Come to Penny; to Penny’s Café on the charming 18th November Street. Treat your eyes to a riot of colours, both soothing and energising. Lull your ears to piped music, curated from popular playlists. Indulge your nose to the rich aroma of cakes and rolls emanating from the kitchen. Pamper your palate with scrumptious food that has at its heart the warmth of home cooked food…
And, as the Café states in its menu, let the food make ‘your body smile’.
With décor that has been painstakingly perfected to reflect all things vibrant, warm, congenial and relaxing in soft hues of pink, green, orange, yellow and purple, there is that homey feeling that strikes you the moment you enter the naturally lit interior of the café. You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking you are lounging in your home, in your pj’s with a hot latte in your hand and the kitchen buzzing with action.
For the residents and frequent users of the 18th November Street, Penny’s Café, which opened doors in mid-July this year, is a beautiful new addition on the Street, which is quaintly marked by low-rise buildings that add a stark freshness from the busy highways with large structures. There is an overwhelming sense of busyness amidst the subdued quietude in the Street, which is heightened, perhaps, by the proximity to the sea.
It is easy to locate the Café as it sits brightly on the roadside, within the range of local coffee shops as well as the coffeehouse chains located near The Sultan Centre. Five coloured circles, with P subtly embedded within each, welcome you to the land of Penny’s Café. The colourful sofas and cushions and aesthetically designed tables, book shelves and children’s corner, alongside nifty décor elements, greet you with so much vibrancy that you feel compelled to walk around and soak it all in, stopping a trifle too long at the tempting cake counter. There is an equally pleasing al fresco dining option, which we are certain to patronise in the coming weeks.
A brainchild of Penny Mcdonough, who opened the first such café in Sohar to cater to health-conscious folks with food crafted to meet the needs of different diners, and décor imbued with out-of-the-box ideas, Penny’s Café is an experience that will seem new with every visit. With its take-away boxes, fresh cakes and catering facilities, the options for busy office-goers, seeking healthy and scrumptious food options, are aplenty. Walk in customers could also avail free WiFi within the Café and regulars could get loyalty cards and also borrow the books lining the shelves.
We began our food tryst at Penny’s with refreshing glasses of fresh watermelon and orange juices and went on to sample the Gor-Juice smoothie containing green apple, cucumber and celery, which, as Christine Redgrift, Operations Manager, tells us, is for reducing cholesterol. She also got us to taste the ‘Naturally-nourished’ drink that is said to dispel excess salt with pineapple, green apple and watermelon.
There are several healthy options in the drinks menu as well as the food section, making Penny’s the right place to stop by for a refreshing drink and a bite if you are health driven. There are vegan options; low-calorie foods; special camel milk beverages; and all the items on the menu are marked with ingredients used to help diners who want to make a quick allergy check.
Interestingly, most items on the menu come with separate meat and vegetarian options, like the Quiche we tucked into with a side of house salad. There was a choice of chicken and mushroom Quiche and a cherry tomato and feta cheese one, and we devoured both without any guilt. A big bowl fresh salad with balsamic dressing set us on our healthy start to the lunch.
Penny’s signature club sandwich followed next and we would easily vote it as a king of sandwiches with its distinctly fresh flavours. The Triple-Decker Sandwich is packed with roasted chicken mayonnaise, fluffy scrambled eggs, veal bacon, tomatoes and melted cheese.
From the Café wrap variety we tucked into the Spicy Chicken and Bean Wrap with home-roasted chicken slices, shredded lettuce, jalapeno slices, red beans and homemade salsa. The large portion sizes make most items ideal for diners with large appetites. Even the desserts…
Our loaded Apple Pie (shown above) was a chunkier slice with cream on the side and caramel drizzle on top. But that piece could be sliced further for those who have small appetites and cannot say no to dessert.
To sum up, from gourmet coffees and fresh juices and smoothies to sandwiches, wraps, Quiche and stuffed Panini and bagels, Penny’s Café is perfect if you are seeking all day breakfast or a scrumptious lunch/dinner.