Wong Chau Jun restaurant is a popular tze-char restaurant started by Teochew proprietor-chef, Tan Chow Chye, on Rangoon Road back in 2005. This small, spartanly-furnished eatery offers a compact menu centered around a few key “must-order” dishes.
We ordered 4 of their signature items for our lunch there this afternoon:
Wong Chau Jun Special Hot-and-Sour Soup with Fish Fillet - this is their signature dish, a surprisingly super-spicy (from their use of explosive green birds’ eye chilis) and sour sea perch fillet soup, brimming with rice vermicelli, lemongrass stalks and ginger. The soup, served bubbling-hot in a ckaypot, is topped with shallot-garlic oil and finely-chopped coriander leaves and scallions. My dining companions enjoyed it very much, but it was way past my chili tolerance level, so I only had a taste of it. Talk about extreme flavours!
Steamed fish fillets with “hor fun” noodles - this was a gentler dish of perfectly-steamed fish fillets, bathed in good quality soy sauce, lard and garlic oil, strewn with finely-shredded ginger, and served on a large sharing platter with steamed hor fun (flat rice noodles). It was utterly delicious.
Wong Chau Jun Special Tofu - their signature home-made tofu, deep-fried in a boiling, flavoured oil, and served with a subtly-flavoured dressing, it’s probably the best tofu dish I’d had in a long, long while. Each slab of the tofu, cloaked in a crinkly cloak of deliciousness, literally melted in one’s mouth.
Stir-fried bitter-gourd, with crisp-fried fish skin - this was another amazing dish which paired thinly-sliced bitter-gourd and wafer-thin carrot flowerettes with crisp-crunchy wands of deep-fried fish skin.
The current chef is 39-year-old Tan Chin Meng, the son of founder, Tan Chow Chye - and, boy, can this young man cook. I think he not only re-produced the flavours which made his father’s dishes so popular, he actually improved on them, as each dish tasted better than I remembered from my earlier visits. Tan Chin Meng had been working for his father since the age of 14, and he’s been manning the kitchen for the past 5 years.
This is definitely one of the restaurants which I truly enjoyed and won’t mind going back again anytime.
Wong Chau Jun
73, Rangoon Road
10400 Georgetown, Penang
Tel: +6012- 555 9046
Opening hours: 8am-2.30pm daily, except Tuesdays (closed).