Even Tastier Times Ahead


Delectable food served at the Awesome Canteen.

Passionate restaurateurs from KL and further afield challenge Penang’s cuisine conservatives.

For Diane Ong, the exhaustion she endured from rapidly opening two restaurants and an art gallery in Selangor turned into exhilaration when she was offered the opportunity to start a third eatery – this time, in Penang.

In its original location in Petaling Jaya, Ong’s cafe, Awesome Canteen, was an instant hit when launched in November 2013, serving gourmet salads, sandwiches and burgers. Early in 2015, landscape architect Ng Sek San of the Sekeping Retreats vacation venues group ate at Awesome Canteen and liked his meal so much, he invited Ong to spearhead a spinoff at George Town’s Sekeping Victoria.

“I love Penang and I’ve always wanted to find an excuse to come here,” says Ong, who represents a diverse set of restaurateurs from KL and Selangor who are looking north for inspiration and seeing promise in Penang.

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