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An island up in the north, which is rich with heritage and famous for its food, who does not know this island Penang? Well, one thing cannot be denied that, after a few areas have got awarded as UNESCO heritage area. . tourism industry had push up to another level, with a mark on the map by knowing its one of heritage spot! Nostalgie Cafe

[UPdate: No Longer in Operation]

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Good thing is this heritage area had attracted many tourist and many pre-wedding photoshoot had taken place with amazing work from many photographers along with many new cafe’s and boutique hotel bustling up around the area, one of the most recent place we found is this little family operate cafe, Nostalgie Cafe that stood alone in Steward Lane, which is just directly across Muntri Street.

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All the operates in the area have their very own catchy name, not to be surprise that Nostalgie actually come by from French which evolve from the word Nostalgia with the meaning of yearning for the past. As this place is know with its rich heritage, therefore this word been chosen that preserve the whole building outlook and do with a bit more touch up to bring back the look and feel of the place.

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Its like many cafe around the area and every cafe have their very own style preserving the whole building, and I must say this outlet is one of my favourite, as they did it with different style. A bit of art, antique which is a combination of east and west combination. Why is that so? Below is running operate cafe and upstairs is a boutique hotel which expected to be complete by Febuary 2012 and there are already people book the place. I got a chance to preview the place and its nice without completion yet. 😀

Back to my question, why is that so and with following pictures you will understand. . .

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The cafe is operated with chinese antique where the family really put in efford and import it back from China on a certain furniture. .

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This is the running cafe area . ..

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and this is what I mean a touch from the West with classic art paintings been put up on the wall . .

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A glimpse for the room upstairs .. . 😉

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Right in the middle, they have a mini garden  . ..

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and this is how people enjoying the place, a classic touch with a bit of simple contemporary design to make it very comfortable to chill for a morning. They are just a very friendly couple~

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As the cafe are moving forward, soon to be they will have many drinks to be introduce into the menu which is coming soon~

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On a hot sunny day, you would not want to miss this 2 drinks which is Ice Lemon Tea @ RM 5 & Cranberry Longan @ RM 9. Which is really a thirst quencher.

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If you are a Lime drink lover, try not to miss this as not many places can serve nice Lime Juice drink and the colour and tone of the drink already tell, made fresh~

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The menu is pretty simple as the have spaghetti, pizza and sandwich, the rest are drinks~ Food range are more like Italian homecook!

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A simple dish to start off with Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Prawns @ RM 24, taste is light with olive oil and well coated along the spaghetti,  sprinkle upon some cheese powder on top that serve along with two huge prawns. . .

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a meal that cook with their very own homemade sauce is Spaghetti Marinara with Prawns @ RM 24,   sourish in taste with the tomato sauce well coated on which is not too dry and by the time you finish the whole plate, there are little sauce that left on the plate that makes it look like you have lick it off~

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Fettuccine Carbonara with Turkey Bacon @ RM 21, as not many people can take too creamy taste as that’s one of my favourite, a bit salty with bacon that cook along, and enough cream to make it as I prefer.

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The star of the day is this Chicken and Feta Cheese Pizza @ RM 28, a home made base dough which you can see the chef roll in the kitchem that comes with the crust not too thick nor thin which is just perfect! Rich in feta cheeze taste and the flavor is a bit more strong, and a bit sourish with the cherry tomato that makes it blend so well. – Recommended!

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A pizza which is generous with prawns is this Prawns and Chili Pizza @ RM30  that you can see each slice of pizza comes with decent size of prawns. This pizza bends towards more on sourish size because of its tomato base~

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Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich @ RM 14

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Sandwich lovers, you must not miss this with its fluffy homemade bread daily on a very limited bread available that once sold out, you have to come back the next day. I love the bread so much and the chicken is perfectly grill that make it a great sandwich to start your day off. – Recommended!

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Under desert menu, this is the supper star or known as the cafe’s signature cake, Carrot Cake @ RM 12. This cake is also made fresh daily and one of the best seller in the outlet. Often get sold out over the day very fast, and some of the customers even come a few rounds for this cake. The cake is huge enough to feed for 2 person and if you are a cake lover like me, once slice is just perfecT! Its rich in ingredient, that every bite is filled with walnut and add on with a bit of raisins to sweeten it a bit. The cake is not too compact yet its a bit bouncy when you bite on it. A cake that I prefer, soft and not too sweet~

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Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts are a bit on the bitter side because of the chocolate used, and some of you might not used to it. They are not dry, very moist and with chocolate sauce added on makes it even better. RM10

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White Coffee @ RM 5 and Black Coffee @ RM 4

If you are coming to this outlet for dining, my recommendations is do not miss their pizza and sandwich, as their spaghetti taste are more towards authentic taste, therefore some people might find the taste a bit bland or sourish.

Its a good thing to see another cafe pop up around the area, one set back of this outlet is there are very limited parking space around the area, as you can park in the small lane oppsite the cafe or you have to park nearby area with just about 3 minutes walk by strolling down this rich heritage area`

Now they also have special Christmas Menu in da house check it out and make your reservations:

Location:
Nostalgie Cafe
34, Stewart Lane,
10200, Penang.
(Few shop lots away from Coffee Atelier)

Business Hour: 11am to 9pm, Closed on every Thursday.

Contact Number: 604- 261 0977

Email: [email protected]


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I did blog about this place that the food did not taste so good and the ingredient use is not up to the standard as most of the Penangnites are ranting about it too as most of us also cannot denied that its a great place to hang out and to my surprise, the Founder or the Owner of Sticks Jerry, had actually email me and responded to my post. I am actually very happy on his response as not many restaurant owners do response to critics especially when they are newly operating in this industry and especially to bloggers too. This is what he commented and I am actually helping him to spread the words around. For those of you out there actually find the same situation, you can directly email him.
I have been reading all the complaints about STICKS and as the Owner/Founder I would like to put a face in front and seek your indulgence to respond:

1. Yes, we invested a lot (7-figures) to make it a nice cool place comparable to Kuta Bali, Hawaii, Phuket etc. The umbrellas are Aussie and the woodwork and furniture are all hardwood. We wanted to create a “postcard’ look because we could not find a beautiful place to bring friends. It was always hawker food or expensive hotels in Ferringhi.

2. Yes, we built from zero from the ground up on a bare land. Rain is the biggest issue but we have a 60 seat aircon area and retractable canopies. We could easily cover everything but that would defeat the concept. We did not want to sacrifice the “openness” under the stars. We are not fine dining but casual so even beach wear is fine! We also created the First Fish Bar (where you can drink with the fishes) in Malaysia at great expense. Not many people are aware but we have a rooftop that has a fantastic view – so far we have had a few private dinners there. Later it will be done up as a roof-garden cosy area.

3. Yes, on the first month of opening since 19dec, we had problems with the food and service. I’ll address the food later. On service, we wanted to be purist and refused to hire foreign floor staff but stuck with Malaysians. Our menu was new to the staff because they only know steaks, burger, sandwiches i.e. standard fare. They never ever experienced Hawaiian fusion and that resulted in the inability to explain or recommend the food properly even though we did train. They punch in the wrong orders etc on the computerized POS system etc. Our new revised menu (est. start 8feb) will have simplified codes numbers and pictures. And yes, sad to say, but poor attitude, indifference and poor communication seems to be a Malaysian workforce problem. We will now look to hire few foreign staff just to do running (delivery, clearing etc). We are willing to pay more to use Captains/Supervisors to take orders. We will also put up a customer comment card by 8 feb. Staff with good comments will get immediate bonus.

4. We are well aware of pricing and strive to keep it reasonable- everyone can compare. For example, small starters “tapas” are below RM5.00 ( 10+ choices). Soups are RM5.80. Salads are RM7.80 but will be revised to RM5.80. Chicken Pie is 4” round and RM5.80 with fries (remember our pies & burgers are Snacks not full meal). Main grills (8 choices) are RM19.80 incl rice or pasta, slaw, pickle & sauces. Pastas (6 choices) are RM13.80. Of course for Xmas, New Year etc it will cost more for a full 5-course set – at our neighbour outlet, you are given only 2 hours to eat and leave…and higher price than us! To be fair, special occasions you are also paying for the location and the higher costs incurred.

5. Our food portions are not large for sure. Our concept is not for a big fast meal just to fill your stomach. Coming to STICKS should be for the classy yet relaxed ambience and slowly enjoy a starter, a soup or salad and the Main with a cocktail/wine and maybe dessert with coffee. Yes, it may blow your budget to have the full course but it shouldn’t be all the time – also better to do the Lunch Set @RM13.80 or Dinner Set @RM33 (new menu). Other times, a beer/cocktail and pasta/snack is what many of our regulars go for. By the way, we are increasing the size of the Main to cater for the younger (& hungrier) people.

6. On the food there are several issues. First, I agree the Menu was confusing so we are changing to a simplified with pictures ( some people don’t read English too). Second, as I said before, our staff was unable to communicate properly – our food is modern so many people are not sure what we are about. Third, some fusion items are not for everyone eg sardine pasta – you have to like sardines or a little adventurous in the first place….but still it remains our top pasta seller today.. ….even our neighboring outlet manager buys it home after his place closes. I know customers don’t want to know excuses but it is sad in Malaysia we get unscrupulous suppliers who give you good stuff for testing then gives you 2nd grade once you are successful. We have changed and put in strict controls but will still have to look out all the time. So, we value feedback. I think in F&B there will be some OFF days but what is important is we keep listening and improving. We do not believe in a having a laundry list of items because 80% of customers order 20% of the items. To me, a long menu means you have no concept and you fear to lose out and want to serve everyone. Also, I question the freshness and the chef skills. Personally, I avoid outlets with long menus and go for places with special items – but that is my choice. The other fact is we use only fresh ingredients even up to making our own sauces- we have a Peppercorn & a Spicy BBQ as well as own salad dressings. The pickle is also from fresh fruits.

7. On the drinks, again we offer some drinks that would be the first time in Malaysia. On the new menu, we are putting in more description and pictures so you don’t order something you don’t like. A tip which I do when I go places: If you are a drinks person, always go to the bar and talk to the bartender and discuss preferences….sometimes I even get free tasting if it is not a standard drink! For example, our homemade Tamarind drink (no preservatives or flavoring) is sour, sweet with a slight bitter after taste. We tested on many customers and mostly girls like it. Others ok but some guys think it is weird. Well….not for everyone….( I will tell the staff to let customers try first if it is first time for them). We stick to our tropical concept and offer some unique cocktails: COCOKAKA (whole coconut, vodka, ++) & PIPIRUM (whole pineapple, rum, ++) are our top sellers.

8. We always want to be better and appreciate all comments good or bad. We have now done about 20 private functions from 15 to 60 pax and we have upcoming a Porsche dinner party & an “Online Dating Service” Event (believe it or not over 100 pax! From Spore!).

I know some of you may be very put off by the bad experience you had at STICKS- I would be too if it was me – I would like to offer my sincere apologies for our shortcomings. Because of the start up problems as mentioned above, I am willing to give anyone of you a FREE meal anytime to compensate. Just email me at [email protected] and I will see to it. Of course, Fridays & Sats tend to be a bit crazy so please try to make it a weekday if possible.

I thank you for coming to STICKS in the first place even though for some of you the food and service was a major disappointment. As a consolation, everyone says it is a great place. What pisses me off is I have friends who travel everywhere and say how great this place and that place is and run down Penang. But when in Penang, they complain that the Char Koay Teow is expensive at Rm5.00 etc when they pay USD5 or EURO5 overseas for a damn coffee or cold sandwich. If this mentality keeps up, we will always be living in lowcost flats! Even my best friends advise me against doing an upscale concept because Penangnites are stingy, cannot appreciate, used to hawker food, cannot behave etc..the list goes on! Living in Penang and having seen nice places overseas, my challenge and vision is to create a beautiful outlet that locals and tourists can be proud off without having to pay an arm and leg for.

Thanks,

Jerry

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