone can make French toast by dipping bread in the eggy custard mixture and frying the bread slices on a lightly greased pan until it’s browned on both sides. The worst thing that can go wrong is soggy toast.
Soul Cafe @ Kek Chuan Road
Tagged Italian Food and Photography, the café is packed at meal times daily and popular with regulars.
Soul Cafe’s new breakfast promotion has French Brioche Monte Cristo on the menu.
A Monte Cristo is the perfect combination of French toast and a sandwich. Some recipes for a Monte Cristo call for ham and turkey ham. For this version, the café uses French Broiche and make a comforting and simple sweet treat of a fried ham and cheddar cheese sandwich is served with a homemade cranberry sauce that gets an extra lift from the salty streaky bacon.
I would prefer the fried bacon in the sandwich rather than eat that separately. French Brioche Monte Cristo sells at RM28.
Real Food Penang @Straits Quay
A cafe and organic grocery store that makes slow food. “We take the simplest ingredients not processed ingredients, artificial preservatives and trans-fat to make our food,” said the owner whose entire family has embraced eating slow food and are vegetarian.
The eggs used for the pancakes comes from free-range hens raised separately from cockerels so that the eggs they produce are not fertilized.
The pancake is made by whisking the egg whites to soft peaks and adding flour to the mixture. As it is cooked slowly, the pancake is formed into tofu shaped squares by the patient chef.
The organic banana pancake is topped with banana and agave nectar and cost RM20 for a serve of two pancakes. With a chewy texture, the pancakes are not overly sweet but tasted very good as everything is made from scratch in the café.
There is an option to top up with organic vegan ice-cream made from brown rice milk and sugar cane. Each scoop costs RM12.
Hard Boiled Eggs!
My pet peeve is the poor abused and mishandled hardboiled egg. Oft times we would find the halved hard boiled eggs with a green ring around the yolk that are such a turn-off.
A perfect hardboiled egg has the whites firm but not rubbery: the yolks cooked but still creamy with a dot of raw.
Nothing is impossible, American Chef John, video blogger and YouTube celebrity, who publishes instructional cooking videos on the video blog Food Wishes Recipes – How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.
So no excuses not getting this right.
Tavern in the Park @ Hin Bus Depot
Indie and moving with its own beat, the café which is nestled in an artist’s hangout is imaginative in its choice of hipster food and presentation.
My expectations of where’s the egg are answered with crumbled hard-boiled eggs taking on a bold flavor and unexpected twist when it’s used as a garnish over pesto and tomato topped Crostini. A Set of Three/RM18 has beautiful unexpected flavors, Smoked Duck over cannellini beans, orange slices and topped with almond slices, the sweet has sliced bananas with a sweet caramel sauce.
Served throughout the day, this light brunch packs intense flavor and crunch that is satisfying.
And yes, the café wins top marks for the perfect hard boiled egg. My trust is restored.
Breakfast gets an upgrade with two cafés putting on baked eggs on the breakfast menu. Ever since I had my first eggs in pots (oeufs en cocotte) I would try to order this whenever I eat breakfast at a café.
Super fancy and hearty, I ended up polishing up these two versions. There’s only one way to eat baked eggs. First, break the jingly egg yolks in the barely set whites and sort of barely mix it into the sauce.
Kim Haus @ Campbell Street made Florentine, a dish of poached eggs in a cheesy béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper that is worth breaking the calories counter.
Best eaten hot and shared; just break the freshly baked bun and dip that in to mop up the beautiful sauce. A fork helps to pick up the sautéed mushrooms and spinach. The heavy cream used makes for a creamy cheese sauce that is a winner! At RM19.90 this dish that can be shared by two.
Secawan ‘n’ Such @ Hutton Lane
A café that set the bar high for Egg Benedict with an amazing Hollandaise sauce that is opaque, creamy smooth and sunny yellow. A pure emulsion of egg yolk and liquid butter.
Their new menu is a delicious Middle Eastern egg dish, Shakshuka which has minced chorizo, beans, plenty of spices and full of robust flavor. Tearing the crusty bread and using it to mop up the tomato, the oniony spicy sauce makes this one of new test taste in town. This brunch-worthy bright dish provides a spicy kick-start to any day.
Priced at RM18.70, I believe Secawan has another winner on its menu.
So do eat breakfast every morning to have a better morning. Perhaps you’ll eat lesser at lunch and dinner and eventually sleep better and not snack past midnight.
As for me, I can’t wait to power up with some wholesome eggs.
This time I’ll get up 20 minutes earlier and make that perfect hard boiled eggs to snack on.
Or hang out at the cafes and Chillax!
The series of interviews are hosted by the cafes. Breakfast dates that are awesome and informative really rock my mornings. I record my appreciation to all the café staff and chefs who got up early to make this possible.
Again, if I could I would include and feature all the trendy cafes and everyone whose smiles brighten every morning!
Cafes are listed in the sequence of the interviews
Moulmein Gourmet @ 44, Jalan Moulmein, Pulau Tikus. (04) 226 6512
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30 AM–3:30PM, 6:30–10:30PM Close: every Thursday
Beangels @ Island Plaza, 118, Jalan Tanjung Tokong; (04) 890 5102
Hours: Open Daily 8 AM–12AM
The Haven Harbour Cafe @ Chime Heritage, 21, Jalan Bawasah; (04)226 6508
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11 AM– 11 PM-Close: every Wednesday
Soul Café @ 12, Jalan Kek Chuan; (04)226 8200
Hours: Monday to Saturday 8 AM–11PM Close: every Sunday
Kim Haus @ 9 & 11, Lebuh Campbell, George Town, Penang; (016) 330 1515
Hours: Opens Daily 8AM–11PM
The Big Beans @ 52, Lorong Madras, George Town; (04) 622 1876
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday • 10.30AM–6.30PM Close: every Mondays
Tavern in the Park @ Hin Bus Depot, 125, Jalan Timah, George Town (04) 218 9394
Hours: Open Daily 11:30 AM–10PM
Secawan ‘n’ Such @ 205, Jalan Hutton, George Town; (04) 226 2182
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8 AM–12AM Close: every Monday
Real Food Penang @ 3A-G-13D, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tg Pinang; (04): 04-890 8295
Hours: Open Daily 10 AM–10PM
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