Narrow Marrow Cafe Beach Street Penang
Boho chic Narrow Marrow Café has a new home on Beach Street, Penang.
When the secret alleyway café started in 2014, it was squished between two shophouses on Carnarvon Street.
In Penang, Carnarvon Street is known for two things – school books and undertaking business.
Back in the day, the Convent school girls would give the undertaker the telephone number to the boys they don’t quite fancy who fancied them.
Some of the SXI boys reading this will remember those high school days.
Narrow Marrow Café – A Social Hub
Alvin and Jamie started the Cafe that everyone wanted to be a bar back in 2014.
It was and still is the creative hub that their friends and regulars love to hang out.
When the café started, it was in this narrow strip of the shophouse.
In George Town, a traditional shophouse is a building type serving both a residence and a commercial business.
The shophouses are often narrow and deep – some punctuated by two or even three air-well for ventilation.
There are a few places in George Town where you can experience dining in a pre-loved property with a minimal makeover full of rustic charm and character.
- Narrow Marrow
- China House
- Ecco Café
For visitors to George Town, it is not the swankiest cafe that has the best atmosphere.
Many cafes featured in Lonely Planet‘s must-eat places in Penang are housed in pre-war buildings with an offbeat, quirky air about it.
You will be surprised that a few of these gems serve excellent pasta and fantastic pizzas made from scratch.
Travelers seem to know where to head to, and locals become regulars in these cafes where everyone knows your name.
Narrow Marrow Café New Location on Beach Street
Since 2020, Narrow Marrow has moved to a wider space next door to the Le Petit Four Patisserie.
The new location is much wider as compared to the old narrow.
It is endearing to see Alvin and Jamie holding the fort and get things shipshape in line with the new normal.
Narrow Marrow Café – Menu
Expect to find your all-time favorite Coffee, Cheesecakes, Tiramisus, and Toddy by familiar faces on the cafe menu.
Narrow Marrow Drinks
Yesses…. The mildly sweet alcoholic beverage is intriguing.
The beloved toddy (coconut palm wine) is the founders’ secret plan of warming customers up to the idea of drinking in a café.
Toddy Mojito (fresh mint) may tickle your fancy or the Toddy Basito (fresh basil).
It is less pungent than the one you can get from the Kedai Tuak (Toddy Shops) in Penang and Butterworth.
Whilst I don’t have a Tuak in the afternoon heat, I’m impartial to the outstanding cheesecakes that Jamie made in-house.
We tried a few drinks.
The coffee here makes a good afternoon to be spent here as it is supposed to come in a double shot, judging from its slightly bigger cup.
- Matcha Latte
- Banana Smoothie
- Marakesh Mint
Narrow Marrow Cheesecakes
Jamie’s cheesecakes are always baked fresh and contain straightforward ingredients.
The New York-style cheesecake is a no-frills cheesecake that packs a punch in flavor and texture.
What I like about the taste is that it is not “jelak.”
The distinct flavor is attributed to the fresh lemon juice and the sour cream.
For someone whose favorite cake is a Victoria Sponge (old school and boring, I know), I love the taste of Narrow Marrow’s cheesecakes. The cakes are rich without being overly sweet.
The Cheesecake on sale the day we went
- Strawberry Sourcream
- Coconut Clitoria
- Salted Gula Melaka
- John Lemon
Salted Gula Melaka Cheese (RM 15)
Salted Gula Melaka Cheesecake is an interesting combination packed with a dense cheese layer and topped with delicious walnut and solid crumbs.
Narrow Marrow Café – Deco
Alvin, the architect (we shared the design studio once upon a time), and Jamie built many of the items and did the installations in the café.
Bare walls back an assortment of odds and ends with random mixed media art pieces, which bears testament to the couple’s unique style.
Several well-preserved old items, several old toys, books, knick-knacks handicrafts, and furniture, and some hardware, from closed optometry or optical shops, had been closed.
The upcycle furniture and mismatched seat are perch-worthy.
Both tourists and locals love to hang out here.
Overall, there are many spots for that Instagram shot.
I find their terrariums made in a miscellany of reused glass jars most intriguing.
Review of Narrow Marrow Cafe
The cozy cafe has character.
There are interesting twists in the beverage menu.
I enjoyed the coffee, smoothie, and the taste of the tangy cheesecakes.
I’m not much for drinking toddy (a personal choice), but the Toddy Mojito is decidedly interesting and worth a try if you like mint!
And if your herb is basil, you will enjoy the Toddy Basito.
I’m making another visit when the hot menu is ready!
RMCO Rules Narrow Marrow Cafe
- Not more than 4 pax
- No child below 12
- 1 order per pax
- 1 hour per pax
Narrow Marrow Cafe
312, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang
Business hours: 10 am – 6 pm (Friday to Sunday); Closed Tuesday and Wednesday