It took us a few turnings before we could locate Art Sim Cafe, a cafe that serves homey dishes housed in a snug annex of a Semi-Detached House at Jalan Gajah. If there's only one word to describe the interior... it would be "retro". The place is dedicated to all things from the 60's or 70's, you will find many hidden treasures or antiques surrounding you; even the ceiling is packed with retro curios and bric-a-brac. The heat-intolerant would be glad to know that there are plenty of fans erected so the ventilation should be fine. Art Sim serves a very small Nyonya-influenced menu and some of the highlights include Nasi Lemak, Kerabu Bee Hoon, Guang Jiang and Sambal Hae Bee Toast.
Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang (Rm 9.90)
Kerabu Bee Hoon (Rm 6.90)
Choose between Nasi Lemak Rendang or Nasi Lemak Kapitan, we opted for the former one. They excelled in terms of food presentation- using the Butterfly Pea Flower extraction to cook the Rice, the Nasi Lemak appeared to be in light blue hue, garnished with condiments such as Fried Anchovies, toasted Peanuts, halved Hard Boiled Egg and a piece of Chicken Thigh (Rendang). The real draw of this dish was the home-made Sambal. If you looked down on that splash of unappealing Sambal, you may regret later. It was lip-burningly hot but for spicy lovers like us, we enjoyed it thoroughly. The Chicken Rendang was expertly cooked too- tender and robust in flavors. The whole set of Nasi Lemak was good, though the Rice could be more "lemak".
Kerabu Bee Hoon may seem nice but nothing overly exciting. It paled in comparison to the Nasi Lemak, the texture was a tad too dry to our liking. The flavors were subdued either, we though the acidic element could be stronger. The dish was a little monotonous in dimension; the halved Hard Boiled Egg served no purposes, probably for presentation but it had not done much in its aid.
Guang Jiang/ Teo Chew Bean Curd Rolls (Rm 4.90)
Sambal Hae Bee Toast (Rm 4.90)
Inevitably greasy and calorific but their Guang Jiang worth every single calorie. The skin was crispy but the actual pull factor was the alluring aroma of Yam and the nutty Peanuts. The combination can be addictive, our only complaint was the they have sliced them too thin and thus, affecting the overall texture.
Potentially a misnomer, their Sambal Hae Bee Toast was somewhat a controversial offering. Instead of the customary Sambal Hae Bee, Art Sim Cafe serves both Sambal and Hae Bee separately. We did not like the texture, not even the bread. It was a disappointment.
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (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: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 72. Jalan Gajah, 11200, Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
Business Hours: 7:30 am to 12 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Number: 6012- 669 6486