Already renowned in Southeast Asia for their enterprise and business acumen, the Armenian Sarkies brothers, Martin and Tigran, settled down in Penang and established the Eastern Hotel in 1884. It is a beautifully established grand old colonial-era hotel perched on the shore of Penang and well-located in the center of the island’s capital George Town.
Afternoon tea at the E&O is served in the air-conditioned comfort of 1885, a space that is plushly upholstered with squishy suede chairs, panelled walls and dimly glistening chandeliers.
Beginning with the plate of delicate sandwiches, there were seven in total. This assortment included classical ribbon sandwiches with fillings of roasted beef and grain mustard, chicken and horseradish cream, cucumber and cream cheese, cheddar cheese and tomato, smoke salmon and lemon butter and two little round puff pastries of egg mayonnaise and alfalfa and another of chicken salad and celery.
The scones followed with strawberry jam. I was feeling full already and I definitely wouldn’t have eaten a scone if I had of known what was coming shortly afterwards..
Robert Townsend Farquhar served only briefly as Penang’s Lieutenant-Governor, but his name still graces this old English-style bar as well as the street on which the E&O Hotel stands. With its deep armchairs and long dark wood bar, Farquhar’s Bar exudes an exclusive private club room atmosphere.
Eastern and Oriental Hotel
10 Lebuh Farquhar