While Penang is traditionally known for its Chinese hawker cuisine, namely char kuey teow and ochien (fried oysters), there exist a specialty coffee outlet that fulfils the dreams of coffee lovers on the island. Established in 2015, Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Company has made its presence felt in Georgetown, serving up the highest quality of brewed coffee and mouthwatering delicacies, rivalling the numerous cafes found in the Klang Valley region.
Located at Lebuh Macallum, it's a stone's throw away from the famous Penang Road area and Little India where all the famous restaurants and tourist spots are located. The first thing that stuck out was that it has dedicated customer parking bays! This is a God-send, especially in Penang where finding parking is as easy as finding a blonde unicorn.
The establishment is built on an existing lot that used to be Penang's largest timber factory (due to its location, right smack in the middle of the road parallel to the coastal line, before the area got reclaimed to build the Dr. Lim Chong Eu Highway). Sticking with the industrial theme, there is plenty of natural sunlight to encourage customers to take awesome photos of their food and drink offerings.
The interior is as cosy as it could possibly get with an industrial feel - large roomy space that will make claustrophobics at ease, perfect if you need to step out of your sterile office environment to work, finish off your college assignments, or to just chill out with your favourite cup of espresso.
I'm the type of person that judges a cafe by it's long blacks as it is the most unadulterated form of coffee you can serve. No sugar, no milk, just straight up espresso and water. My first drink was of course, their Long Black (RM8) which didn't disappoint. I like mine strong and bitter and upon the owner's recommendation, they chose the perfect beans for me and whipped me a cup.
Next up, I wanted to try out something different that is unique to Macallum Connoisseurs. We were recommended to try the Rose Latte (RM12) pictured here as it is one of their signature drinks in the menu. The drink tastes as beautiful as it looks, with a perfect combination of rose petals, a hint of vanilla and of course, your usual latte that blends the flavours harmoniously.
The art of coffee making is nothing new to the owners of Macallum Connoisseurs who are continuously active in the barista competition scene, with one of the owners taking part in this year's National Barista Competition 2017. So rest assured, every cup you sip is made with full on dedication and guaranteed satisfaction.
But this place is more than just its coffee. They serve pretty decent fare too. The Pork Bacon Aglio e Olio (RM18) is one of their most sellable pasta dishes in the menu and we can see why, with its perfect yet simple combination of garlic, olive oil, dried chilli finished off with capers and herbs. It's my kind of comfort food that I go to feel satisfied every time.
Next, we sampled the Smoked Duck Breast with Citrus Sauce (RM28). This was personally my favourite dish for the day as I am a huge fan of its tangy citrus and lime sauce combination. The duck breast was cooked to perfection (something I feel is difficult to do, most places seem to under or overcook them). The dish is finished off with a side of salad comprising of purple cabbage, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and rocket leaves. Highly recommended!
The final dish was a surprise even for seasoned foodies like us. Behold, Macallum's Coffee Spaghetti (RM22). I mean, coffee and spaghetti? Who would have thought that this combination would turn out to be something out of this world? For coffee lovers like myself, this is a dream come true. The dish is served with delicious Chorizo pork sausages and of course, the creamy coffee dressing that gives it its distinctive flavour. If you love experiencing new and unique flavours for your taste buds, this is it!
The art of coffee making is nothing new to the owners of Macallum Connoisseurs who, as we mentioned earlier, are highly active in the barista competition scene. The beans are roasted in house and they have their academy at the far corner of the warehouse, where aspiring baristas can learn the art of coffee making. Even if you're not there to learn about the beans and different apparatus, it is always good to walk into the room just to inhale the different scents of beans from around the world.
We love that they grind their own beans in-house with an industrial-spec coffee bean grinder for that perfect blend every time. As a coffee lover, I truly enjoyed my visit to Macallum Connoisseurs, both for the coffee and food, as well as learning about their journey to become where they are today. I'll definitely be back whenever I am up north!