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The Alley

Home > Penang Island > Cafes | Chocolate | Coffee
by Justin Ong (subscribe)
Curious, adventurous, and solemnly swearing that he is up to no good.
Published June 4th 2014
What's up your alley?
Lately, it seems that the trend of hip, chic cafes is starting to really blossom in this part of the world. And The Alley is no different. Though it may not be able to live up to the title of "The Alley" for coffee drinkers when put up against Desgraves Street, this Alley isn't too bad either.

Located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies Stewart Lane. What you see as you approach its front door is one of its more unconventional charms. Other than a few signages and a couple chairs to indicate its presence, The Alley isn't very big on exterior decorating. In fact, the shoplot/house has even retained the large signage of its previous occupant.

How The Alley looks like from the outside

Contrast that unassuming exterior to its chic interior, where the lighting, use of materials for the chairs and tables, to the music, makes you feel right at home.

Now available at The Alley: Pestle and Mortar goodies

As per usual, the standard fare, such as cappucino and hot chocolate, are available. But for MYR9 and MYR10 respectively, the price does not justify the taste, aesthetics notwithstanding. The hot chocolate could definitely do with more chocolate in it.

That's what you get from too much cappucino

Hot chocolate at MYR10

The saving grace for me would definitely be the side orders that go with the drinks. The cronut (MYR8), half-croissant, half-doughnut, was sinful to look at and to enjoy. Drizzling the cronut were chocolate bits and nuts, while splashes of caramel and chocolate (or possibly Nutella) accompany this ensemble, served up on a wooden platter.

Elaborately decorated cronut at MYR8

Taste-wise, the outer crust was nicely crisp and not too burnt, working well with the bread within, and making it enjoyable on its own. But that would be just a waste of all of its accompaniments. Every other ingredient brings its own flavour and dimension, and not long after, the whole board was wiped clean. The greatest compliment I can pay for this is that nothing felt out of place, and nothing felt bland.

The churros (MYR9) were another source of joy for me and my friend. These Spanish treats came with a choice of 2 out of 5 possible toppings. The churros, sprinkled with sugar, had a well-balanced mixture of crisp and warm, soft filling. But for me, the salted caramel topping was a real winner, and well worth revisiting.

Large serving of churros with Nutella and salted caramel toppings for MYR9

In the end, we ran out of appetite, time and cash to further enjoy our time there. But for the really adventurous, The Alley also offers an interesting range of frappes, such as choc mint, macho mango and pink guava.

I'll be the first to admit, this is not a place to go for a frugal snack. However, if you're looking for comfort and guilty pleasure, this might be right up your alley.
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Why? Guilty pleasure up your alley
When: Everyday, 12pm-12am
Phone: 604-2613879
Where: 5, Stewart Lane 10200 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Cost: MYR 5-15
Your Comment
I love the caffeine overdose sign; it's a quirky touch.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2907 days ago
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