Desserts are divine. Not only because it has perked us up since childhood, it offers an air of experimentation, a dose of playfulness and Instagram-worthy moments.
On par with the cafe culture these days, many eateries in Penang have thrown the rulebook out of the window, and come up with out-of-the-box combinations that are totally fun (and flavourful) to eat.
Your salivation starts now.
1. Roots Dessert Bar
Looking at the picture above, many of you might have guessed that it’s a strawberry cake. But you’re so wrong. Roots Dessert Bar is scaling back on common fruits associated with cakes and has brought watermelon into the picture. Their Watermelon Cake
is only available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is certainly worth the wait. The cake, layered with cream, juicy watermelon and almonds, is moated with beetroot crumbles, crowned with sliced strawberries and wrapped up with pistachio nuts and edible flowers sprinkling. Not to mention its gorgeous presentation. Other items on dessert lovers’ radar are their black sesame pannacotta and tofu cheesecake.
2. Pentagon 5 Studio
Why wear gold when you can eat them? Yes, that's the scenario at Pentagon 5 Studio as one of their desserts is a lovechild of charcoal soft serve and gold dust
. Never denying it's an instant Instagram hit but the flavours are amazing too. The delicate swirls are traditional milky base cream mixed with black charcoal powder, and the gold dust is blended from edible gold leave sheets. Then a pocky-and-milky cookie is studded for a crunchy element to an overall exciting dessert.
3. Veggielicious Cafe
When was the last time you heard Indian snacks enhanced with a dose of contemporary? Probably not at all. If you want one, swing by this vegetarian restaurant at Armenian Street and enjoy their ice cream panipuri
. Commonly, the traditional puff pastry balls are filled with spicy mashed potatoes, but here, it's occupied by chocolate, vanilla or coconut ice cream, and topped with nuts and coconut shaving respectively. The flavours, crispy and creamy, are happy bedfellows. Be prepared for a jaw workout!
4. Moody Cow Cafe
Life is too short for a bad cheesecake, if not a common one too. At Moody Cow Cafe, be amazed by a painterly spread of cakes, and among the most talked about is their Century Egg Cheesecake
. Enveloped between a chocolate moist cake base and peanuts and honey-glazed, crispy anchovies topping layer is their signature cream cheese, where slices of century eggs lie. Well, it may not sound very appealing but the end result is surprisingly good. Thanks to their cheeky scientist mood, they churn out unexpected combos from time to time. And their latest invention is salted egg and cuttlefish!
At this fusion restaurant of our dreams, expect nothing less imaginative in the dessert department as well, with offerings like Nasi Lemak Cake
, Nyonya Tiramisu
and Creme Brulee
. The former is downright inspired from the traditional Malay dish with ingredients like coconut, anchovies, peanut and cucumber working together for a taste and texture triumph. The tiramisu is layered with pandan jelly, mascarpone cheese with coconut milk and coconut flakes, and matched with local black coffee. Lastly, the creme brulee comes in three flavours - screw pine, palm sugar and black glutinous rice.
6. Crepe Cottage
Crepes are fairly a canvas in the dessert world and this humble cottage has mastered it as an art. Sweet and savoury crepes, in a variety of shades and sizes, have never failed to impress. An out of the norm combination is their Honeydew Green Tea Crepe
- green tea infused, thin crepes blanketed with honeydew slices, topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream and finished off with dollops of cream and chopped peanuts sprinkling. Chowing down such delectable dessert and unwittingly absorbing vitamins are a definite win!
7. Georgetown Wines
When looking for a picturesque atmosphere at the heart of Georgetown and a decent selection of wine, there's no need to look beyond Georgetown Wines. Yet that doesn't mean their desserts should be overlooked. Check out their Semifreddo
- frozen mascarpone cheese lounging in a pool of raspberry puree and garnished with edible flowers. Creamy, light and decadent in every spoonful to say the least. If you’re not a fan of cloyingly sweet dessert, this one is for you. And yes, seek the sommelier for a wine to match this sweet treat.
Go to Ri for some of the best cafe experience in Georgetown, but don’t even think about leaving without chugging down their signature brioche doughnuts
. Both dainty delights are made fresh daily - the brioche is fluffy on the outside and is liberally bloated with chocolate or vanilla custard inside, while the latter is a French-inspired snack - deep-fried dough dusted with sugar and coupled with pandan custard. We know it’s sinful but who cares when it's super delicious, which matters most!
9. Lavish Fusion Bakery
You definitely can’t step into Lavish Fusion Bakery and not order their signature cronut gelato
. To our ears, it sounds so soothing. Cronut. Gelato. What greater combo could you ask for? The cronuts ( a hybrid of croissant and doughnuts) are made fresh daily and result in layers of flaky pastry that are waiting to be dressed to kill. There are a number of flavour profiles yet the Salted Egg stands out. A tower of two cronuts is generously ladled with salted egg sauce, topped with caramel ice cream and sprinkled with peanut chunks. The platter may seem ideal for sharing but being greedy is not a crime though.
You can get cheesecakes in some variation pretty much in most cafes you go but Marlons has a few combinations that would raise your eyebrows at first, but pamper your palate later. How about feta cheese, Norwegian salmon and dill surfacing as the core flavours on top a layer of special crumbles? Tempted? That’s why it's aptly called “The Temptation
”. It’s best paired with a warm cup of tea. For a slice of Japan, check out “Sakura
”- cheesecake infused with freshly imported Sakura flower petals, Sakura Wine and Sake. Did someone say let's go?
11. HH+ by Haven Harbour
At this well-revered restaurant, molten cake
has been a long part of their repertoire. It may not be the most unique dessert known but what made them to muscle into this list is their creative flavour offerings every month. The chocolate rendition is a mainstay on the menu, while its ingenious take has seen flavour profiles like purple sweet potato, strawberry, and Horlicks winning hearts of locals in the past. Matcha is for July and we are hearing that salted egg will be served in September.
12. Cafe Lagenda
Cafe Lagenda is another restaurant that has successfully blurred the lines between a traditional Malay kuih and an Italian classic dessert thanks to their Pannacotta Seri Muka
. The rich and creamy custard is imbued with pandan flavours, capped with halved strawberries, paired with two glutinous rice balls, and lashes of strawberry sauce complete the drool-worthy dessert. Hankering for something extra crunchy (sinful!)? Opt for their jackfruit fritters served with ice cream! Trust us, all those calories will be so worth it!
13. Merry Me
This dessert hub has recently introduced their latest invention, Merry Me Selfie Cone
, and it has quickly found many fans. It’s one of those desserts where you can be sure that it tastes wonderful after your eyes are done eating. Ice cream of your choice (Gula Melaka, Passionfruit, Rum Raisin, Mint Chocolate Chip - to name a few) is scooped into a cone and a round-shaped, chocolate coated, colourful nibbles drizzled biscuit is fastened at the rim of the cone. A welcome treat for ice cream lovers who are avid food photographers too. Only a small batch is produced daily, so get there early!