Gurney Bay

Special thanks to Gurney Bay for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

This morning's revisit to Gurney Bay Island Seafood (葛尼湾海鲜大排档) is to explore its Cantonese dim sum (粤式点心) menu, which is available from 6:00am to 1:30pm every day. It is fortunate that I arrived early because the place is quite crowded by 9:00am. On weekends, finding parking space and vacant table can be a challenge.
As Gurney Bay is getting closer to its official opening, more aspects of the restaurants are starting to take shape. For example, the long mural on the right wall is now complete.
To cope with the large crowd, Gurney Bay has a professional kitchen specially to prepare dim sum. Tens of kitchen personnel work with clockwork efficiency to cope with the large number of customers. There are over 40 different types of dim sum, including steamed, fried and baked ones.
Steamed dim sum is typically served in bamboo containers. Customers are required to bring their order chits when picking their choices from the collection counter. Moving forward, Gurney Bay will also cart dim sum around the dining area for customers' convenience.
Baked and fried dim sum items are also available. Food is kept warm in order to retain freshness and crispiness. The latter is highly sought in dim sum restaurants.
Many dim sum items are based on fish paste, minced pork, shrimps or some combination thereof. Among the popular ones are siew mai (烧卖), har kaw (虾饺) and fu pei gyun (腐皮卷). Typical toppings include mushroom (香菇), scallion (葱头), Chinese sausage (腊肠), roe (鱼蛋) and century egg (皮蛋).
Compared to local dim sum, Cantonese dim sum is generally milder in terms of flavor. For instance, fish paste is slightly salted so that the savoriness of fish is more pronounced. As for customers who prefer heavier flavors, condiments such as sweet sauce and chili sauce are provided as dips.
Generally, I find the meat dishes to be more appealing than the abovementioned traditional ones. In particular, I enjoy the pork ribs (猪排骨), pork belly (五花肉), pork intestines (猪肠) and grouper fish head (石斑鱼头).
The advantage of steaming lies in the fact that food retains most of its moisture. When it comes to meat, natural juice remains on the metal tray in concentrated state. Sipping the savory soup is highly gratifying to the palate.
Lao sar pau (流沙包) is one of the highlights this morning. The bun is best enjoyed when still piping hot. Thick yolk paste oozes out as soon as the bun is punctured. The distinctive savory-sweetness of the paste makes lao sar pau a highly recommended delicacy.
Sesame pau (芝麻包) is a similar bun but is filled with black sesame paste instead. Compared to the previous bun, the sesame pau has less viscous filling. Although still nice on its own, it pales in comparison to lao sar pau.
Although this is a Cantonese dim sum meal, Shanghainese xiaolongbao (小笼包) is also available. Each dumpling is filled with succulent minced pork and accompanying soup. The correct way to enjoy xiaolongbao is to place one on a spoon, puncture a corner, then sip the hot soup from within. Xiaolongbao is customarily eaten with chopped ginger (姜丝).
Gurney Bay's Kwun Tong Gow (灌汤饺) is quite different from the one that I saw at Sticks & Spoon. Sticks & Spoon's version is served with soup, while Gurney Bay's Kwun Tong Gow is essentially a larger version of xiaolongbao and the soup is contained inside.
A straw through the center allows customers to sip the rich soup inside. Exercise extreme caution when doing so because the soup can be piping hot. When broken apart, Kwun Tong Gow reveals its delectable fillings of minced pork and fresh shrimps.
Gurney Bay's Cantonese dim sum is comparable to those sold at old coffee shops, making a meal here quite affordable considering the variety and ambience. Indeed, the premises of Gurney Bay's business is to appeal to the masses, making this restaurant a place where people can visit on a regular basis.
Name: Gurney Bay Island Seafood (葛尼湾海鲜大排档)
Address: 82, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-228-8168
Business hours: 6:00am-12:00am
Coordinates: 5.42844 N, 100.32173 E
Directions: Gurney Bay Island Seafood is located on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, directly opposite of The Northam. There are plenty of parking spaces in front of the restaurant.


  1. Hi, May I ask about the prices ? in ur opinion, are they reasonable?

    1. Hi Shaneen, thanks for visiting! :-)

      I think the pricing is comparable to other non-conditioned dim sum restaurant in Penang. But the number of dim sum types at Gurney Bay is astounding. :-)