Insider Cafe Lounge @ Church Street, Georgetown, Penang.
An eccentric and unusually quiet restaurant cum lounge along Church Street, one would eventually find it hard to notice the place. It took me a few rounds of turnings before I could locate the place. It does not have much to offer, but a simple, standard Western menu. Prices are slightly on the higher side (for ala-carte orders, their Set Lunch is very affordable) but we were pleased with the attentive service. However, there seems to be an unpleasant cigarette-smoke odor clinging in the air on our visit. I hope the management is able to do something to get rid of the odor. Insider Cafe Lounge is facing the famous tourist attraction- Pinang Peranakan Mansion, on the same street.
Insider's own version of Vongole (Rm 19.90) did not manage to impress me. Probably the Chef was too excited with the Chili Flakes, as a result of that, my Vongole was painted in a red hue. The absence of Parsley set me aback too. Also, the Spaghetti could be more al-dente. Fortunately, the boozy-aroma was still there and the seafood-sweetness permeated through the Clams; decent though I would prefer the authentic version of Vongole.
A less-exciting dish, Mushroom Chicken (Rm 21.90) was served together with Fries and Greens. Evenly roasted Chicken Thigh drenched in a Mushroom Gravy, a rather common and conventional dish that can be found in most Western restaurants. The earthy flavor of the Mushroom Gravy did not stand out, I would prefer fresh Button Mushrooms instead of canned ones; also, they need to marinate the Chicken for a longer period of time. It was rather bland on its own. Fortunately, the Chicken was cooked to the right doneness. I am not sure if I will order this dish again.
We ended the meal with Cinnamon Apple Toast (Rm 15.80), cubed-caramelized Apple infused with Cinnamon served atop of a huge block of toast along with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and some Dried Cranberries. The Toast was lightly smeared with Butter, nothing much to comment- just a block of plain, ordinary Toast. The caramelized Apple, on the other hand, was quite toothsome; at least they were quite generous with the Cinnamon Powder. The juicy crunch of Apple, icy cold Vanilla Ice Cream and crusty Toast; a combination that one would find it hard to resist. Not mind-blowingly good but a contenting dish to be shared among a few.
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 5.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 36, Church Street, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 11 am to 3 am. Kitchen closes on Sundays.
Contact Number: 604- 261 1345