Penang, Malaysia - Dim sum breakfast at De Tai Tong Cafe (大东酒楼)
Penangites liked dim sum for breakfast during weekends - but being a predominantly Hokkien city, its dim sum's standards fall far behind those in KL and Ipoh, which are Cantonese. Dim sum restaurants in Penang are still run by local Penang-Cantonese - one of the best-known being De Tai Tong. I'd not been able to find out how long it's been operating, but every Penang person you talk to would say that "it's old".
What we had this morning:
- "Siu-mai": these were dainty little shrimp-pork morsels, not very nicely-shaped, but tasted quite fine. Small local shrimps were used here, rather than the larger, meatier prawns which one finds in siu-mai in HK, Singapore or even Chinatown restaurants in Sydney or London.
- Shrimp-filled "cheung fun", which were rather overly-thick rice sheets rolled around smallish, dry local shrimps. The sauce - a combination sweetish soy-based light sauce and piquant chilli-dried shrimp paste - saved the dish;
- Steamed large "bao" filled with barbecued pork, mushrooms, chicken and even flavored glutinous rice was delicious.
- Egg tarts - these were nice, soft and custardy-smooth.
We're off for some *more local* breakfasts after this less-than-successful dim sum stopover.
De Tai Tong Dim Sum Restaurant
45, Lebuh Cintra,
Georgetown 10100, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 04-263 6625
Does the place sell "Dragon & Phoenix Cakes" nowadays as is advertized on its front pillar? (龍鳳禮餅) I went poking around and found some info/blogs on this interesting old place - and one that seemed to say they didn't sell those "advertized" cakes but that was dated 2009 - although that one also dwelt a bit on the history of the place [no dates, though] and the Moon Cakes the place offered.
Perhaps the food wasn't the best but I'm sure if I lived in Penang I would be pleased to have it around, rather than have to drive down to Ipoh (or KL) for dim sum! :-)
They did change hands. It used to be called just "Tai Tong", and the "De" was put in by the new owners a few years back. But the food tasted pretty much the same so I think there's been no change in the cooks.
They used to sell mooncakes during the Chinese 8th Lunar month, I think they still do that but will have to check again. I now buy my mooncakes from hotel bakeries and my favourite ones are from Equatorial Hotel Bukit Jambul where my golf "kakis" and I hang out.
A few doors away from De Tai Tong was this very interesting 60-something-year-old bakery called Ng Kee Cake Shop (伍记). It's got the most buttery & moist coconut tarts I'd ever had!! I think it's worth a trip here just to experience a slice of Penang food history - especially when it comes to Cantonese traditional baked goods, including those dragon and phoenix wedding biscuits.
P.S. - I actually ate four of those coconut tarts at one go ;-)
Ng Kee Cake Shop
61 Cintra Street