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China House, Penang

Serving up food and drink, retail and art, a newly restored heritage building in George Town looks set to become its hottest cultural hub.
153-155 Beach St. and 183b Victoria St., Malaysia

The Overview

Penang has no stortage of historic architecture, but so far, it's been lacking in spaces devoted to contemporary culture. Enter China House, the newest venture from hotelier Narelle McMurtrie of Bon Ton and Temple Tree Langkawi fame. Occupying three pre-World War II buildings stretching between George Town’s Beach and Victoria streets, the 929-square- meter multi-use complex wears McMurtrie’s signature heritage chic: worn timber and concrete floors, roughly plastered walls and exposed beams set off by contemporary art and an eclectic mix of chinois, Midcentury and au courant furnishings. Dig into all-day breakfasts or sweets like salted-caramel apple pie at the buzzy café, or sit down next door amid Tibetan blue walls and white tablecloths for tweaked Western fare like sumac-and-zaatar roast chicken. Check out the art gallery, head to the cozy wine bar or sample tapas in the sleek lounge. In the central courtyard, cool off in a dipping pool or relax in the shade of a mango tree. And don’t miss the 92-square-meter performance space, tailor-made for groundbreaking happenings like the recent George Town literary festival, the UNESCO-listed city’s first.

153-155 Beach St. and 183b
Victoria St., Malaysia

Telephone: +60 4263 7299



Published on Jan 23, 2012

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