A Tropical Lunch Affair

I love lunching out with my sis and cousins.
Being Penangites, we love to suss out good makan places. Two weekends ago, I decided to introduce them to a special place in Batu Feringghi – the Tropical Spice Garden.
Tropical Spice Garden Cafe Penang
Both my sis and cousin had never been there (my other cousin was in the States, on a work stint so she definitely missed out on this one). You know lah, Penangites won’t go to tourist areas unless they have out of town visitors.
I found Tropical Spice Garden when I was looking for places to bring my best friend to, when she was in Penang about 4 years ago.
Tropical Spice Garden Cafe Penang
The cafe wasn’t even built when I was there 4 years ago. I’d read about the cafe and how it overlooked the gorgeous seascape of Batu Feringghi.
Tropical Spice Garden Cafe Penang
When we arrived, the sky was going to burst its dam. We quickly hiked the short road to the cafe before the sky erupted in thunderous rain.
Rain at Tropical Spice Garden
That meant we couldn’t sit out front, on the wooden benches. We made do with the indoor tables.
Tropical Spice Garden Cafe Penang
Food-wise, it was self-service.
Self service at Tropical Spice Garden Cafe Penang
Food choices were limited too (I had a chicken pesto, my sis ordered a chicken rendang with pita bread and my cousin stuck to the breakfast menu of eggs, sausage and baked beans) though their drinks menu was interesting with drinks such as lemongrass, nutmeg, cinnamon etc. I think the menu should be made a little bit larger, with more choices. But the food was delicious and substantial enough for 3 truly hungry people!
Chicken pesto sandwich
After all this is the spice garden and they were really incorporating the local spices into their drinks and food. They sell cookies too (RM3 apiece) in case you’re feeling peckish.
Cousin trying to take my photo
Further up was the spice shop where tempting aromas made browsing delightful. The low-ceilinged shop sold handmade soaps, aromatherapy oils, local produce and local crafts.
Tropical Spice Garden Shop
We were told they had a spice museum too, just a short walk behind the spice shop. But we only stayed for 10 minutes before we decided to hurry back as the mozzies were making food out of my sis and cousin.
Oddly, I was NOT attacked at all, presumably because I drank the lemongrass drink – maybe my pores emitted enough citronella molecules to deter the mozzies (mozzies, as we know, detest the smell of serai wangi or lemongrass… good tip to plant some in your garden if you have too many mozzies around).
How to get there:
Drive along Batu Feringghi until you pass the tourist stretch of beach hotels (Rasa Sayang, Parkroyal etc.). The Tropical Spice Garden is the last stretch of road just before you reach the Mutiara Beach Resort so it’s quite a long drive!
It’s open from 9am to 6pm daily. You can choose to visit the garden (with an entry fee of RM 13 per person) which is a rather pleasant 2-hour stroll amidst lush greenery comprising herbal and spice plants. You have to be a nature lover to enjoy this stroll. Otherwise, you will grumble about the insects and mossies.

2 thoughts on “A Tropical Lunch Affair”

  1. I’ve driven past that place a million times and never gone in because the entrance price is steep and I’m uncultured and don’t think it’s worth paying that much to look at spices. However I’ll gladly spend money on books… ha ha ha

  2. Hi d: You don’t have to fork out money if you just want to go and have a drink at the Tropical Spice Garden cafe. From the entrance of the garden, turn left and walk up the steep slope to the cafe. Wear jeans or use a mozzie repellant if you are going with kids. The entry fee of RM13 is only charged if you want to tour the garden.

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