Leong Kee Restaurant is one of the most popular dim sum restaurant in George Town’s old commercial quarter, i.e. the parallel streets branching off Penang Road: Chulia Street, Kampung Malabar, Campbell Street, Chowrasta Road, Tamil Lane, Kimberley Street and Prangin Road.
Opening at 5.30am each morning, Leong Kee is perhaps my least favourite dim sum spot, with its brusque service and more “rustic” renditions of the typical dim sum spread. We were back here last weekend to get an update on Leong Kee’s dim sum spread. We read somewhere that in Ipoh (another major foodie town in Malaysia), dim sum connoisseurs queue outside Foh San (one of Ipoh’s top dim sum restaurants) at 5.30am in the morning, so they can rush into the restaurant to grab a table when the restaurant opens its doors at 6am.
Thankfully, there was no such situation in Penang when we decided to come to Leong Kee at the crack of dawn (before sunrise, in fact) to experience having a dim sum breakfast at that early hour.
- The only item I’d come to Leong Kee for is their steamed HK-style “cheong fun”, which I thought was very well-made indeed - on the spot.
Drizzled with a savoury soysauce-based dressing, sprinkled with golden-fried shallots & served with a dollop of spicy chili paste, the “chee cheong fun” was delicate & soft, and the shrimps inside were sweet and fresh.
- Siu mai (pork-shrimp dumplings)
- Har gow (shrimp dumplings)
- Pan-fried radish cake (‘lo pat gou’) - don’t think I like the rendition here very much at all: the texture was too tough, and the cake tasted like ti was pan-fried the previous night, leaving it cold and greasy by the time it was served.
- Dai bao (big chicken bun) - quite a tasty rendition here.
- Fishpaste rolls with seaweed.
- Lor mai gai (steamed glutinous rice with chicken, pork, Chinese sausage) - tasted dry-ish and hard. Well, I’ve had friends who’d been here & also complained that the “lor mai gai” seemed undercooked. Avoid!
- Lai wong bao (buns with molten custard-salted duck’s eggyolk filling) - pretty good ones here, I’ll definitely order this again if I ever return.
- Pei tan choke (centtury egg-pork congee) - this is one of the “Big 5” items which the Cantonese here judge a dim sum restaurant by (besides siu mai, har gow, cha siu bao & cheong fun).
Our dim sum spread (including the tea) costed about RM65 (US$6.50) for two persons. We were here very early, 6.30am in fact, in order to experience how dim sum is traditionally served.
Leong Kee Tim Sum Restaurant (龍記點心茶樓)
110, Jalan Pintal Tali (Rope Walk)
10100 George Town, Penang
Tel: +6016-441 5492
Opening hours: 5.30am-12.30pm daily