Garage Nine Cafe is a new hidden gem tucked away from the bustling street of Kampung Baru at Bukit Mertajam, the fact that it is located in a small alley makes it obscure and unseen to the public. It has a limited brunch window but don't let that deter you from trying its belly-filling Western dishes (like Pasta, Lamb Shank or Steak) and some of the locals' favorites (Nasi Lemak etc). The exterior of Garage Nine Cafe is not promising but push the doors open and you will be welcomed with a rustic, funky but cool interior with a touch of industrial vibe- hanging light bulbs attached to metal pipe, playful metal sculpture, old-fashioned window blinds and damaged red brick on the walls. While the interior decor does possess a "wow" factor, we were not quite pleased with the cold, unwelcoming service... which we thought the servers could be more friendly and accommodating. Not every dish we had was good but the menu has items that are fun and creative; do check it out if you happen to be in the vicinity.
Pandan Pancake with Gula Melaka (Rm 15)
Beef Meatballs with Baked Toast (Rm 18)
We wanted something light to share but some of the brunch items were not available on our visit (ie: Baked Egg) so we settled for Beef Meatballs with Baked Toasts. Instead of solid, firm, round-shaped Meatballs; we were served with soft, mushy Meat patty, served with tangy, acidic Tomato-Bolognese sauce. The Toasts were mere hard, over-toasted Baguette. The entire concoction was veering towards the salty side. We did not enjoy the Baguette, we thought the texture was a tad too hard for us.... some fluffy-crusty rustic loaves would be a better replacement.
We could not refrain ourselves from ordering their pancakes... for the extremely inviting photo on the menu. The Pandan Pancake with Gula Melaka is an inflected version of Kuih Tayap, the Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) possessed the delightful burnt aroma akin to the caramelized desiccated Coconut. The Pandan flavor was discernible, while the texture was slightly chewy; had they replaced the Sunflower Seeds and Nata de Coco with caramelized desiccated Coconut, we would have enjoyed more. No, not that it was bad but it could be better.
Matcha Latte (Rm 9)
Red Velvet Latte (Rm 12)
Seafood Garlic Sauce Spaghetti (Rm 23)
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 9, Lorong Maju Utama 2, Pusat Perniagaan Maju Utama, 14000, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. (nearby Old Town of Kampung Baru)
Business Hours: 12 pm to 11 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Number: 604- 537 7113