[Penang, Malaysia] Dim sum breakfast at Yong Pin (榕檳茶樓), Sungai Ujong Road

Yong Pin is one of the “Big 5” dim sum breakfast spots located in the old commercial/retail section of George Town. The other ones are:

On average, I think Yong Pin might just be the best dim sum spot among the 5 in that area.

All 5 spots are within 5-10 minutes’ walk from each other, but all the basic dim sum staples (“siu mai”, “har gow”, “lor mai gai”, “dai bao”, “pei dan chok”, etc.) have their distinct flavours and textures. So, each of these dim sum spots have their own regular set of loyal clientele who opted for the one which suits their palate.

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Yong Pin, which has been operating since 1981, is a favourite among many Penangites I know. It’s run by owner-dim sum chef, Chen Seck Yin, 37. His mother, Choong Siew Mei, takes care of the front of house.

I love their “siew mai” (pork-prawn dumplings) and har gow (shrimp dumplings(, which were well-made and pretty tasty. However, their shrimp-filled “cheong fun” has thicker flat noodles than the delicate version I tried at Leong Kee last week.

Yong Pin’s “lor mai gai” also has a drier texture than I’d have liked - this is their worst item on the menu - avoid it.

The “dai bao” here was also blander, although I can see their regular clientele making a beeline for those. I prefer my “dai bao” with more assertive flavours. But Yong Pin does deliver where it counts with very fresh, tasty “siu mai” and “haw gow”.

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Many of the old Chinese staff have retired, and in their place are Indonesian wait-staff, working under close supervision of the older workers to ensure authenticity in the dim sum’s taste.

No menu for dim sum, as the ‘dim sum women’, bearing trays of freshly-steamed dim sum of various types will come to your table. Just pick and choose what catches your eye.

What we had:

  1. Siu Mai (pork-shrimp dumpings)

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  1. Har gow (shrimp dumplings)

  1. Dai bao (large chicken-pork bun)

  1. Lor mai gai (glutinous rice with chicken, Chinese waxed sausage, pork)

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  1. Pork-shrimp-dried oyster dumplings

  1. Chaozhou-style chive dumplings

  1. Shrimp-filled “cheong fun”

Our breakfast spread - everything, including a pot of refillable “Ti Kuan Yin” tea costs only US$12, more than enough for two persons.

A “yum cha” breakfast can be a noisy, raucuous affair on a Sunday morning, with family groups & all the din and chatter. But that’s all part of the fun. One of the unmissable breakfast experiences in George Town.

Address
Yong Pin Restaurant (榕檳茶樓)
11-B & C, Jalan Sungai Ujong
10100, George Town, Penang
Tel: +604-261 1355
Operating hours: 6am-12 noon Tue-Sun for dim sum.
7pm-midnight Tue-Sun for Cantonese cooked dishes.

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Yum cha on the 8th Day of the Chinese New Year with a dim sum breakfast at Yong Pin on Sungei Ujong Road.

Penangites taking advantage of the loosening of the SOPs on Day 39 of the current pandemic lockdown: from today, more than 2 persons can share a table, subject to 1-metre distance between the diners.

We made our selection from the dim sum counters at the entrance - a change in procedures compared to pre-COVID days when waitresses bearing trays of dim sum would make their rounds to the tables.

Now, we order at the counter, and our selection would be brought straight to our table.

Some of the items we had:
"Siu mai" (pork-shrimp dumplings)

"Lor mai kai" - steamed glutinous rice with chicken, char-siu, and shitake mushroom

Pork-shrimp dumplings with ginger, century egg and carrot

Prawn-seaweed roll

"Cheung fun" - steamed rice rolls with shrimp filling

"Lou pat kou" - pan-fried radish cake

"Dai pao" - big, chicken bun - I love this: a large fluffy steamed bun with chicken, radish, Chinese sausage & mushroom filling, flavoured with Shaoxing wine, ginger juice, oyster sauce and other condiments.

Baked "cha-siu pao"

"Malai kou" - literally, “Malay cake”, though it’s a wholly HK-Cantonese creation, and has nothing to do with Malaysia. Steamed sponge cake with a caramelised sugar aroma & flavour.

The whole place exuded an old-world atmosphere, with coat-hangers on the walls - which people used for hats and motorbike helmets nowadays. :joy:

The main altar of the 3 Taoist Deities: the red-faced Guan Yu, white-faced Guan Ping and black-faced Zhou Cang, look down on the diners. Most households and businesses will have altars like this one, with the gods and deities whom the house/shop-owner choose to worship.

Sungei Ujong Road, off Prangin Road - one of the narrow streets in Chinatown, where Yong Pin is located.

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I like that there are 2 in each dish. This way I can try more things as I only need one dumpling or whatever. In HK it’s always 3 or 5 for the small things?

My palate is not so refined so dim sum everywhere tastes good to me. I would probably be happy with the least good dim sum on your list. Rather that than the frozen stuff we have here.

So you are not the only one in the group who makes photos. I notice your dining companion had a Sony. I think it’s a Sony.

I’m a Fujifilm fan, back in 2002, but have been using this one since 2013:

Since December 2017

Since a couple of years

And since last year

Spent 10K last year on photo gear alone and can’t wait to use my cameras when travel is possible again!

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We are Sony people. :joy:

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold