[Penang] Dim sum breakfast at Tai Tong Restaurant (大東酒楼), Cintra Street

Tai Tong Restaurant is one of Penang’s earliest dim sum spots and has been around since the 1950s. Although ownership of the restaurant may have changed hands a couple of times, the food has remained pretty much the same.

It’s a very traditional Cantonese eatery, staffed by mainly middle-aged Cantonese ladies, offering a popular array of dim sum at breakfast, and cooked Cantonese dishes at lunch and dinner. Dim sum is still the traditional way from various dim sum carts.

  1. “Siew mai” (steamed pork-shrimp dumplings, topped with shrimp-roe).

  1. 'Har kow" (steamed shrimp dumplings).

  1. “Cheong fun” (steamed rice flour rolls - choice of shrimp or “char-siew”/BBQ pork filling)

  1. “Har mai” (steamed dried shrimp-pork and fresh shrimp dumplings).

  1. 'Tarn tat" (baked egg tarts).

  1. Cantonese pork and century egg congee.

  1. Stewed pork trotters in black vinegar.

  1. “Lor mai kai” (steamed glutinous rice, with “char-siew”- BBQ pork, chicken and shitake mushroom).

  1. “Dai pau” (large bun, with chicken, pork, egg, jicama, Chinese waxed sausage and scallion filling).

  1. Tai Tong’s famous lotus paste bun, with the lotus paste encasing a salted duck’s egg-yolk.

  1. Pork bun (left) and “char-siew bao” (right).

  1. Tai Tong’s waitresses are exclusively middle-aged Cantonese women, manning to dim sum trolley-carts:

Tai Tong Restaurant (大東酒楼)
45, Lebuh Cintra
George Town, Penang
Tel: +604 263 6625
Open daily 6am - 11pm (closed on alternate Mondays)


Chee Chong Fun is one of my must eats whenever I’m in Malaysia. The versions we get here in So. CA don’t come with the fried onion and chilli, and the saucing is different as well. There’s something special about the Malaysian version!

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Indeed. Each Chinese community that settles in a separate country will inevitably adapt their cuisine to suit the palate of the indigenised Chinese clientele. For example, when I am in Bangkok, I always detect fish sauce (‘nam pla’) in Thai-Chinese dim sum, either mixed into soysauce blends for their “cheung fun” dressing or mixed into the marinades for the meats. Thai-Chinese dim sum will also be sweeter to suit the local palate.

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Back to Tai Tong for breakfast this morning. Quality of the dim sum seems to have improved - the “dai bao” (large meat bun) had a subtle Shaoxing wine aroma that wasn’t there the last time we were here.

In terms of ambiance, the holiday crowds (Malaysia & Singapore are having their mid-year school break) were there - lots of jostling for the “dim sum cart ladies”’ attention.

And there were at least a thousand colourful lanterns of various shapes and sizes hanging from the ceiling - for sale, as the Chinese Lantern Festival is less than a month away.



Sumptuous photos, yet again! :star_struck:

Thanks, I always believe a picture paints a thousand words. :grin:

It’s “Raise the Red Lanterns” time again at Tai Tong as we enter the Chinese Eighth Lunar Month (first day of the Chinese 8th month was Aug 29). The main festival which the Chinese will celebrate this month is the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sep 13. Traditionally, mooncakes will be served and children in the neighbourhood will carry little lanterns (like these ones put up for sale at Tai Tong).

We were here for a light lunch, and ordered some dim sum items (e.g. “siew mai” pork-prawn dumplings and “lor mai kai” glutinous rice with chicken), besides some cooked dishes to share.

Steamed hen’s egg-century egg-salted duck’s egg. The steamed custard-like egg pudding is topped with finely-chopped scallions and drizzled with soysauce.

Braised chicken with mixed vegetables:


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