Kafka Victoria Hideaway Cafe For Coffee Addicts
I like Kafka Victoria, and Kafka AND I like a certain Barista to make me my coffee.
I swear there is a huge difference when he makes my cuppa.
One of the things I enjoyed most at Kafka besides the coffee is the times I had cake, more cakes, truffle fries and my all-time favourite – the Shakshouka.
Now there are two Kafka outlets.
The original Kafka @ Kelawei and Kafka @ Victoria.
Both places are memory pieces of my younger days rushing around with a short deadline and an even shorter fuse – and no coffee.
Victoria Street Before Kafka
Back in the day, when we drank coffee, it was from either Ah Hin or Ah Guan who coaxed the coffee grounds with a reusable washable flannel cloth sock strainer.
For takeaways, it was always the KOPI “Ikat tepi” only in Malaysia.
I know some of you reading this are either smiling or pulling a face.
I think of it, and I’m surprised we lived through those bad coffee days and managed to stay awake.
The Kafka Victoria Experience
Kafka is brewing beans on one of the oldest and most historical precincts, Victoria Street in the heart of Georgetown, Penang.
A quiet, hidden café, Kafka pulsate with good beats and vibes for an experience with glimpses of the past.
Overall, my experience is good for reminiscences of my salad days.
The Behn Meyer Building is one of the colonial buildings that line Weld Quay in the heart of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I used to work in an office in the building in the 80s.
I remember running down Behn Meyer back staircase to eat my daily lunch at the little food stall managed by Ah Anne with coffee pulled by Ah Chye.
From Kopi O to Commercial Barista Coffee Machines at Kafka Victoria
Now to 10X for a good cuppa at a café.
For stingy “kedekut” Penangites (I am a true blue, so therefore I say) it was hard parting when the price of a cuppa went from 40 cents to 70 cents.
In the 80s, we drunk many copious cups of coffee from the Coffee Maker on a continually cycling boil.
I think you will remember the taste and make a face.
Kafka Victoria Menu
The menu is small, but manageable for a tiny kitchen to handle.
We had the Chempedak Cheesecake which was creamy, sweet and brilliant without being coyly “jelak”.
From the days of Kopi Boys, we now have Baristas pulling a mean cuppa with coffee art.
Now the Unkers and Aunties learn to watch young Baristas at work.
We know the difference between an experienced Barista by looking at how he takes a loosely dosed amount of coffee grounds and tamping it to form a perfectly packed cake of coffee grounds.
Pressure is what makes an espresso an espresso.
Everything else falls short.
The confident cafe serves their double shot in a glass cup – where you can see the coffee crema.
The Expert Drinker orders a Double Espresso and Dory asks if the beans are acidic and decide on a Latte to make the drink smoother.
A double espresso may also be listed as doppio, which is the Italian word for double.
The brew is highly concentrated and strong.
I used to drink my Americano, the stuff that real coffee drinkers scoff.
American hate that term and are bewildered at my preference for a hot diluted Espresso shot which I tip in a splash of cold milk.
Some suggest I just go with instant coffee granules.
I could make with a teaspoon and fill up a beaker of the thermos and extend my rations indefinitely like World War II soldiers.
My Uncle Barista pal, Mike would laugh, wisely ignore my request and pull a mean cuppa and teach me all about golden crema – a full-bodied cup with good acidity, and chocolatey undertones.
Well, I don’t have access to any of these fancy coffee machines, I mean who has?
Kafka Victoria – Wonderful World of Collectibles
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re trying to grow an already established business, choosing the right espresso machine for your shop is vital.
Kafka Victoria has a good machine, practically noiseless.
Maybe we were lulled by the jazzy tunes as we rested our eyes from too much screen time.
The little café is a tight squeeze, filled to the brim of the rafters with an enormous collection of old things.
The café is chockful of interesting knick-knacks, the young server leads us in through the crowded coffee shop, we squeezed our burly frame past the cramped counter, drinks station into the annexe.
We walked into the dim enclave full of collectable of all sorts, ceramics, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, cameras, photographs, prints, clocks, sculpture, toys and knick-knacks.
We looked around, our eyes picking up things from the crowded displays and stopped at the singular tree near a corner.
When the drinks arrived, I remembered the Uncle Ah Chye stirring my cup of Milo vigorously before pulling it back and forth from two stainless steel mugs.
In the parlance unique to Kopitiams all over Penang island, we sank back on the tiny repurposed wooden stools.
I jokingly made a lunatic remark: I need two, one for each bum bum.
I needed more coffee for fuel for prolific prose, never mind credibility.
Since I had to walk quite a distance in the drizzle to savour one cup of coffee after an enormous meal of pasta, pizza and snacks.
We sat under the “tree” tree basked in the great experience sitting in artwork and listened to good vibes played on a 1950s amplifier with perfect sound.
In the dim light, I thought I saw an armillary sphere with the Sun at the centre determining the rhythm of life?
Kafka Victoria Review
Nowhere like Kafka Victoria in Penang which an incredible hideaway setting.
Kafka Victoria is both location and interior unique where you are literally sitting within the frame of ancient eclectic pieces, mood lighting and soulful vibes.
Young Barista shows full focus and earnest passion for coffee which we enjoyed.
We are good with the sincere, friendly servers and BEST of all table service without having to waltz around carry our coffee and cakes to the table!
The place is so chill there is no need for any an attempt to convince us that this is a great hideaway for ambience, and need multiple returns passes to visit!
Like the original, Kafka @Victoria is setup will the enjoy the roaring success of the Kafka brand.
Landmark: The Behn Meyer Building
Address: 51C, Lebuh Victoria, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang
Hours: 9.00 am to 12.00 am
Facebook: Kafka Facebook
Distance: A 3-min walk from Black Kettle