A restaurant offering all the things that are hard to find in Malaysia: pork, Swiss food and German beer
When someone mentions Swiss food, are you also unable to conjure up any sort of mental image aside from a block of Swiss cheese? Edelweiss Cafe on Armenian Street brings the under-represented cuisine to George Town but has an ample menu filled with food from other parts of the world if you find that Swiss food bores you.
Ambience & Amenities
This restaurant is built inside one of the heritage homes on the historic Armenian Street and has retained the same feel. Edelweiss Cafe’s main dining room looks like you’re in grandma’s house, complete with an impractical tower clock, a stuffed china hutch and antique furniture you can’t put your feet on. Literally, as the owner will not hesitate to tell you, gently but firmly, if you are endangering any of the paraphernalia!
The washroom is all the way at the back, past a partly unroofed dining area, with more kitschy decorations on the way. There are three stalls – two for men and one for women – with two communal sinks outside the small toilet rooms. The women’s stall was a sitting toilet with paper, but the sink directly next to it had the most watered-down soap ever. Paper towels are available to dry your hands with.
Click on any menu picture to enlarge
If all you’ve been drinking on the island is Tiger Beer and you’re sick of it, Edelweiss has a small selection of German beers that will be a glorious reprieve. The stock rotates, so there may be other varieties that are not listed on the menu – be sure to inquire. There’s also a short list of Schnaps, German vodka-like distilled spirits, with weird names and only vague descriptions of what they are. You’ll most certainly have to ask for more information if you’re not German or familiar with Schnaps at all. Rounding out the alcohol menu are pretty lengthy lists of whiskies, cocktails and wine. Coffee, juice and mocktails are on hand for those not imbibing.
This is a “Swiss” restaurant, but there is food that definitely did not originate from the region: chorizo, lasagne and goulash. There’s even a page with local food like chicken curry and soto ayam noodles! The Swiss food on the menu will stick out – just look for the long, unpronounceable names. Rosti, a fried potato pancake, is the most undeniably Swiss thing here along with the fondue.
We got a Pineapple Juice (RM12) and a Mixed Fruit Juice (RM16) to drink. I was apprehensive about ordering pineapple juice out of fear that I would get a can of overly sweet F&N’s brand juice, but this is very obviously fresh juiced real fruit. For starters, I could hear the blender as they were making these. These were not too thick or sweet and separated after a few minutes as real juices do.
The Bean and Barley Soup (RM18) came with two small slices of garlic toast on the side. This was a hearty, packed dish with at least three kinds of beans – kidney, black and a white bean, borlotti or cannellini – as well as carrots and spring onions. This is very comforting food, good if you don’t have a big appetite, or are suffering from a stomach bug from eating too much street food like I was!
The Swiss B-52 (RM47 large) differs from a regular B-52 with the addition of a rosti. We got a large size, but a smaller sized version is available for RM42. This will make any man you’re dining with feel uncomfortable as it came with a humongous sausage… it had to be close to twenty centimetres. Inside was pure pork without a hint of gristle or filler, but the casing was unpleasantly tough and wrinkled. It was hard to cut through and involved a bout of sawing every time I wanted a bite. It had the texture of an old sausage that had been heated up. The rosti is very similar to a big hash brown. It was very crispy on the outside, but the taste was quite plain and needed more salt. Although there was a pot of dijon mustard on the plate, this could’ve done with a different condiment for extra flavour, like ketchup.
The bean and barley soup, even though it’s simple peasant food, was honestly better than our main dish. The rosti is supposed to be definitively Swiss and I was disappointed by it. The prices are expensive for what is lacklustre food. I would, however, consider coming here for authentic German beer.
Price for 2 Pax: RM93.00
Pineapple Juice: RM12.00
Mixed Fruit Juice: RM16.00
Bean & Barley Soup: RM18.00
Swiss B52: RM47.00
38 Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10200 Pulau Pinang
Monday to Friday: 12pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10pm
Saturday: 12pm – 10pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
Alcohol Served: Yes