Tho Yuen

Located at Campbell Street a.k.a. "Penang's Chinatown", Restoran Tho Yuen (桃园茶楼鸡饭) is a chicken rice and dim sum restaurant operated by a Cantonese family. Street parking along Lebuh Campbell is extremely limited especially when the nearby wet market is open. Some customers resort to illegal parking, making the narrow Campbell Street more congested than it already is. Be warned that MPPP municipal authorities are quite stringent in clamping illegally-parked vehicles.
At Tho Yuen, the dim sum dishes are carted around the dining tables, unlike many other dim sum restaurants in Penang where the customers have to walk to the food counters. There are around 20 different types of dim sum dishes (near the industry average). We do not have much space in our stomach, so we only sampled a handful of them.
The Shrimp Siew Mai (虾子烧卖, RM2.40) is quite reasonable in taste, but not too special either.
As for the Pork Siew Mai (猪肉烧卖, RM2.40), the minced pork is quite loose, causing it to flake off easily. It is quite dry too, possibly because it has been steamed for too long.
The Pork Pau (猪肉包, RM1.40) is quite cheap, but there is not much meat fillings. Taste-wise, it is still acceptable.
The Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉, RM3.00) was quite a disappointment. The rice flour skin is too thick and gives a starchy taste. Ideally, the skin should be thin to the point where it is slightly translucent. It also baffles me why the spring onions (scallion) were steamed together with the chee cheong fun, instead of being added later. Nevertheless, the pork fillings and sambal (shrimp chili) are quite nice.
We ordered a small serving of Steamed Chicken (RM6.00), specifically the chicken thigh (鸡二度) as the meat tends to be smoother and tastier. This dish is very impressive indeed. The lean meat has a savory flavor, and when eaten with the skin, the taste is simply mouth-watering. The dish also includes a bowl of chicken rice.
The Chai Buey (菜尾, RM2.00) is another impressive dish. The name literally means "leftovers", which is fitting because the meat is usually leftovers of a previous dish; in this case chicken and pork. The meat is stewed for hours with Chinese mustard (芥菜) and Asam Jawa (tamarind) to produce a pleasantly sour and appetizing taste.
Dim sum is best enjoyed with Chinese tea. We ordered a pot of Tork Shou Heong (独树香, RM2.80), which is a type of partially-fermented Chinese tea. Chinese tea serves to neutralize the intense and meaty flavors of most dim sum dishes.
Overall, the chicken rice at Tho Yuen is reasonably nice, but the dim sum is not as impressive as we hoped. The pricing is also quite affordable as the total bill just came to RM20.00.


  1. Wow thats quite economical! I was in china for three years and loved the food there! Steamed Chicken looks delicious!!! :)

    1. Stay tuned (and subscribe) to my blog! There are more nice food to be recommended soon!

  2. Ya that shop is a really old one...