[Penang] Italian trattoria fare at Il Bacaro, Campbell Street

Il Bacaro at Campbell House is perhaps the best bet in the heart of George Town for trattoria-style Italian fare. Venetian-born Roberto Dreon brought some of his hometown favourites to Penang, and the spot has been a favourite spot for both locals & visitors since 2011.

The sidewalk dining section is a few steps away from Cintra Food Corner, best-known in Penang for its steamed Chinese meat-stuffed rice dumplings (“bakchang”).

As Penang can be hot & humid the whole year round, most customers prefer the air-conditioned indoor seating - highly recommended.

Our lunch today consisted of:

  1. Rucola salad with sun-dried tomatoes, grilled artichokes and julienned carrots in a parmesan cream sauce.

  1. Spicy prawns Diavola - very fresh prawns, sauteed with garlic & chillis.

  1. Ravioli with braised duck filling, served with a herbed butter sauce.

  1. Buffalo mozzarella pizza. This is a thin-crust pizza, and very light and tasty, with cherry tomatoes & fresh basil.

  1. Angel-hair pasta with sliced fennel and salmon.

The kitchen was pretty efficient, competently churning out orders promptly to order in the packed lunch-time dining room.

One can opt to dine al fresco outside on the sidewalk if the dining room is full, but traffic along busy Cintra Street can be a bit noisy.

Campbell Street, named after Sir George William Robert Campbell, Acting Lieutenant-Governor of Penang from 1872–1873, used to be Penang’s main retail/commercial thoroughfare in the 1960s/70s, up to the advent of shopping malls. Campbell House is located at Campbell Street’s intersection with Cintra Street, which is named after the historic Portuguese town of Sintra. George Town itself historically has a sizeable Portuguese-Eurasian community, mostly Catholic refugees who came over from Siam in the 19th-century to escape religious persecution.

Il Bacaro
Campbell House
106 Lebuh Campbell
10200 Georgetown, Penang
Tel: +604-261 8290
Opening hours: 8am-11pm daily.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold