What can you do with an old, disused saw mill?
You turn it into the hottest, most happening food spot in town.
At least, that’s what the folks at The Steamship Merchants have done with Swallow @ The Saw Emporium, located at Gat Lebuh Macallum in Georgetown, Penang.
Open since November 2017, Swallow is a multi-concept culinary and lifestyle pop-up event, housed on the first level of a 1950-built art-deco industrial heritage building.
Make your way from the carpark to the Courtyard and through the original sawmill, lined with timber, tools and saw blades along a walkway. A repurposed 5-metre-long timbre table in the al fresco Courtyard seats 24 on stools from Kian Furniture.
Though, it’s really the food and lifestyle offerings that draws the crowd – and they’ve got brand spanking new concepts, new hours, updated food menus and upcoming kitchen takeovers. Originally scheduled to end in early 2018, response has been so encouraging that they’ve extended it until July 2018!
New to Swallow is Pho Viet, a Vietnamese café-restaurant committed to serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine with healthy, fresh ingredients. Feast on authentic dishes, from banh mi sandwiches and barbecued meats to fresh and fried spring rolls and steamed banana cakes.
Mainstay dining partners return with updated menus and well-loved favourites. Leading the charge is Embers BBQ Grill, a fully-flamed and fired-up Asian interpretation of the classic All-American steakhouse. Expect slow roasts and smokey meats marinated in herbs and condiments typically found in Asian kitchens, cooked over a glowing charcoal fire. The menu also showcases savoury snacks for sharing such as Luncheon Meat Fries and Happy Like Duck Nachos, as well as more substantial items like the Taiwanese Pork Rice.
For tantalising Thai dishes, head to WhatSaeb แซบ Boat Noodles. The word saeb is an Isan/North-eastern Thai word for delicious, and Whatsaeb certainly delivers with panache with its authentic Thai boat noodles, served in dainty bowls that easily stack up – because one is never enough. As part of their updated menu, the pop-up now offers Pad Thai Nong Khai and Larb Moo Tod (fried pork and herb meatballs) as well.
Not to be missed is Teppei Syokudo, the flagship of the award winning Teppei Japanese Restaurant from Singapore. Famous for its great value omakase set dinners in Singapore, Malaysian guests will be able to tuck into its expanded rice bowl offerings, with hot-sellers like Unagi Tamago Don, Katsu Curry Don and Mentaiko Rice.
Food is not the only thing that Swallow brings to the table, as they carry their own brand of bottled cocktails, now available via the DaVinci Gourmet Cocktail Bar. Meanwhile, beer lovers will not want to miss out on TAPS Beer Bar, a pure craft beer bar with outlets in Kuala Lumpur, as they continue to expand their craft beer and cider bottles with weekly specials in limited quantities.
Those who prefer something non-alcoholic (like yours truly) can quench their thirst at the Qwenchers Juice Bar, where one will find everything from coffee to tea and cocktails, prepared using only the best and freshest natural ingredients coupled with unique homemade recipes. Alternatively, hop on over to Norm, where its baristas-cum-bartenders present to diners skyscraping waffles, signature tiramisu and specialty coffees from 9AM, whilst infusing limited-edition cocktails via Noct from dusk until midnight.
Weekend takeovers and quarter long pop-ups with partners such as SOi 55 modern Thai, Yin’s Sourdough Pizza, Three Food Truck & Wham ensure that every visit will be a different experience to Swallow. Friday evenings from 9PM – midnight are a great time to chill, as the venue showcases local artistes, musicians and songbirds.
From April 2018, Swallow opens from Wednesdays to Sundays and Public Holidays from 11 am to 12 midnight or until the last guest leaves. The Saw Emporium is available for private event bookings and corporate event reservations with customized menus including non-Swallow days on Mondays and Tuesdays, subject to availability via firstname.lastname@example.org
Swallow @ The Saw Emporium
1 Gat Lebuh Macallum, George Town 10300, Penang
*Photos courtesy of Steamships.co