Cafes are popping up all over the place, one after another in a phenomenon I would describe as a "sudden cafe rush"; trending on the popularity of coffee among the modern crowd these days.
Coffee enthusiasts are taken on a fun ride with the varied options to choose from as the cafes establish themselves in their own unique ways to outbid each other in vying for attention.
Strategy varies; from the delicate and amusing coffee art (even to the extent of 3D art), to the decadent selection of mouth-watering sweet temptations, and the cosy ambiance down to the little details of the decor, all in their efforts to create their very own identities in the niche cafe market.
Their endeavors are not unnoticed and these entrepreneurial-minded cafe owners will be pleased to know that even non-coffee lovers are attracted to the concept of their cafes; for the cakes and environment which are suited for catching up sessions though some shy away from the coffee drinking.
I, for one, can speak for that, as these cafes provide the avenue for me to relax and just enjoy a good conversation with my own company of close friends, even though I am not a coffee drinker.
The emergence of these cafes just made it easier for me; providing options for me to suggest for places to chill out whenever my friends are in town and recently, this is put to the test when a close friend is in this heritage city for a trip and we were to meet up and I was tasked to suggest a place since I was, well, the local here.
Secawan is the new cafe along Hutton Lane which came to my mind; and to my rescue, thankfully for their early hours which start from 8.00am and suited my traveling friend's schedule perfectly, besides giving us that extra span of time of banter.
This is definitely one of the rare cafes which opens at that early hour; which delights the early birds up since the break of dawn :-)
The cafe is still fairly new; evidently seen in the limited choices on the menu particularly in the food category though the brew section strives to impress with their modest list of coffee and tea, alongside their homemade smoothies.
The breakfast menu is on the way; as we were informed and the only options available at the moment are sandwiches and also the cakes on the counter.
There are two choices available (at the time of posting) for sandwiches
Chicken Avocado Sandwich (MYR14.00) is a serving of thick slices of wholemeal bread with lettuce leaves plastered on a bed of cheese spread and chicken alongside fresh vegetables drizzled with vinaigrette dressing.
Salmon Sandwich (MYR16.00), served with thick grainy slices of bread with lightly smoked salmon wedged between the bed of lettuce polished with cheese alongside the fresh vegetables in the same vinaigrette dressing is another of the option available.
The sandwiches are designed with the concept of starting the day healthy with the heavy use of wholemeal and grain-laden bread alongside fresh and crunchy vegetables with light dressing; which may appear as slightly ordinary or bland for those craving for flavorful tastes in their first meals of the day. This was addressed with the creative use of the colorful and raw vegetables enlivened up by the exciting tinge of the sourish note from the vinaigrette dressing to revitalize that notion to kick start the day the healthy way.
Non-coffee drinkers like us are also spared the judgment of mandatory coffee orders with their fruit-flavored smoothies:-
Apricot Strawberry Smoothie (MYR13.00)
Mango Passion Lime Smoothies (MYR13.00)
The smoothies lacked slightly in the fruit flavors, which were hidden beneath the stronger essence of the vanilla which overpowered the combination of the taste of the fruits. The smoothies did contain bits and slices of the fruits as one sipped through the frothy texture laced with the scent of vanilla.
Breakfast was part of the reason we were there; and the limited options on the menu did not bother us much as we engaged in our lively banter accompanied by the conducive and welcoming ambiance designed with simplicity and warmth in mind.
While many are drawn to the famous wall arts on the heritage streets of Georgetown in Penang; all works of the famous Ernest Zacharevic, fans will be entertained to more artistic works here as Secawan has also enlisted the help of Mr Gabriel Pitcher, a close associate of the former, who contributed to the two gigantic murals to grace the interior of the cafe.
Secawan is off to a good start with the ambiance, and it is fair to say that they need the time to build up their reputation and hopefully, improving on their options in their food and beverages menu.
Their breakfast selection will be starting this Wednesday (11th June); offering additional options for the morning crowd on the hunt for a place for chit chatting over breakfast.
The owner and staff are all friendly; which adds additional brownie points to the cafe.
Perhaps coffee fans will enjoy their brew, and I can only comment on the non-coffee options which we have tried during our visit; though I should arrange for a coffee fan to join on my next round, and maybe, indulging in their cakes as well.
Now, any taker?
Address: 205, Jalan Hutton, 10500 Georgetown, Penang
(Along the row of shophouses behind the New World Park; and a few shops away from the House of Udang Galah)
*Secawan means "A Cup" in the local Malay language*
While the main concept capitalizes on coffee brews, there is no hindrance to non-coffee lovers like me either and that is also the reason they named themselves "Secawan 'n' Such" to remind that they do have other offerings besides coffee, though limited at the moment? Just a thought...