Lagenda Cafe

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

Shanghai 1910 Heritage Hotel is a boutique hotel at Campbell Street (Lebuh Campbell) of George Town. Built in 1910, the building stands prominently at this narrow street with its distinctive Shanghainese architecture.
Lagenda Cafe is occupies the ground floor of the hotel. The laid-back ambience of this eatery draws tourists and locals alike. Cushioned seats and tablecloth-covered tables provide a sense of nostalgia of the former colonial days.
The Malay word "lagenda" means "legend". The restaurant pays tribute to the late P. Ramlee (1929-1973), Malaysia's undisputed legendary actor, director, singer and composer. P. Ramlee's fame traces back to his humble hometown of George Town before the independence of Malaysia. Indeed, the road where his birthplace is situated has since been renamed as Jalan P. Ramlee - in honor of his contribution to the nation.
Besides the large mural of the Malaysian legend, P. Ramlee's creative works are also featured in the names of several menu items like Nasi Lemak Ibu Mertuaku (after "Ibu Mertuaku") and "Sago Do Re Mi" (after "Laksamana Do Re Mi").

Lagenda Cafe's food menu revolves around Malay and Indonesian cuisine. There are also fusion dishes that attempt to harmonize Western cooking with local spices. As food is prepared from scratch and made to order, the waiting time may be substantial during peak hours. But it is worth waiting if the food is good, right?
Gado-Gado (RM22.00) is a popular salad in Indonesian cuisine. "Gado-gado" literally means "mix-mix" in Indonesian. Unlike Malaysian rojak, the individual ingredients of gado-gado are kept separated on the platter when served.
The focal point of Gado-Gado is peanut sauce. Used as a dip or dressing, the sauce is responsible for bringing all ingredients together. Besides being slightly spicy, the peanut sauce also enjoys a sense of pleasant savoriness that allows it to assimilate well with a diverse range of ingredients.
Popular ingredients in Gado-Gado are cucur udang (prawn fritters), cucur sayur (vegetable fritters), keropok sayur (vegetable crackers), hard-boiled egg and nasi impit (pressed rice).
Tempeh is an Indonesian delicacy made from fermented soybeans. Other items that take advantage of lovely peanut sauce are taukua (fried bean curd), roasted potatoes, jicama (sengkuang), cucumber, yardlong beans, bean sprouts and water spinach (kangkung).
One of the signature items on the menu is Prawn Lemak Pineapple (RM26.00). This dish comes with rice that is dyed with butterfly-pea flower (bunga telang) extract. Rice is wrapped with banana leaf in the shape of a cone for aesthetic appeal.
Nevertheless, the main star of this dish is the santan- (coconut milk) based gravy that is infused with a variety of spices such as turmeric (kunyit). The creamy gravy is also cooked with pineapples, providing some degree of sweet-tanginess. Also included with the yellow gravy are medium-size shrimps. This flavorful dish is highly recommended especially if you enjoy santan-based gravy.
Several dishes including Prawn Lemak Pineapple come with side dishes. Presented on a wooden platter shaped like congkak are kerabu telur (egg salad), jelatah (pineapple and cucumber salad), air asam (tamarind sauce), sambal oelek (spicy paste), kacang botol (winged beans), cili padi (bird's eye chili), timun (cucumber) and keropok sayur (vegetable crackers).
As for dessert, Panacota Serimuka (RM12.00) is an amalgam of Italian panna cotta and Malay Kuih Seri Muka. The pandan-flavored custard is served with strawberry sauce that is made fresh from actual strawberries. In terms of taste, I personally prefer the level of sweetness to be reduced. Meanwhile on the side are two pieces of sticky glutinous rice.
Ais Kacang Astaka (RM8.00) comprises of shaved ice that is sweetened with rose syrup and condensed milk. Also present are basil seeds (biji selasih), which when coming in contact with water, expand to form a translucent jelly around the cores. Included in this dessert are cubed apples, pineapples, watermelon and nata de coco. Crushed peanuts provide some form of crunchiness.
Teh Tarik (RM5.00) is one of Malaysia's most popular drinks. The glass of milk tea is made frothy by "pulling" the drink back and forth between two mugs. In fact, "teh tarik" literally means "pulled tea" in Malay. Pulling teh tarik is sometimes a form of showmanship. There are even teh tarik competitions to determine who can achieve the longest pull (without spilling the tea, of course).
Name: Lagenda Cafe
Address: 43, Lebuh Campbell, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-261-2293
Business hours: 8:00am-11:00pm
Coordinates: 5.41724 N, 100.33499 E
Directions: Driving along the one-way Campbell Street (Lebuh Campbell), Lagenda Cafe is located on the right between the junctions with Rope Walk (Jalan Pintal Tali) and Carnarvon Street (Lebuh Carnarvon). Limited street parking is available along these roads.

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