#478 Kota Dine & Coffee @ Fort Cornwallis, Penang

Posted by swisscheese on Sep 2, 2017 in cafe, fusion, nyonya tiramisu, penang |


When Elynn took me to Penang earlier last month, I knew that I had to try the food served at Kota because it is known to be a famous restaurant that serves a fusion of Nyonya and Western cuisines. Moreover, it is located at a famous tourist and historical attraction called Fort Cornwallis.

Kota Dine & Coffee
Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah,
10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
+60 4-263 9855

As Elynn stays at the main island, she drove a long way to George Town and oh boy, carpark can be a terror when parking outside Fort Cornwallis. Thankfully, we managed to find a slot! Since Fort Cornwallis is a tourist attraction, we have to pay the entrance fee when entering Fort Cornwallis. It costs RM10 per person for Malaysians, whereas it costs RM20 per person for foreigners. However, if you are dining at KOTA and will spend more than  RM40, you will be able to get a rebate of RM20.

The first to forth pictures show some general pictures of Fort Cornwallis. As the weather was too hot, I did not managed to take pictures of the cannon. The fifth and sixth pictures depict the highly raved semi fine dining restaurant called KOTA. As you can see, what I love about KOTA is that the restaurant is enclosed by glass so that the restaurant can use natural light to brighten the place during the day. This allows the customer not only to dine with a view but also for social media addicts to take nice pictures. The interior has a minimalist design, which makes the cafe tidy, neat and clean. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more.

Once you enter the glass door, you will be greeted by the founder of modern Penang named Captain Francis Light. He made a significant contribution to Penang since Penang was leased to him by Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah Sultanate in 1786 and he made Penang so successful while taking charge of Penang’s settlement until he died in 1794 due to Malaria. In order to protect Penang from the Siamese and Kedah, Francis Light built the original fort made with palm trunk stockade with no permanent structures.

The history mentioned above makes KOTA Dine & Coffee so much more memorable as the icon, food, location of place and even the name itself are linked to it’s roots. Firstly, Francis Light’s statue in the cafe takes you back to history since he helped Penang grow in many ways. Secondly, the food is a fusion between Nyonya and Western cuisines. As the tagline goes, When Francis Meets Rempah. This makes so much more sense now! After Francis Light took control of Penang, this is where the English was exposed to the traditional and local food in Penang. Likewise, Francis Light and his people may have introduced his food to the Penangites as well. Thus, the people behind the success of KOTA had a brilliant idea to not only serve Nyonya food, which is a mix of Chinese food, Malay food and food from other influences, they also incorporated the Western influences into their dishes. Next, since Fort Cornwallis is preserved until now due to it’s historical significance, the owners decided to name this cafe KOTA since Fort Cornwallis is also known as Kota Cornwallis.

KOTA actually has a set meal that costs RM59 (CAD$17.13 / SGD$18.73 / USD$13.82) and includes mixed appetizer, main course, dessert and a glass of beverage. This is actually very value for money for a semi fine dining restaurant like this. However, since Elynn and I were bloated from the heavy breakfast at Taman Sentosa with her parents, we only shared the Kota Flavour Signature Beverage and Nyonya Tiramisu, which costs RM16 (CAD$4.64 / SGD$5.08 / USD$3.75) and RM 19 (CAD$5.52 / SGD$6.03 / USD$4.45)respectively. As Elynn was feeling very hot due to the humidity and scorching sun outside, she found the Kota Flavour Signature Beverage very refreshing due to sprite contributing to it’s sparkling effect and the healing properties of calamansi, ginger bud, lemon grass, mint and chilli. Although I was so full, there is always room for desserts so I practically finish almost the entire glass of Nyonya Tiramisu all by myself since it was too sweet of Elynn. I enjoyed this dessert a lot because of how KOTA substituted some ingredients of the Italian Tiramisu with local ingredients in order for Penangites to still feel at home yet giving an oomph to the flavour. The whole milk is substituted by Santan, which is the liquid that is produced from the grated meat of a mature coconut. Espresso is replaced by pandan to contribute to the Nyonya taste. There is also a shot of kopi that is served, which is the local version of the roasted coffee without milk and sugar. In this case, the customer is supposed to drink the kopi alongside with consuming the Nyonya Tiramisu and not pour it over the Nyonya Tiramisu. Lastly, the chef uses coconut flakes instead of cocoa powder for the toppings  of the tiramisu.

Finally, I get to try what Elynn has been raving all along

A post shared by *Swiss Tiara (@swisstiara) on

Opens daily from 10:30am to 10:30pm
Landmark: Fort Cornwallis

As I am so amazed by the creativity of the Nyonya dessert made by Kota, I am looking forward to try their other dishes such as  Nyonya, Kari, Laksa, Hokkien and the Nasi Lemak Cake!


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2010-2018 All rights reserved.
Desk Mess Mirrored v1.6 theme from BuyNowShop.com.