[Penang, Malaysia] Coffee & pastries at Mugshot Cafe-Rainforest Bakery, Chulia Street

Coffee break this morning: cappuccino and pastries at Mugshot Café - Rainforest Bakery, the popular twinned cafes co-owned by 41-year-old high school buddies, Jesse Tan and Tristan Navarednam (they studied at St Xavier’s Institution in Penang, and were also room-mates when both were in the UK for their college studies).

Founded in early 2013, Mugshot Cafe supplies the beverages - some of the best brews in George Town, whilst Rainforest Bakery provided the pastries and cakes, including the best bagels around - I even had to pack their bagels to bring back for friends & relatives in Singapore who couldn’t get enough of them. Co-owner, Tristan, is the barista.

  1. Pain aux raisins / escargot (snail-shaped raisin croissant).

  2. Croissants aux amandes (almond croissant).

  3. Chelsea bun

One of George Town’s more pleasant spots to enjoy a good, strong cuppa and some well-made pastries. Usually insanely packed, these cafes have been pretty quiet even as Penang starts loosening its dining restrictions post-COVID Lockdown. Most Penangites are still pretty reluctant to eat out, whilst foreigners and even out-of-state visitors are conspicuously absent due to Penang’s closed borders at the moment.

Rainforest Cafe’s seating area - customers can order the cakes and pastries here, but need to order their beverages at Mugshot Cafe next door (the two cafes are connected by an internal doorway). You pay separately at the two counters, but can sit inside either cafes. The service staff from either cafe will bring your order across to you.

Mugshot Cafe’s seating area

The Mugshot Cafe
302, Chulia Street, 10200 George Town, Penang
Tel: +6012-405 6276

Rainforest Bakery
300, Chulia Street, 10200 George Town, Penang
Tel: +604-261 4641

Opening hours: 8am to midnight, daily

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

― Jonathan Gold