China House is one of the busiest dining and lifestyle outlets within the Unesco heritage zone of George Town. Occupying three refurbished colonial shop houses with facades facing Beach Street and Victoria Street, China House offers a great dining experience. There are five different dining areas besides a wine store, art spaces and a venue for live shows.

The cafe serves all-day breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Diners can whet their appetite at the casual cafe Kopi C, formal dining room of  BTB Restaurant, an outdoor courtyard, the Canteen & Bar and a private dining room.

At Kopi C, there are many dishes to savour alongside an array of rich cakes and pastries displayed on a long table at its bakery. The place has since received many comments on being the haven for cakes.

China House is buzzing in Penang by


We normally order slices of cakes for sampling and sharing, accompanied by coffee. Till date, our palates were sweetened with tiramisu, pound cake, caramel cheese cake, coconut cake with lime curd, raspberry cake with pear, brandy fruit cake and tomato basil pie. The creamy caramel cheesecake is especially popular.

China House is buzzing in Penang by

Brandy fruit cake with dried fruit, candied citrus peel and nuts


Tomato basil pie (served with butter)  and raspberry cake with pear

We are very happy with the nutty pie with nuttiness of cashew and pecan and adore the creamy and flavorful caramel cheese cake, a variation on cheesecake which is hard to come by.

China House is buzzing in Penang by

China House is buzzing in Penang by what2seeonline.comChina House is buzzing in Penang by

Coconut cake with lime curd and tiramisu

 China House is buzzing in Penang by what2seeonline.comChina House is buzzing in Penang by


Kopi C also offers breakfast dishes such as the freshly-made breakfast wrap and big breakfast. For lunch, there are choices of salads with a wide range of dips, sandwiches and mezze plate. The latter compirses dukkah and olive oil, capsicum and feta dip, date and onion chutney, chili hummus, and coriander and tahini yoghurt with pita bread.

Simple dinner dishes include lamb shank and beef lasagne. Both are scrumptious in its own way although our favorite is the lasagne, with smooth and soft sheets of pasta.

China House is buzzing in Penang by

Beef lasagne


The BTB & Restaurant next door to Kopi C offers a more elaborate gourmet menu featuring a mix of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and a great selection of fine wines. One of China House’s retail spaces is located in front of this restaurant.

China House is buzzing in Penang by

Highlights of its menu are the many appetisers such as the seared scallops with rocket. Some of their more interesting dishes include the spiced duck confit and smoked duck breast served in orange and cocoa reduction. Priced at RM48, it comes with roasted peach tomatoes and potato and basil puree. The duck drumstick is nicely browned and fragrant.

Its seared sea bass with Ras-el-Hanout spices comes with cauliflower puree, roasted pumpkin, pine nuts and pomegranate dressing. The dish is priced at RM38.

China House is buzzing in Penang by

China House is buzzing in Penang by

Spiced duck confit and smoked duck breast

China House is buzzing in Penang by

Seared sea bass


There is much other seating area in China House that will accommodate your meal. Expect to see corners and areas decorated with funky and retro furniture and lights.

 China House is buzzing in Penang by what2seeonline.comv

China House is buzzing in Penang by what2seeonline.comChina House is buzzing in Penang by

Reading room (left) and our favorite coffee spot (right)

China House is buzzing in Penang by

This private dining place is suitable for private parties and cooking classes


Dining by the outdoor courtyard by a water pond is a completely different experience. This airy dining place is located in the central section of China House. Diners like to hang out in this courtyard which links up the shophouses from Beach Street to Victoria Street.

China House is buzzing in Penang by

A pleasant sitting place at the courtyard cafe

The second floor of China House is a retail space. This floor also houses several art galleries.

China House is buzzing in Penang by what2seeonline.comChina House is buzzing in Penang by

Another happening venue in China House is its Canteen & Bar which is popular for its live music and comedy performances.

China House is buzzing in Penang by


The cosy ambience in China House makes its popular with customers, even though the service here can sometimes take a bit longer, especially when the place is crowded.

Business hours for this house of culinary delights by Narelle McMurtrie and Alison Fraser of Bon Ton Langkawi are from 9am to midnight daily. There are only street parking spaces to park your car. Click here for the Map Location.

China House
183B Victoria Street and 153 & 155 Beach Street

Tel: 04-263 7299

* Many thanks to China House for laying on this invitation.

* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am and is filed under Bakery, Bar, Cafe, Cake, Coffee, George Town, Media Preview, New Straits Times (Northern Streets), Penang, Pork Free. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 comments so far


i went there too 2 weeks ago..

nice ambiance and the fine dine section food wasnt impressive. . to me

CK Lam Reply:

Glad you like the ambience however I won’t categories dining in China House as fine dining.

August 21st, 2012 at 9:44 am

I been to china house last month and been there again last week for their coffee and cake. with the combination of heritage environment , competative price and good food, i really enjoy it.

August 22nd, 2012 at 10:29 am

I really enjoyed the time spent at China House, really. Been a fan of theirs since Kopi Cine. Shall drop by again the next time for a thorough review and photography session. Perfect for a lazy evening.

August 22nd, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Just something to share: Was there on Tuesday (21 August 2012) with my family, the place was fulled. We don’t mind that but I was disappointed with some of the chinese staff there. They are so unfriendly/ in-polite compare to the malay staff that we encounter on our previous visit. (I am a chinese, myself; so don’t get me wrong, ya!) We came back because we love the environment, the considerate malay waitress that we met on our previous visit, my family love the Tiramisu, especially and i personally love the coffee there but i don’t think it would be a good idea to visit them during holiday/ weekend especially when there’s lack of staff (with good attitude).

August 23rd, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Worth a visit. Generally overrated though.

August 23rd, 2012 at 2:54 pm
Jason Gan

Hi, I have a muslim guest coming to Penang this Sunday, thinking of bring him to nice dinner . Halal but non malay/mamak restaurant. Unfortunately, cannot find a single one. I would like to seek your advice on the about matters. Thanks

September 27th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
choo wen ling

can i know if ur restaurant is halal or porkfree?

October 11th, 2012 at 10:36 am

Yes, it is porkfree:)

November 11th, 2012 at 5:08 am

Finally visited this place yesterday. Cool and hip place with a rustic feel. Environment good to host friends. Pastries and cakes not up to par and over rated.

December 6th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Service is exceptional…ly horrible.

Ive been here a few time and on all occasions there were no waiters to give us menu’s. we had to find a waiter and ask for one. And then again no one came to take our orders.

Very very bad service

December 28th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

cakes ,coffee ,enviroment was superb ! but the foods … was very disspointed and overprice .

January 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 am
Anne Everding

How can I book for China House Christmas Day lunch?

CK Lam Reply:

Do give a call to them for more info!

December 18th, 2013 at 6:55 pm
Nurul Syafira

Hi. I would like to know of this a halal restaurant. Since me and other staffs are looking for a place for birthday lunch.

January 22nd, 2014 at 11:03 am

3 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. A Date Without Reason « LoveForever    Dec 08 2012 / 12am:

    [...] flocks of locals and tourists coming over to snap pictures of it. He then suggested we dine in China House (Kopi C), which they previously had intended to dine for Mother’s Day. It serves quality meals at an [...]

  2. Christmas & New Year Eve Restaurant Dining in Penang | What2See : Best of Penang Food!    Dec 17 2012 / 10am:

    [...] China House is offering five menus. [...]

  3. Slurping Cantonese style tong-sui at Victoria Street, Penang | What2See : Best of Penang Food!    Feb 07 2013 / 9pm:

    [...] is worthy of a visit. Finding your way to the stall is rather easy as it is just a short walk from China House (Victoria Street entrance). Click here for the google Map Location. Business hours start around [...]

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