Opened less than 3 months ago, Design Village is the latest shopping destination in Penang. What makes Design Village special is that it is the only Outlet Mall in Northern Malaysia.
Situated in Batu Kawan, the outlet mall is conveniently located next to the Penang second link bridge and the upcoming IKEA, scheduled to open in 2018.
Currently, most of the F&B outlets available in the mall are chain operations, eg. Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Wendy’s.
So if you are hankering for something that’s local and more affordable after shopping – Make Make Cafe is your best choice. If you are wondering, “Make Make” is the Kelantan slang for “makan makan”, which means to eat and eat.
Make Make calls itself a “Penang Lang Cafe”. You will find the familiar Penang hawker food and other local delicacies under one roof in a modern eclectic cafe environment. Think Koay Teow Th’ng, Hokkien Mee, Curry Mee, Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice, ABC, Cendol and many more other selections.
All of the ala carte items are affordably priced between RM7.90 for appetizers to RM14.90 for the most elaborate nasi lemak with prawn fritters.
Hokkien Mee (Penang Prawn Mee, RM10.90) is my yardstick for all restaurants that serve Penang hawker food. I have to say it’s pretty darn good for a pork free version. The generous amount of toppings you get is reflected in the price.
You hardly see any restaurant that willingly gives large prawns (fresh ones too!) on top of the sliced prawns in a bowl of prawn mee nowadays. Like any authentic Hokkien Mee in Penang, the chili paste is a must, as it adds a good depth of flavor to the soup.
Penang Curry Mee @ RM10.90 is also a must try for me too. Make Make’s version does not come with cockles but you are compensated with extra cuttlefish. Presentation wise it was impressive, as it seemed to have more toppings compared to the photo shown on their menu. For me, that rarely happens.
The soup itself was decent but the well-concocted chili paste had to take the cake. It’s one of the most authentic chili paste for Penang Curry Mee I have come across at a non-hawker setting, you can definitely taste that distinctive smokey aroma of rempah.
The Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken @ RM12.90 comes with a deep fried belacan chicken thigh. The dark brown edges of the skin is the most flavorful part, extra crispy too. I also like that they kept the sambal spicy instead of sweet.
If you feel like trying the other side dishes such as chicken curry, squid curry and sambal prawn, they are available as add ons starting from RM5.90 each.
For an equally filling meal without the spiciness, the Hainanese Steam Chicken Rice @ RM12 will be a good bet. It might not be as good as what your favorite chicken rice stall serves, but it was sufficiently tasty enough. If they had used the actual chicken rice instead of white rice then it would have tasted even better.
We also had the Deep Fried Kunyit Chicken Wing @ RM7.90. Despite looking darker than usual they were still aromatic and delicious.
Lastly, Ais Kacang @ RM5.50 for dessert. It was very pleasant compared to what other cafes of the same range churn out. The texture of the shaved ice was fine and fluffy (I am very particular about that) and the sweetness was spot on too. That said, it could use a lot more toppings, maybe just an extra spoonful for a more satisfying experience.
Make Make – The Penang Lang Cafe
Penang Design Village
Lot G25, 733 Jalan Cassia Barat 2
14110 Batu Kawan, Penang
Business hours: 11am – 10pm. Tel: 04-589 9277