Snapdot Cafe

Special thanks to Snapdot Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Ropewalk Piazza is a newly restored row of heritage shops along Rope Walk (Jalan Pintal Tali). These shops are designated for eateries, including the pioneer Snapdot Cafe (摄咖馆).
The name of the café reflects the proprietors' passion in photography. The walls are decorated with scenic shots around Penang, therefore serves as an informal tourist information center. Vintage vinyl record plays classic Chinese music at the background, giving nostalgic ambience reminiscent of Penang's colonial days.
Snapdot Cafe takes a unique stance in its food menu. Focusing on home-style cooking, the kitchen uses lighter flavors in order to accentuate freshness of ingredients. The difference is evident in the Mushroom Sandwich (RM9.90).
Bread is baked in-house to maintain freshness. Sandwiched between toasted slices are generous portions of button mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms (占地), shiitake mushrooms (椎茸) and lettuce. The mushrooms are lightly grilled to retain their juiciness, giving a delectable sense of appeal that I have not experienced since my last trip to the United States.
As for poultry, the Rosemary Glazed Chicken (RM19.90) is popular among locals. The quarter chicken is lightly seasoned with rosemary such its natural juice prevails. Should customers prefer heavy flavoring, additional sauce is provided on the side. Also included are mashed potatoes and blanched spinach.
Most cafés that serve pasta usually include aglio olio or bolognese to a point where it has become cliché. Taking an unorthodox approach, Snapdot Cafe offers Salted Egg Pasta (RM15.90) instead. Using salted egg and parmesan cheese as seasoning, the spaghetti is delectable to the palate, thanks to its pleasant saltiness.
Juicy pieces of streaky bacon provide different type of savoriness, making each subsequent bite more enjoyable than the previous. The pasta is punctuated by curry leaves which lend their appealing aroma. Despite its spiciness, this dish is surprisingly popular among tourists.

Most cafés procure cakes from external bakeries as sales volume does not justify the hassle. However, Snapdot Cafe employs a full-time pastry chef to prepare cakes, bread and other desserts from scratch.
The Red Queen Cake (RM15.90) is very similar to Red Velvet Cake in terms of taste and texture. The cake consists of two distinct layers with roux in between. Sweet roux also serves as icing on the cake. Due to the large portion and compact texture, a single slice of Red Queen Cake is quite heavy for one person.
If you have never encountered cakes made from anchovies, or any type of fish for that matter, you obviously have not visited Snapdot Cafe before. Keeping its promise to be different from other eateries, the pastry chef offers one-of-a-kind Anchovy Sponge Cake (RM7.90).
The texture of this cake is coarser than the Red Queen Cake. Embedded within the cake are bits of anchovies that, when bitten, give an exciting boost in savory-salty sensation. This Anchovy Sponge Cake is unique indeed; it would be a sin to pass over this special dessert.
Amai Poteto (RM15.90) is the current drink on the seasonal menu, which is revised every few weeks. "Amai" means "sweet" (甘い) in Japanese. The key ingredients of this hot drink are sweet potatoes and honey. The drink is very viscous due to high pulp content.
Amai Poteto is best enjoyed in small sips over a period of time; drinking the entire glass at once may be surfeiting. As the flavor is most pronounced when the drink is hot, it is advisable to request the barista to reheat the cup as needed. Meanwhile, pieces of caramelized banana on the side are also best consumed while hot.

As for coffee, Snapdot Cafe uses medium-roast Arabica beans from Java. Each 12-ounce cup contains two shots of espresso, providing the much-needed adrenaline rush during a drowsy afternoon. According to the barista, coffee quality is mostly dictated by planting and roasting processes. The barista's role is only to complete the last mile to consumers.
The Cafe Latte (RM13.90) is creamy but not foamy, exactly the way it is supposed to be. Since fresh steamed milk is used, there is absolutely no need to add sugar. Meanwhile, the Butterscotch Macchiato (RM15.90) is noticeably sweeter due to the presence of butterscotch syrup. Personally, I prefer the former as the espresso flavor is better pronounced.
Snapdot Cafe's menu is beef-free but pork is served. In order not to alienate vegetarians, there are a number of vegan choices on the menu. Although the café is open daily, the kitchen only operates from 10:00am to 7:30pm and is closed on Mondays.
Name: Snapdot Cafe (摄咖馆)
Address: 134, Jalan Pintal Tali, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-251-9067
Business hours: 1:00pm-10:00pm (Monday), 9:00am-10:00pm (Tuesday-Thursday), 8:00am-11:00pm (Friday-Sunday)
Coordinates: 5.41558 N, 100.33246 E
Directions: Traveling along the one-way Rope Walk (Jalan Pintal Tali), look out for Le Dream Boutique Hotel on the left. Right after the junction with Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze, there is a row of identical shops on the right. Snapdot Cafe is the first shop on this row. Street parking is available along Rope Walk and Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze. There is also a private car park at the beginning of Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze.

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