Friday, 5 December 2008

The Sire: truly a museum worthy of its name

I'm sure many people would have heard of The Sire. It is one of the latest restaurants in George Town and it's located on King Street, very near the junction with Light Street.

Now, what's so unique about this place is that it is both a restaurant and a museum which you can tour after you've completed your meals. And I tell can simply spend an hour or two here without realising it!

The meals by themselves are not bad but it is the museum tour which should be the highlight of your visit here. For you see, the museum houses some of the most fascinating antiquities you'll ever find in Penang, courtesy of the Estate of Yeap Chor Ee. A lot of the artifacts from the former Homestead mansion in Northam Road have been restored and transferred here. So this place is now a monument to Towkay Yeap, a very poor and humble immigrant from China who made it rich in Penang during the last century. Towkay Yeap was, of course, the founder of Ban Hin Lee Bank which, sad to say, is now consigned to the memories of the thousands of people who used to work there or carried out their banking businesses there.

Don't let the exterior of the house deceive you. It may look small but when you go in, I'm certain your breath will be taken away by the vast interior. It's big. Four floors inter-linked through staircases, including a wrought iron staircase in the middle of the building.

Anyway, I've a final picture here. It's the same old house on King Street but it was photographed sometime in 1995 or 1996. Exterior still looked more or less the same, but what a difference has been made to Towkay Yeap's first property investment in old George Town!

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