One expat who has made her mark both in Langkawi and Penang is Narelle McMurtrie. Originally from Australia, she has made Malaysia her second home - and created some of the most beautiful and unique resorts and restaurants in the country. One of these is China House on Beach Street - not just a cafe but really an amalgam of an art gallery, restaurant, pub, performance space, chill-out venue, etc.
Occupying 3 historic shophouses that are amazingly deep - they stretch all the way from Beach Street to Victoria Street - the buildings have been cleaned up but otherwise left pretty much as they were. The combination of worn timber beams, rough plastered walls and antique decor result in spaces that are charming and inviting.
At the cafe side the main attractions are the cakes - and they have an amazing selection here. After a walk around the old town - there is nothing better then a strong cold coffee and a nice slice of cake.
On the first floor is an art gallery showcasing works from contemporary Malaysian painters.