[Penang, Malaysia] Cantonese dim sum at Rifle Range Market Hawker Centre

The Cantonese Ho family are specialists in ๐™™๐™ž๐™ข ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข-making in Penang for more than four decades, and are particularly renowned for their char-siew bao (Cantonese BBQ pork buns).

Back in the 1980s, they used to ply their trade at ๐—˜๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€๐˜† kopitiam on the intersection of Burmah Road and Transfer Road, but has decided to move to ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—›๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—–๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ to be closer to home. Rifle Range is home to a mainly working-class, blue collar community, sort of George Townโ€™s answer to Hellโ€™s Kitchen in New York City.

Mrs Ho currently manages their busy stall here, with a steady stream of customers throughout the morning. They start early, at 6.30am, and the more popular items like the ๐™™๐™–๐™ž ๐™—๐™–๐™ค (large chicken bun) usually sells out by late-morning.

Mrs Hoโ€™s two sons make their ๐™™๐™ž๐™ข ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข items and the different types of ๐™—๐™–๐™ค on the spot. Their minced pork-shrimp forcemeat used as a base for their selection of ๐™จ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฌ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ž with different types of toppings (crabmeat, peas, mushroom, etc.) were spot-on in textures and flavours.

Their ๐™—๐™–๐™ค dough was perfect: soft and fluffy, which they used to contain ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ-๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„ (Cantonese BBQ pork), ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฒ-๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ฒ (minced pork), ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜‚-๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ฟ (red bean paste), ๐—ณ๐—ฎ-๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด (peanut paste) and ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป-๐˜†๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ด (lotus seed paste).

Dai bao - with chicken, pork, hard-boiled egg, Chinese sausage and mushroom filling

Char-siew bao - with Cantonese-style caramelized BBQ pork filling

Tau-sar bao - with sweet red bean paste filling

We also tried their ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ข๐™–๐™ž ๐™ ๐™–๐™ž (steamed glutinous rice with chicken & mushrooms).

Their ๐™™๐™ž๐™ข ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข items are large, golf-ball-sized, with a rustic & robust feel about them. None of the finesse of a HK-style teahouse, but more like a dim sum eating house catering to the working-class, blue collar workers, who drop by for their breakfast & cups of tea before they start a long hard dayโ€™s work.

Any place thatโ€™s been around for nearly half a century ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜€ to be doing something right.

Stall #32/33 Kompleks Gerai Padang Tembak (Rifle Range Market Hawker Centre)
147, Taman Padang Tembak, Taman Ayer Itam, 11400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Operating hours: 7am to 2pm, daily


Beautiful photography! Thanks. :slight_smile:

The dim sum looks very good. Even in Hong Kong there is a wide variety in terms of quality. From upscale restaurants where dim sum will indeed be little jewels, to simple places where you can pick from a cart.

From what I can see in your pics the food looks freshly made and great quality!

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I love dim sum. Everything here looks so good! What are the drinks youโ€™re having?

We had hot black coffee, iced milk tea and iced barley.

Malaysians love cold/iced drinks at anytime of the day - only in Malaysia where, each time I order a coffee or cappuccino or latte, whether at a traditional Chinese coffeeshop or a Starbucks, Iโ€™d be asked, โ€œHot or iced?โ€

Oh yes, every single item was freshly-made & steamed there and then - nothing went in or out of a chiller. Here. one of the Ho brothers were rolling out the red bean paste filling for the tau-sar bao:

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I mostly drink iced drinks too - Iโ€™m with them!

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saved. looking forward. had me at โ€˜hellโ€™s kitchen of penangโ€™.

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