Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What I was doing two weeks ago today (4)

Drinking in a wine bar. (I know - quite a departure from my usual low-life habits!)

That Little Wine Bar, on Jln. Chow Thye, just off Jln. Burma in north central Penang.

Shameless plug - it's run by a couple of old friends of mine from Shanghai (well, Shanghai and Oxford - but that's really delving back into the mists of time!), and was a large part of the reason for my choosing to take a break down in Malaysia at the end of last month.

I'm not a 'wine bar' fan (I can't really drink the stuff any more: I quaffed too much of it in my youth and have become acutely 'sensitive' to the congeners in it); and my friends are exclusively about the wine here (they do a few fine brandies and brandy-based cocktails, but that's it; absolutely NO BEER, or whisky, or gin...). However, I did find it a rather charming spot - a beautifully renovated old colonial building, with a small terrace at the front, a cosy bar area with a few small tables on the ground floor, an impressively well-stocked - floor to ceiling racks! - little wine room, a wee courtyard out back, and a couple of private rooms upstairs.
Prices struck me as just a bit above what we'd pay in Beijing, but not at all unreasonable - particularly in comparison to the beer in Malaysia being at least 2 or 3 times as expensive as here in most bars and (where you can get it at all) around 8 times as expensive in bog-standard restaurants.

Tommes, the hubby, is the nicest German I've ever met (and I don't mean that as faint praise *) - and a superb chef. So, the food on offer, although it's quite a simple menu, is extremely well made and uses the finest ingredients.

Highly recommended, if you find yourself down in those parts.

I hope to go and check it out again myself - one day when I have a slightly fuller wallet, and a girlfriend....

[* If we were speaking of Austrians, it might be otherwise; but I've always had a soft spot for the Germans. Well, I'm a Kraut myself in the maternal line.]

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