Forest Canteen – indoor terrarium garden-cum-cafe


Dining outdoors in a garden may sound dreamy and romantic, but for Malaysians, it’s simply unfeasible with the sweltering heat and scorching sun.

Enter Forest Canteen – a terrarium lab-cum-cafe that sits right next to the sea in George Town, Penang. The cafe is small and unassuming from the outside, but once you enter the establishment, you’ll be surrounded by dozens of terrariums adorning every nook and cranny of the cafe, from the counter to the ceiling, as well as all sorts of plants that will make you feel like you’re in a terrarium yourself.


It’s like dining in a greenhouse


Forest Canteen’s space is small, so a booking is highly recommended to secure a table here. There are only around 7 tables that cater to diners as the space is shared by Moonshop Gallery, a plant design laboratory. 

Forest Canteen - interiorImage credit: @abk___________

Moonshop Gallery conducts terrarium-building and other botany arts workshops in the same location, so you’ll get to observe workshop attendees building and tending to their mini gardens while waiting for your food to be served.

Forest Canteen - interiorImage credit: @abk___________

Whether you’re a plant-lover or not, you’ll be filled with a sense of serenity and tranquility when you’re in Forest Canteen. Apart from their ubiquitous greenery, the cafe has a Scandi-minimalist vibe as its space is decorated with lots of wood and white accents.

Forest Canteen - interiorImage credit: @abk___________


Serves simple home-cooked meals


Food-wise, patrons can expect simple home-cooked meals that you would have likely seen during mealtimes with your family at home.

Forest Canteen’s rice sets – priced at around RM13 each – come with a main meat dish, a bowl of soup, and a side of vegetables. The menu changes every day but you’ll find the likes of braised chicken with potatoes, omelette with minced chicken, sweet corn soup, lotus root soup, herbal chicken soup, stir-fry long beans, okra with sambal, and more.

Forest Canteen - rice setsImage credit: @ksy.syk.foodie

If you’re craving for a sweet treat, you can finish off your healthy meal with their cake of the day. The dessert menu is not fixed either, but their Burnt Cheesecake, Earl Grey Pound Cake, Tiramisu, Lychee Rose Cake, and Moist Brownie (around RM16 for a slice) are often available.

Forest Canteen - lychee rose cakeImage credit: @lucas_yi

Pair the cakes with their pretty drinks, such as Taro Latte, and Lychee Soda (around RM13 each), and we guarantee that your tummy will be as contented as your Instagram feed.

Forest Canteen - drinks and cakesImage credit: @nicole_lsx94


Enjoy a tranquil dining experience at Forest Canteen


Whether you have a date with bae or lunch with friends, Forest Canteen provides a peaceful environment for you to sit back and unwind for a little while as you spend quality time with your meal companions.

Address: 38/1 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 George Town, Penang
Opening hours: Wed – Sun 12PM-7PM (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
Telephone: 017-432 6221

Check out other places to visit and things to eat in Penang right here:


Cover image adapted from: @ksy.syk.foodie and @lucas_yi

Enjoying The Smart Local Malaysia? Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at pressmy@thesmartlocal.com.