Well, you did not read wrong in the title. I’m checking out and not checking up at the Clinic Café, another new themed cafe located just two blocks away from the Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya, Penang. The last time I visited such themed cafe was at a jail house themed cafe, just opposite the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang and it was real fun there. At the first glance, you might think that the red and white walled café with a big cross would be just another of those labs such as BP Lab or PMS, an outlet selling medical supplies but what caught my attention was the “Heinekken” sign up there. Hmmm… Medical products and alcohol? They won’t match at all. LOL!
Standing right at the outside window area, you would see some wheel chairs being turned into dining chairs. Those were what gave many passer-bys the wrong impression of the place being a medical supplies shop. As you move inside, you can see the walls covered with display frames of the human body functions posters and some medical instruments. Some of the sofas have been reconstructed to look like hospital beds and you have some operation theatre lamps above your head. On top of that, there’s also a screen for your karaoke session (4.00pm until late) and a corner for a 2-pc band to perform (10.00pm until late)
Don’t you love it too to have sexy nurses (hmmm… I wonder why she’s in a sailor’s uniform here… more revealing? :P) and handsome male nurses and doctor to serve your meal?
Since this cafe is running on a bistro cum pub concept, you would expect to have lots of beverage choices such as non-alcoholic, cocktail, bottled beer and hard liquor. I managed to try out the Mix Fruit Yogurt Shake (RM7.80). It had some orange and strawberry cordial, blended with fresh banana and yogurt. It was not a bad combination in taste except that the ice could have been a bit smoother. The Iced Lemon Tea (RM5.80) was somewhat presented in a different style. Instead of the normal iced tea with a few slices of fresh lemon, it had lemon syrup at the base and topped with iced tea.
As this is a newly opened cafe since 4 February 2010, choices of food here were still a bit limited. There were only a few selections (20 plus choices) on Western cuisine, Rice & Pasta and Snacks. Anyhow, the kitchen would be planning to widen the options within the next few weeks. But with the limitation, the restaurant can have some great blessings too as the Black Pepper Prawn with Pasta (RM11.80) turned out to be real delicious with a generous amount of fresh prawns and greens. The spaghetti had the right biting texture and taste. It was cooked somewhat like the Aglio Olio style with some freshly grounded black pepper sprinkled on the dish. The only two drawbacks were that the black pepper was a bit too much for non spicy food diners. A separated bottle would be great for the diner to adjust to his level of spiciness. Secondly, it would be the amount of oil used. Somehow, there was a small pool of oil present right below the provided vegetables.
Please take note that you can order this black pepper dish with either prawns or chicken slices from opening time until 6.00pm and a complimentary Iced Lemon Tea would be provided – all for only RM11.80.
My next order was the recommended Kampung Fried Rice (RM7.80). It was indeed good with the right wok hei (high heat frying), generous amount of prawns and the flavor suited my taste bud. The dish came with some smashed bird eye chilies and sambal belacan for that extra kick.
Snacks wise, there would be quite a number of choices to choose from. We ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wings (RM12.80 for 4 wings). The wings tasted like yogurt marinated tandoori chicken with added sour cream. Although they were quite tasty in their version of marinates, I preferred those with the presence of some sweet and hot sauce with a crispier surface. Maybe the kitchen might consider adding in some black pepper or praprika and a coat of honey to give the wings the extra flavors.
There were also the Money Bags (RM7.80 for 6 pcs). The snacks had some minced chicken, prawns and mixed vegetables wrapped in wanton skin. These would be best taken when served as they would become a bit hard when taken cold. It had a syringe filled with chili sauce as a dip. I’m not sure whether the supplier had used the right version of wanton skin as I found these to be a bit too thick. There are actually two kinds of skins for wanton. One would be the deep fried version which would be thin and crispier, whereas the other would be meant for soup base wanton. The filling should be a bit more too as there were hardly much bite in each of the money bag.
Overall, the café would be a great place to chill out and some of the food can be quite tasty too. Let’s hope that there would be more options during my future visits. Well, I did find some parts which needed some improvements.
Firstly, it’s the food options. There should be more main courses and set meals rather than snacks and beverages. Roasted baby bird might be a great choice as you could have one of the staff dressed in the green colored operation attire to perform some surgical cuts in front of the diner. This would surely add some magical touches in setting the atmosphere right.
Secondly, it’s the utensils. The only few things that captivated my attention here were the stainless steel kidney tray, stainless steel container to hold the dining utensils and the syringe filled sauces. There should be more hospital like utensils such as the serving trays with compartments for set meals, dish cover for dish served or even a trolley to push the dishes out just like those in a hospital. Somehow, the serving style looked rather common. So were the beverages. They could have had a syrup filled syringe in the glasses to allow the diners to adjust their level of sweetness as I found the drinks to be on a sweeter side.
Thirdly, the café lacked a shelf for some reading materials while waiting for the food to be served. It could be on entertainment or some medical journals or pamphlets on some medical awareness. If they were to be more adventurous, a mock skeleton would be quite fun to play with. I won’t mind shooting some shots with a skeleton for my Facebook profile. LOL! Well, I won’t suggest more as the management would be in a better position to set the mood right for their themed café.
Finding Clinic Café won’t be hard as it’s just 2 blocks away from Sunway Carnival Mall within the Seberang Jaya vicinity. If you are exiting from Penang Bridge towards Alor Setar, just turn left besides the second flyover until you see the traffic lights (Butterworth-Kulim Expressway). Turn left into the highway and watch out for KFC on your left. Drive on until you see a junction on your left. Turn left in Jalan Todak and you would see the Sunway Carnival Mall not far away on your left. Drive further up and you would see the Billion Supermarket. Turn left into Jalan Todak 3 and you would see the brightly red and white colored Clinic Café on the right hand side. Try to maneuver your way for some parking spaces around here.
Name: CLINIC CAFE
7 Jalan Todak 3, Bandar Sunway, Seberang Jaya, 13700 Perai, Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 04-399 1991, 016 444 6118
Business Hours: 10.30am-3.00am
GPS: 5.396731, 100.397931
You can also check out their newest branch at Gurney Plaza, Penang.
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)