Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A List of Ken's Favorite Bakeries in Penang.

Penang has seen an increasing demand of good artisan bread and the mushrooming of many good bakeries. It can be a daunting task to cut through the novelties and get down to the solid ones. Fear not, I have a few recommendations here which might give you an idea on where to get a better slice of bread (in Penang). 

1) Yin's Sourdough Bakery & Cafe

A very passionate baker- Su Yin, had her humble beginning started few years ago at Balik Pulau and since relocated to the current location at Pesara Claimant (facing the Police Station nearby Carnavon Street). All breads are hand-crafted and freshly baked using natural ingredients and sourdough-baking method. According to Yin, it takes an average of 30 hours for her to bake a sourdough from scratch. Researchers believe that there are many health benefits for consuming sourdough bread, for more information on sourdough baking, you may refer to their website.

Cranberries and Walnut Sourdough (Rm 9.30)

I am a huge fan of their Cranberries and Walnut Sourdough (Rm 9.30), the bread is dense, crusty but soft and pillowy inside; with a generous amount of crushed Walnuts and Dried Cranberries. Great to go on its own but even better to go with a sliver of Cheese, Balsamic- Extra Virgin Olive Oil or light spread of Butter. The bread is best enjoyed within two days of purchasing. Other sourdough breads available are German Rye, Apple Cinnamon Swirl, Whole Wheat Sourdough, Cinnamon Roll Sourdough with Walnuts and Raisins. Sandwiches and Coffees are available too. 

Additional Information:
Pork-Free/ Wifi-Available
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 11, Pesara Claimant, 10100, Georgetown, Penang. 
Business Hours: 7 am to 6 pm on every Monday to Friday; 7 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. 
Contact Number: 6011- 2419 5118

Map of Yin's Sourdough Bakery and Cafe

2) Love A Loaf Bakery Cafe 

In business for less than half a year, Love A Loaf Bakery Cafe has proven to be one of the favorite bakeries for the factory workers (working nearby); evidently seen from the relentless queue during lunch time on weekdays. Business is brisk as well even during odd hours. Go later than 3 pm and you might find yourself in an awkward situation- an almost empty bakery; the best time to visit will be around noon to 2 pm. Read my review on the bakery here.

Japanese Matcha Mochi (Rm 3.50)

I would recommend their Japanese Matcha Mochi (Rm 3.50), European Bread (Rm 4.20), Soft Baguette, Pain Au Chocolate and Darkseed Grain Bread. The Walnut-Raisins European Bread is soft but dense, blanketed in a chewy layer of pastry skin. Soft Baguette, on the other hand, is simple but toothsome. A thick cut of salted Butter being sandwiched in the Baguette and served with sprinkles of Sugar. The addictive savory-sweet yet chewy Baguette defies how the traditional Baguette is served but sinfully delicious yet well-worth the guilt. 

Additional Information:
Pork-Free/ Wifi-available
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 1-1-16, Tingkat Mahsuri, 11950, Bayan Lepas, Penang. (The One)
Business Hours: 10am to 10pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 645 9089

Map of Love A Loaf Bakery & Cafe

3) Continental Bakery

Continental Bakery is the de-facto bakery for the health-concern, the bakery is well-known to bake fresh and healthy loaves and buns to the locals; not only that it bakes a wide variety of breads, it serves some comforting mains as well, namely Spaghetti Bolognese, Nasi Lemak or even Cream of Mushroom Soup. Their home-made Egg Tarts, Kaya, Cheese Cakes and Cinnamon Rolls are some of the hot-sellers too. The best time to visit will be around noon, where most breads are fresh from the oven and up for grabs.

 Multi Grain Walnuts and Dates (Rm 6.60)

I have three recommendations- Multi Grain Walnuts and Dates (Rm 6.60), Purple Bun (Rm 5.90) and Wholewheat English Muffin (Rm 3.70).The Multi Grain Walnuts and Dates Loaf is best served when lightly toasted and enjoyed with a generous spread of Butter. It carries a hint of sweetness (from the Dates) and the crunchy Walnuts add another layer of dimension and texture to the bread. All breads are soft, fluffy and airy but it is advisable to consume them within two days. 

Additional Information:
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 33, Jalan Nagore, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 10 am to 7 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 228 3814

Map of Continental Bakery

4) The Bakery/ Sarkies Corner

Freshly baked loaves, cakes or pastries; you name it and you will find it in "The Bakery", a bakery housed within the grande dame of Penang's colonial styled five-star hotel- Eastern and Oriental Hotel. The Bakery does not only bake good rustic loaves but a wide array of pastries and cakes as well. Albeit prices may be on the higher side but they commensurate with quality and freshness. Most items are priced at Rm 12 each (including cakes and loaves, unless stated otherwise) but the beautiful part is, prices (of all items) will be slashed to 50% after 6 pm every day. Read about "Parisian Cafe Time" promotion here.

Expect to see aplenty choices of fresh loaves at The Bakery and that includes Sourdough Bread, French Village, Muesli Bread, Maize Bread, French Baguette etc. If you like your loaf with a crunchy thick crust, go for their best-seller French Village, a dense, crusty but tasty loaf. Equally good (if not better) will be their French Baguette- chewy, soft and crumbly. Sourdough Bread is another popular item but I have yet to try that unfortunately. My recommendations: French Baguette and Maize Bread.

Additional Information:
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: 10, Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown, Penang.
Contact: 604- 222 2000

Map of Eastern and Oriental

5) Sin Ka Oon Cake House & Bakery

The long-established confectionery cum bakery has been in business for many years and has since garnered an appreciate following. Sin Ka Oon is well-known for its quality Kaya/ Coconut Jam and traditional biscuits as well as snacks. Sin Ka Oon Cake House & Bakery is just a stone's throw distance away from the famous Air Itam Laksa near the wet market (of Air Itam).

Nine Grain Loaf (Rm 5)

I do not fancy all items here at Sin Ka Oon but this particular Nine Grain Loaf (Rm 5) stands out. It consists of Walnuts and Raisins, garnished with some Muesli and Flexseeds. The texture is soft and pillowy, with a tinge of sweetness from the Raisins. Their home-made Kaya/ Coconut Jam is lovely as well, preserving the flavors of yesteryears. Both the loaf and Kaya are selling like hot cakes, so be there as early as possible. Unfortunately, I will only recommend these two items; others are pretty standard-average and nothing to shout about (some of the traditional cakes and snacks can be extremely sweet).

Additional Information:
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 606M, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11500, Air Itam, Penang.
Business Hours: 5: 30 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 828 2062