Dining Room Macalister Mansion, 228, Jalan Macalister, George Town (04 228 3888/www.macalistermansion.com).
Minimalistic and chic, this restaurant only opens at dinner time. If you prefer all things pretty, Dining Room’s interior is as white as snow, dotted with a gorgeous tree centrepiece and pastel-coloured deer. Matching its contemporary decor is a spread of modern, innovative cuisine that is a testament to the talent and ingenuity of Chef Lance U’Ren. The menu leans towards French cuisine but you can expect a riot of experimentation and more than a few fusions between east and west. We recommend you go all-out and enjoy the theatre and variety of the tasting menu, which changes every few months. Our final tip? Don’t let the classy interior intimidate you – families are always welcome and there’s also a kid-friendly menu.
Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 7pm–11pm. $$$
Eté Café 79 Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town (017 435 0922/www.facebook.com/ etecafe).
The name means ‘summer’ in French. This family-owned café is nestled on Carnarvon Street and managed by a Taiwanese couple, Chiang Tsung Hsun and his wife Venessa. Both have dedicated their time towards developing their baking skills from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, which translates beautifully in the freshly baked pastries, desserts and the small selection of savoury items they serve. Don’t be surprised to find macarons, alhambra, tarte normande and the crunchy fromage baton here. Complement your pastry of choice with traditionally brewed coffee with funky names like El Savador and Sidamo Dry Process.
Disabled friendly. Daily, 11am–6.30pm. $
La France Café and Restaurant 79 Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town (017 435 0922/www.facebook.com/ etecafe).
Once a French stall in a food court, La France has since made its way to the heart of George Town as a cosy café. Its distinctive highlight includes the croques monsieur (oven-baked ciabatta with various toppings), the aglio olio with extra virgin oil and the Crêpes Suzette. Also, despite what its name may suggest, La France also serves an array of German fare. Judging by the beverage menu, the espressobased coffees of La France boast a distinctively French taste; it also serves the renowned French lager beer, Kronenbourg 1664.
Child friendly. Tue–Sun, 12noon–3pm, 6pm–10pm. $$
NEW The View Hotel Equatorial Penang, 1, Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (04 632 7000/www.equatorial.com/pen).
This fine dining restaurant tucked away in a quiet corner of Hotel Equatorial offers not only classic French cuisine but also a sweeping view of the area, its coastline and Penang's second bridge. This restaurant has an old-school charm that will have you minding your table manners. It has a semi-buffet menu of delectable appetisers and indulgent desserts to complement your choice of main course from the lunch or dinner à la carte menu. The wine list consists of both old- and new-world wines to pair with your meal.
Mon–Fri, 12noon–2.30pm, 6.30pm– 10pm; Sat, 6.30pm–10pm. $$$$