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“Penangs Colonial Heritage”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Suffolk House

Suffolk House
Ranked #61 of 207 things to do in Penang Island
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Penang Mansion Restaurant Suffolk House is a stunning example of an Anglo-Indian garden house and Malaysia's only surviving Georgian Mansion, originally built in the early 1800s. For decades Suffolk House had a glittering career as the home of successive British Governors. The winner of the 2008 Award of Distinction in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation this extensively and passionately restored mansion is now a "must visit" destination for everyone who comes to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, Penang.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Penangs Colonial Heritage”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

My partner and I visited Suffolk house a few weeks ago during a short getaway to Penang. The building on its own is quite majestic and was supposedly the home to Penang’s founder Sir Francis Light. The interior did not fail to impress and was quite regal.

We took a guided tour (rm 15) a small fee compared to the cost it took to restore the building and I can only imagine the cost of up keep as well! There is a fine dining restaurant in the building suitable for a romantic dinner/ English tea session or group functions.

Unfortunately we had a lunch date elsewhere so did not have time to sample it. I’m sure a Garden wedding would be quite lovely here. Anyways, this place was worth the visit as being inside the building itself felt like we were part of history especially considering that it is more thn 200 years old and is the only surviving Georgian Mansion in Malaysia!

Visited August 2012
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1 Thank beacholic11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
53 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Lovely Colonial Oasis ... enjoy Afternoon Tea.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012

When we finally found this place, we loved it. It is immaculately clean and well kept, the restoration is remarkable. We were the only people there (a weekday) and had a lovely Afternoon Tea (about RM75/person). The staff were absolutely lovely, the food/beverages were great and it was such a lovely oasis in bustling Penang.
We did have a bit of trouble finding it - we went there on Rapid Penang - and not only did 2 bus drivers (on that Route) not know what is was/where it was, neither did a Rapid Penang Supervisor who was called over to help. Their final advice was "you go to Kek Lok Si instead!"... hilarious. We ended up going to the Temple but since I wanted to check this place out, I just maps.googled it and showed the bus driver where to let us off.
Like I said, once we got there, it was definitely worth it. One of our favourite places in Penang.

Visited July 2012
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Thank kaos169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
“Seeing is Believing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2012

The restoration of the whole building is amazing with all the household items from utensil to the bed are being preserve for the current generation to actually see it.

The evening tea package gives us the chance to experience the western culture of having a pleasant evening.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank spanker24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Anglo-Indian Dinner at Suffolk House Restaurant Penang”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2012

For those of you who have never visited Suffolk House it's high time that you did. Another reason for visiting or revisiting has just been added by the excellent culinary team at Suffolk House Restaurant, the introduction of a thoroughly researched menu from yester-year.
In conjunction with the site management team, Badan Warisan Malaysia, Chef Wan Helmi Zazalee and his team designed the menu in honour of Suffolk House's past Governors and visitors dating back to the first days of settlement in the early 1800's.
In those days the East India Company and most of their far flung outposts were heavily influenced by the architecture and foods that they had learned to be best served in tropical climes.
It comes as no surprise that when the menus and letters of the Governor's guests referencing the meals eaten at Suffolk House were painstakingly researched, it was found that most of the food had an Anglo-Indian theme running through it. This is most likely due to the fact that when a new posting to Penang came, the arriving household would bring many of their existing servants and cooks with them that they had grown accustomed to in India.
According to Elizabeth Cardosa from Badan Warisan Malaysia, the way in which the new menu has been constructed reflects how the early Governor's enjoyed their meals with their guests in the 19th Century.
"A subtle reminder of Penang's multi-cultural past, the Anglo-Indian cuisine was invented to satisfy an English palate which had been profoundly affected by the rich flavours of India and the East."
Soups would have been laced with spices such as cumin and chillies, cloves and cinnamon would have been added to roast meats and croquettes flavoured with the ever popular garam masala.
The new Anglo-Indian Brunch Tiffin menu at Suffolk House features four courses with starters, a soup, main dishes and dessert. For starters, guests will have 3 types of dishes served such as Egg Moilee, a spicy egg dish served in a coconut curry sauce; fish cakes and sweet cucumber in cold yoghurt.
Not being an egg dish lover I must admit to not looking forward to this particular dish but to my surprise it was lovely. The egg, I am guessing, is boiled, shelled and then coated in the coconut blend and then flash fried to crisp the outer layer. This is then served with a curry sauce that was truly divine.
The Fish Cakes were very much English style and the filling was more potato than Fish in flavour which is a very authentic way to serve this dish.
The next course was the mulligatawny soup, a spicy chicken soup flavoured with many spices from India. I have had many mulligatawny soups in my time and must say that this was the best I have ever had. The soup was neither thin and watery nor thick and gloopy, it was as Goldilocks would say, just right.
The tastes were very well blended and as in the curry sauce in the previous course the subtlety of the spices was perfection itself. Chef Wan certainly knows how to cook this cuisine and I am sure that no Governor in times gone by had ever tasted finer.
We now moved onto the main course.
Anglo-Indian Chicken Curry, Shallow-fried Fish in Coriander and Tamarind Sauce, Vegetable Korma, Stir-fried Indian Courgette and of course, Fragrant Lime Rice with Tomato Chutney.
This is my second occasion to be cooked for by Chef Wan Helmi Zazalee and this man is good. His use of spices and flavourings is very good, but his skills with fish are amazing. I am a carnivore who loves his meat dishes but every time I have eaten a fish dish at Suffolk House it stands out as the dish of the night and this occasion was no different.
The Chicken Curry is good in an English version and the blending of flavours as over mentioned before was perfect.
The vegetable Korma was well cooked but did not have anything memorable about it for me (which for me is pretty much the case for every Korma but if you enjoy creamy subtle curried sauces then this is the one for you). Both the Stir-fried Courgettes and the Lime Rice do need a special commendation. The courgettes were stir-fried with a blend of spices and tasted gorgeous and the Lime Rice was heaven with deep fried shallots on top that gave you a taste of sweetness that the Lime cooked rice balanced extremely well.
The Fish (Emerald Fish) was the talk of the table and the lasting memory that I was left with long after the meal was over. So much so that I have asked the chef to take me on one of his many fish market shopping expeditions which we hope to cover in the near future here at 'What's On Penang'.
The Brunch Tiffin ends with the desserts which on this occasion were to be a duo of Caramel Custard and Almond Chocolate Fudge. In fact we were given a special treat of a trio rather than just the duo so that we might sample a wider choice. All of the desserts were executed well and rounded off a very full meal indeed.
The Anglo-Indian Brunch tiffin is available every first Sunday of the month for a minimum of 2 persons from 11.00 - 14.30 and is priced at RM50 net per person. All ingredients are locally produced and crafted by the team of chefs under the careful guidance of Chef Wan Helmi Zazalee and I really couldn’t offer a higher recommendation for their taste of days gone by.

Update - Chef Dave has now taken over as Head Chef and his food is totally amazing - We cannot recommend highly enough his creative and culinary ability.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Whatsonpenang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
198 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 337 helpful votes
“Suffolk House”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2012

The wife and I visited Suffolk House, Penang, in June 2012.
We caught the bus from the Komtar shopping nightmare out to the location, nice and easy to find if you have a friendly bus driver like we had, catch the bus to Air Itam and get off at the boys high school, it's right behind the school.
It's a restrained, classy and well renovated historic site, we visited the Pinang Peranakan Mansion on the same day for a bit of ying and yang, one Chinese and one British Colonial pomp.
Suffolk House have a restaurant on site that looks good for weddings or some kind of corporate gig, we didn't eat there so can't comment, but it looks a bit, well, stuffy, probably nice, but couldn't say.
The building on the other hand is quite beautiful, clearly it's had many years and many buckets of money spent on it, very well done and in keeping with the period.
10 Ringgits per head to get in seems pretty good value for such a big work, the place is filled with beautiful period antiques, tastefully done.
I suspect they don't get many tourists here, we had the place entirely to ourselves, a shame really because it's a pretty nice way to kill a few hours and imagine what life in colonial Penang was like.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Mr_rossduncan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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