Beans Heritage

Special thanks to Beans Heritage for extending this food review invitation.

Kafe Beans Heritage (小江豆浆) is the eatery next to the lobby of Armenian Street Heritage Hotel.
It shares the same premises of Kopitan Classic, and is operated under the same management team.
Beans Heritage specializes in soy-based desserts. It is an upscale variation of the popular soy drink stall at Chowrasta Market, which is still being operated every morning by the proprietor's father, Mr. Kang Sr.
With a jovial personality, Mr. Kang Sr. explained that his business was in turn inherited from his own father. He is obviously proud that his son is developing this family business to a new niche market.
We started our meal with one of the oldest and most popular street food in Penang: Soy Milk + Chinese Cruller (豆浆油条, RM5.50). After decades of perfecting, the texture is creamy and very satisfying, yet not excessively sweet such that the true taste of soy can still be enjoyed. The soy milk is served warm for best effect.
Some people including myself like the taste of Chinese cruller dipped into warm soy milk. The combination of crispy cruller with creamy milk is a perfect match made in heaven.
If you are only interested in a drink today, there is also the Soya Milk (道地古早味豆水, RM3.80) served in an 11-oz glass. The soy milk is prepared fresh every morning; you can expect the same quality as that sold in the decades-old stall at Chowrasta Market. As recommended, brown sugar is used instead of white sugar; the latter is more compatible with soy milk.
Equally popular is the Soya Bean Pudding (传统自制豆花, RM3.50), which is made from soft bean curd. The bean curd is usually prepared in a large pot, then thin slices are carefully scooped when ready to serve.
The bean curd pudding is actually plain in flavor; this is where brown sugar (黑糖) comes in. Per tradition, the brown sugar is provided separately, so feel free to add to your personal preference.
When brown sugar makes contact with the pudding, it melts and dissolves almost instantly, beautifully smearing the snow-white pudding with dark streaks. Avoid adding too much sugar instantly so that the level of sweetness does not mask the goodness of pudding itself.
Should you prefer a cold dessert, the Japanese Soy Bean Pudding (日本豆花, RM4.50) may be the right choice of you. Compared to the previous dessert, this pudding is more jelly-like and is already sweetened during preparation. On top the pudding are longan (龙眼) for added sweetness, while sugary syrup forms a moat around. I reckon that this dessert appeals to youngsters and perhaps foreign tourists.
The Red Bean Pudding (红豆豆花) is available at the Chowrasta Market stall, but is not included in the regular menu here at Beans Heritage. Nevertheless, we are specially treated to a sample. This soy pudding is made from yet a different composition. The sweetness is mostly derived from red beans on top.
For something that your teeth can sink into, the Lye Water Cake (枧水糕, RM4.50) is also available. This dessert is made from glutinous rice flour which has been treated with lye water (碱水), the same solution used to produce yellow noodle (黄面). The texture and taste are quite similar to Jing Zong (粳粽), a type of dumpling which is also yellowish in color.
The scent and unusual aftertaste of this dessert may be uncomfortable for some people, so go slowly if you are venturing into uncharted territory. To make the dessert more palatable, a saucer of brown sugar syrup is also provided.
Overall, Beans Heritage is a one-stop soy-based dessert shop which can satisfy people from all walks of life. Elderly folks certainly enjoy the traditional warm types, while youngsters may find the sweet and cold ones to be more appealing.
Name: Kafe Beans Heritage (小江豆浆)
Address: 139-1-01, Lebuh Carnarvon, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-261-1888
Business hours: 7:30am-9:30pm
Coordinates: 5.41532 N, 100.33529 E
Directions: From Jalan Kampung Kolam, turn to Carnarvon Street (Lebuh Carnarvon). Immediately after the junction with Lebuh Acheh, you will find Armenian Street Heritage Hotel on the left. Beans Heritage is on the lobby level of this hotel. Street parking is available along Carnarvon Street.

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