On our second day in Penang, we decided to go yum cha at dinner time. Went to Tai Tong Restaurant on Cintra Street, which is one of the oldest and most established dim sum restaurants in town.
Besides dim sum, Tai Tong Restaurant also does tze char, which was what most customers ordered when we were there. Seafood, meat and vegetable dishes. Fried rice. Noodles. And the like.
Ordering + Payment Process
Once you enter the restaurant, get a table. One of the staff will approach you. Let him/her know how many people are in your group and what tea you want. He/she will then hand you a chit indicating your table number and the total number of pax.
At times, the staff would push the dim sum carts around. You can wait for them to come round your table, then pick the items you want. But if they are not on the go, just approach them directly and request for the dishes you want. They will then mark on the chit accordingly based on the prices of the items taken.
Once you’re done eating, just bring the chit to the counter to make payment.
Dim Sum Menu + Prices
From what I saw on the menu, there were about 40 fried and steamed dim sum items. Prices range from RM2.50 for a BBQ Pork Bao to RM12 for Dragon Beard Prawns.
Popular items like Siew Mai, Prawn Dumpling, Beancurd Roll, Chee Cheong Fun, Chicken Feet and Spare Ribs cost between RM4.80 – RM6.80.
All prices are before 6% SST (service tax).
Be prepared to spend RM20 – RM40 per person when here.
Tai Tong Restaurant is a self-service eatery
There is a hot water dispenser at the back. Just help yourself if you need to refill your teapot. This place is all about self-service. Everyone just make themselves at home.
Don’t come in here expecting impeccable service from the staff. That is, if there is even any ‘service’ in the first place, lol. This is not a ‘restaurant’ restaurant after all. Just a casual kopitiam eatery.
Tea was charged by per person. RM2.20 per pax if I recalled correctly. There was also Chrysanthemum Tea and other drinks to pick from. No kopi though. Highly recommend their Tie Guan Yin. Very fragrant. And it made a good palate cleanser especially when eating greasy fried dim sum.
Siew Mai | Har Kow | Beancurd Rolls | Spare Ribs
Decent taste. Nothing spectacular. Siew Mai and Beancurd Rolls were very meaty. No sign of any prawns inside the filling. Har Kow skin was quite thick. The spare ribs was quite plain – couldn’t taste any black bean flavour.
Prawn Dumplings | Prawn Rolls | Egg Tarts
Prawn Dumplings were nicely fried and weren’t too oily. They were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The prawns in the filling were fresh and crunchy.
The Prawn Rolls were my favourite. That beancurd skin wrapping was so crispy and fragrant. And the filling was very flavoursome.
The Egg Tarts looked like they had thick tart shells but the pastry actually tasted quite light. Egg custard was not bad too – not too sweet.
We paid about RM40+ for the meal. Not cheap by Malaysian standards if comparing with other street food in Penang but it isn’t too expensive either. Worth a try if you want some variety and come check out how this old dim sum joint is like.