Tho Yuen (meaning “Peach Garden” in Cantonese) was the best-known Hainanese chicken rice restaurant in Penang during its hey-days in the 1960s/70s. At the time, Campbell Street was the epicentre of Penang retail trade, and will be flooded with consumers before each major festive season, and especially before the Chinese New Year. Times have changed - Penangites now prefer the air-conditioned comfort of the malls instead of the hot, sweltering streets like Campbell St, Penang Road, etc. for their shopping and dining.
Tho Yuen today still does brisk business for breakfast, where Cantonese dim sum is served, before reverting to its Hainanese chicken rice menu for lunch. Its Cantonese dim sum is still served from the trolley, the old-fashioned style. Pretty charming, although tastewise, its nowhere near its nearby rivals, Yee Heong (also on Campbell Street), Leong Kee ( Kimberley St) and Tai Thong (Cintra St).
Anyway I checked out its dim sum breakfast options this morning:
Siew-mai (pork-shrimp dumplings)
Har-kau (shrimp dumplings)
Tai-pau (large, meat bun - with egg, mushroom and other condiments)
Tau-sar pau (bun with red-bean paste filling) and nam-yue pau (bun with marinated pork belly in fermented beanpaste filling)
Pai-kuat (steamed pork-ribs with salted black beans)
Lor mai kai (steamed glutinous rice with pork, chicken, Chinese sausages)
Lo pat ko (steamed and pan-fried carrot cake)
Char-siew bao (Cantonese BBQ pork bun)
Egg-tarts and other pastries
Tho Yuen Restaurant (桃園茶樓雞飯)
92 Campbell Street, 10100 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604 261 4672
Operating hours: 6am to 3pm daily, except Tuesday (closed).