Frandy Beach Bar has come a long way from that dead restaurant from three years ago.
I have literally been to Frandy Beach Bar in Batu Ferringhi every time I’ve visited Penang (three times in three years now), and each time its been a little different. Similar to comparing baby pictures taken a year apart, it’s clear that Frandy is growing up.
How To Get Here
You can get here via a short dead-end road off Jalan Teluk Bahang. You will see a big Frandy sign from the main road. If you’re driving here, there is a grass lot down this road where you can park.
Ambience & Amenities
The washroom is right at the entrance here with a second one in the portable on the right. They are both sitting toilets with paper. There is a large, open-air dining area with steps leading down to additional seating on the beach.
I remember its humble beginnings during my first 2017 visit. The place was empty, aside from us and one other table in the height of the afternoon. They had two packed menus: one for local cuisine and one for western fare. Wooden tables painted with Union Jacks and other flags were set up on the beach, behind comfy mesh loungers.
Frandy in 2017
One year later, the kitschy beach tables were gone, replaced by classier white tablecloths. Nylon plastic chaises occupied the shoreline. The menu was now a single, culled book of drinks, Malaysian and western food. A few families dined at the tables inside, but we otherwise had the run of the beach.
Frandy in 2018
Now in 2020, it seems word has gotten out about Frandy Beach Bar. During our visit, it was rammed. There were so many people buzzing around inside the restaurant, but luckily there was still some seating outside. There were no more loungers to be seen on the beach, only tables with colourful cloths draped on them. They’ve figured out that food should be an afterthought, and their entire menu now fit on two pages: one for food, and another for drinks. They’ve even added shisha to their offerings.
Frandy in 2020
It’s been a year between visits, but I still noticed that the prices have gone up. Last time, I remember ordering Pelican coolers for RM15, but now they’re RM17 and there are a lot fewer flavours available. I mostly drink at Frandy and don’t tend to get food, but the food prices are on par with mid-range Kuala Lumpur restaurants. However, I doubt you’ll get the same level of quality here.
A Beach Hotspot
Somewhere along the way, Frandy found success and now had a bunch of money to spend on extras: tiki torches lining their section of beach, mini umbrellas to put into their cocktails, and an acoustic duo to provide the tunes on a Sunday night. Since it was the start of Chinese New Year, the bar also pulled out all the stops. The building itself was lavishly decorated with tons of (fake) flowers and ribbons, they hired a lion dance troupe to perform at sunset, and even set off fireworks when it got dark! Frandy has come a long way from that dead restaurant from three years ago.
It’s safe to say that Frandy is king on this stretch of beach. It’s the only bar not attached to a hotel or located too close to the ugly road. As a result, Frandy has become really touristy. The price hike isn’t surprising and I’m not going to curse them for it. They’ve got a great setup on the beach and tourists have money, so why not charge accordingly? I kind of think that’s why they got rid of the loungers: people fall asleep in loungers, and sleeping people don’t order anything!
Even though it was busy this year, Frandy has always had a relaxing vibe. The drinks are pretty good (and strong!), and you can’t beat the view and that’s why I’ve kept coming back. Although with the trajectory it’s on, I’ve got the feeling that next time I try to visit Frandy Beach Bar, it will be too popular, costly and exclusive for me.
Drinks for 2 Pax: RM58.00
Pina Colada: RM28.00
Strawberry Daiquiri: RM28.00
Ice Water x 2: RM2.00
Frandy Beach Bar
363 Gerai Kilat, Batu Ferringhi, 11100, Pilau Pinang
Daily: 10am – 12am
Alcohol Served: Yes