Swallow

Special thanks to Swallow for extending this food review invitation.

The Saw Emporium is a historical building at the Seven Streets Precinct of George Town. Adjacent to Macallum Connoisseurs, this building was formerly a sawmill - the first of its kind in Penang. To keep up with the times, the owner is repurposing this prime piece of real estate in several phases.
A year of planning and preparation culminated in Swallow - A Pecking Paradise. This novel dining concept will be held for around 6 months; future development depends on the public's response. The management has handpicked several intriguing eateries to be hosted under one roof. Swallow's concept revolves around casual dining with emphasis on finger foods that can be easily shared around the table.
For its inauguration, Swallow is housed in the warehouse across the main building. This rectangular structure has been refurbished to accommodate the new dining concept while still preserving its original character. At each of its four corners is a resident eatery with its respective kitchen. The center of the dining hall is where drinks are sold. In the evening, a live band performs to keep the ambience lively.
Weather permitting, diners may opt for al fresco dining in the evening. A long wooden table, 5 meters in length, forms the focal point of the courtyard. The table is constructed from two pieces of timber that were formerly workbenches in the sawmill. While taking advantage of the soothing breeze, diners are also mesmerized by the alluring lighting overhead.
Most tables and chairs at the courtyard are sponsored by Kian, a contract furniture designer which specializes in residential and commercial settings. Some of Kian's furniture products are intelligent. An example is the solar-powered picnic table. Solar cells on its umbrella are used to generate power for LED lighting and USB charging ports.
One of the eateries at Swallow is Teppei Syokudo (哲平食堂), which literally means "Teppei's cafeteria". The menu is crafted by Chef Yamashita Teppei who owns several Japanese eateries in Singapore such as Man Man (鰻満). Chef Teppei specializes in omakase (お任せ) dinners and rice bowls (ちらし寿司).
Popular dishes on Teppei Syokudo's menu are Ten Don (天丼, RM28.00), Chicken Nanban (チキン南蛮, RM16.00), Salmon Teriyaki (鮭照り焼き, RM24.00), Japanese Pork Curry (カツカレー, RM20.00) and Edamame (枝豆, RM6.00).

Soi 55 Modern Thai Food offers contemporary interpretations of Thai cuisine by incorporating modern elements into traditional Thai recipes. Its signature fusion dishes include Garlic-Scented Fried Chicken Wings (RM15.50), Sesame Prawn Toast (RM15.50) and Crispy Thai Mango Salad (ตำมะม่วง, RM15.50).
Meanwhile, Embers is a Western steakhouse that uses Asian-style marinades and condiments. The gas-fired barbecue grill supplies a steady flow of roasted meats. A carnivore's favorite is Grilled Aussie Beef Bavette (RM28.00). Inspired by a similar Chinese dish of ginger and scallion, the beef is grilled instead of being stir-fried.
Slow Braised Pork Belly (RM21.00) is a sound choice too. The juicy slices of pork belly are glazed with thick soy sauce, presenting a combination of salty and savory flavors. The dish is sprinkled with crushed peanuts, and then garnished with coriander.
Charred Prawns (RM28.00) is renowned for its buttery aroma especially while the dish is hot from the grill. The plump shrimps are roasted with their shells intact, allowing the flesh underneath to be cooked by indirect heat. Lemon juice and kimchi butter contribute in the taste department.
Moving on to beverages, Taps Beer Bar is the largest craft beer distributor in Malaysia. There are 47 different labels on display this evening - probably the largest collection in Penang yet. In lieu of commercial beer, craft beers provide alternative choices to beer enthusiasts who appreciate unconventional brewing techniques and complexity of flavors.
Taps sources its beers from microbreweries in many countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, United States, Australia and Japan. Besides operating several stores in Klang Valley, Taps also supplies craft beer to other restaurants, cafés and bars. Shown here is a bottle of Harviestoun's Bitter & Twisted Golden Ale. Brewed in Scotland, this refreshing beer carries a hint of zesty citrus.
If beer is not your cup of tea, Qwenchers Beverage Bar offers non-alcoholic options such as fresh juices, milkshakes and soda drinks. Selected drinks from the juice bar are Ron Weasley (RM13.00), Grapefruit Greatness (RM10.00) and Lemon Lime Fizz (RM10.00).
Moving on to desserts, Utterly Ice Cream specializes in homemade ice cream, cakes and cookies. Its biggest hit is the D24 Durian with an actual piece of Musang King durian on top. This premium delicacy gives the ultimate gratification that any durian lover can ask for. Meanwhile, 62% Dark Chocolate is suitable for people who love the bitterness of rich cocoa. Besides this store in Swallow, Utterly Ice Cream also operates a kiosk in Gurney Paragon Mall.
In summary, Swallow offers a unique dining experience that is unheard of in Penang. The place is currently open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (4 days a week). The management is constantly seeking new restaurants to work with, so expect to see new additions from time to time.
Name: Swallow - A Pecking Paradise
Address: 1, Gat Lebuh Macallum, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-388-9877
Business hours: 10:00am-12:00am, closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheSawEmporium
Coordinates: 5.40823 N, 100.33146 E
Directions: Swallow is located along Macallum Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Macallum), adjacent to Macallum Connoisseurs and directly opposite of T+ Hotel. Customers can park their vehicles at the private parking lot next to Jalan C.Y. Choy.

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