September 9, 2011

Chai Diam Ma @ Queen Street

Kellin suggested to visit this special Chai Diam Ma (Hokkien for sundry shop) together with Alvin on a fine Sunday noon so we met up there.

As the banner says, they feature lots of handmade crafts from local artists

Almost every corner we turn, there were bound to be hand made articles the likes of stuffed soft toys, button badges, accessories, soaps, and there are even clothing and shoes on sale.

These freedom handmade soaps are actually made by one of our work acquaintance :)

We noticed some brilliant usage of the egg holders where it was painted in hues of pink, housing more accessories - Cute! And for some reason, I love the big-headed owl too~

Touring the entire Chai Diam Ma, we saw some out-of-the-box 'deco' such as these fighthing fish containing bottles just hung on the wall, as well as old wooden furniture housing the handmade crafts.

There is a walkway leading to the air well at the inner back of the 'shop' which is made up of a mini garden where plants are either hung down from the top or being nicely planted in pots.

The menu is a scrap book with limited food and drinks item, and you can check out the daily specials written with white chalks on the board right above their kitchen.

In the end, we settled with (clock-wise) Almond Banana Milkshake, Dragon Fruit Shake and Papaya Milk

First up, my almond banana milkshake was passable, the dragon fruit shake was almost bland, if not for the vanilla ice cream on top of it; and the papaya milk was really runny and I don't think I could taste the papayas at all O_o

Alvin's Baked Macaroni with Bacon & Mushrooms (RM 14)

Ask Alvin how his drinks or food tasted, his response will always be 'not bad' :) I tasted a little bit of the macaroni and it was good. The macaroni was not too hard nor too soft, the cheese taste was not overly powering. The side was something interesting - cherry tomatoes with yogurt.

We ordered a BOLD dish called Kimchi Zucchini Mini Pizza (RM 8)

Our consensus impression was : wow, that's mini indeed. A bite of this mini pizza sent a message to our brain that this was definitely an odd combination. Kimchi + zucchini + cheese? It did not taste bad, just not something we'd fancy. Good try though! The base was crunchy.

After what seemed like AGES, my Rice Sambal Prawn (RM 14) finally arrived to my hungry gaze!

We could already smell the sambal when my order was being fried as we were seated very near to the kitchen and after trying a spoonful, this fried rice proved to be something coz it was very spicy actually! Yes, even to my standards which is slight higher than average Penangite's tolerance level. But I must say I enjoyed the fried rice as the spiciness etches in my memory til now. The onions brought out the fragrance of the fried rice and there were 8 prawns altogether in it (yeah, I counted), not forgetting the long beans they put in as well.

Last but not least, Kellin's Udon Sambal Prawn (RM 14) - sister to my rice version arrived at her Hangry gaze (hungry + angry) lol~

It was a fair bit of challenge for Kellin to finish her dish as she could not take too high level of spiciness but she made a good attempt. After sampling her Udon version, I still liked my rice version better, maybe because the rice could really capture the wok hei as well as the flavors from the onions and sambal.

On the environment, it is my responsibility to share that it gets *really* hot and stuffy around here in the afternoon, despite the blaring fans they put up on various corners. This may probably be due to the fact that the ceilings are low and that the kitchen is located very near to where the tables are. Wear cooling clothes, carry a mobile fan or something if you intend to come here in the afternoon.

In all, I personally felt that the specialty of this cafe lies in the array of handmade crafts on display as well as the feel of the deco that the owners attempt to portray. Food-wise, there are still rooms for improvement and I reckon they can increase more varieties as well as improve the speed of serving as well :)

Chai Diam Ma

15, Lebuh Queen,
10200, Georgetown,
Penang, Malaysia


  1. U mean my post? The food? The drinks, or the place? ;-)

  2. Been there once earlier this year and the food didn't leave a good impression on us. Upon reading your review, I feel it is ridiculous to charge RM14 for fried rice & udon and RM8 for a small vegetarian pizza. And yes, the humidity of the cafe didn't help either.