[Penang, Malaysia] Teochew Tze-Char at Wong Chau Jun, Rangoon Road

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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Address
Wong Chau Jun
73, Rangoon Road
10400 Georgetown, Penang
Tel: +6012- 555 9046
Opening hours: 8am-2.30pm daily, except Tuesdays (closed).

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The tofu and bitter gourd dishes are aMAzing! 2 of my favourite ingredients.

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They were indeed. How I wished you were here and could taste them yourself. :grin: :+1:

P.S. - I do hope Malaysia will not have to go back into lockdown again - the country reported 21 new COVID cases today (most are in the south of the country, bordering Singapore, whilst we in Penang are 430 miles away in the north), and the Prime Minister had gone on TV to warn of the possibility of tightening the SOPs again, in order to prevent a resurgence of the pandemic. We’d seen what happened to Melbourne and Barcelona in the past couple of days - grim news.

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Wish I were there!

Infection rate is going up steadily in more countries in recent days. Belgium reported a sharp increase yesterday. Lots of people seem to think and act as if we are out of the woods.

I just told someone at the Saturday market who didn’t keep their distance. Something along the line of “back the f*ck off! I know you don’t care about your life but don’t be playing Russian roulette with MY health!”. Everyone dropped their jaws. Normally I don’t seem to even have a pulse but sometimes you have to slap someone across the face with words for your own good.

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Yup, it does get tiresome when people fail to respect the need for social distancing. I faced it each and every time I go to the shops, some even brushed against me!

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Stupendous lunch. I hope it doesn’t all evaporate again for our SEA friends!

We’re trying to avoid that. It’ll be disastrous for most food places otherwise.

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You’ve been on a Teochew kick!

Where can I find similar dishes down here in KL?

Only one good Teochew place in KL that I can think of - Lao Er in Pudu.
https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/126823

P.S. - I don’t know how the restaurant got away with it - “Lao Er” means “Old No. 2” in Mandarin, but its street slang also refers to a man’s little pee-pee down there.

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Haha, love the name. I am in Pudu a lot! I’ll check it out and report back!

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Lol! The name is quite common in Taiwan restaurants.

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

― Jonathan Gold