When it comes to breakfast, there is no hard and fast rule for Malaysians. Our breakfast is not strictly defined by dishes like nasi lemak, cereal, or roti canai. Whatever we’re in the mood for, we’ll have, and this includes dim sum. Dim sum holds a very special place in our culture, as many Malaysian-Chinese dedicate Sunday mornings to enjoying these bite-sized delights –– a tradition passed down through many generations.
Whether you’re in Penang for a quick trip to explore the island or a foodie on an adventure for new dim sum spots, here are some must-visit places to satisfy your cravings.
1. Yong Pin Restaurant, George Town
Ask any Penang-ite, and they’ll likely know of Yong Pin. Once located in Sungai Ujong, this joint has moved into the heart of George Town, making it even more accessible to the islanders of Penang and those visiting. Expect to find a wide range of dim sum here, and if you’re in luck, you can get some of that famous pork bao too, which is often sold out. The hectic atmosphere will make you feel like you’re in an authentic cha chan teng in Hong Kong, enhancing your dining-in experience.
Address: 59A Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: +6016 430 6789
2. Canning Dim Sum Express, Bayan Lepas
This Ipoh-based, halal-certified dim sum restaurant is popular among tourists and locals. Prepare to be charmed by the exceptional service provided by their delightful team, whose efficiency and attentiveness will leave a lasting impression. To enhance the dining experience for their customers, the restaurant also ensures that menus are multilingual and equipped with helpful visuals.
Stepping inside, you’ll find a welcoming ambience exuding cosiness, creating an inviting environment for families and individuals alike. However, it’s worth noting that the restaurant tends to experience a bustling morning rush due to its popularity, so be prepared to work through a crowd.
Address: 70-1-60 D’Piazza Mall, Jalan Mahsuri, Bandar Bayan Baru, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Contact: +6010 960 6180
3. Dim Sum Station, Bayan Lepas
Looking to pamper your loved ones with a slightly posh breakfast experience? In that case, Dim Sum Station is the ideal destination, offering a more upscale ambience, complete with the comfort of air-conditioning.
While the price point here is on the higher side, the quality of their food and the great service is worth it. Indulge in the delectable offerings, knowing that your breakfast will be elevated to a new level.
Address: 5-G, Persiaran Mahsuri 2/3, Bandar Bayan Baru, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Contact: +6011 5977 5299
4. Chaw Choon Dim Sum, Butterworth
Nestled in the mainland part of Penang, Chaw Choon Dim Sum is a beloved destination cherished by many Penang-ites. So, if you have a hankering for dim sum, make sure to include this spot on your list. Not only is the food here delicious, but you’ll also appreciate the reasonable price point and extensive selection of dishes available.
To steer clear of disappointment or unnecessary hunger pangs, we highly advise visiting either before or after the bustling breakfast and lunch hour, as it tends to get packed. Must-tries include deep-fried seaweed roll, har kaw, siew mai, and steamed pork ribs.
Address: Jalan Ong Yi How, Lucky Park, 13400 Butterworth, Penang
Contact: +604 333 0779
5. Restaurant Eng Meng, Bukit Mertajam
If ever you find yourself in Bukit Mertajam, you must check out Restaurant Eng Meng, which has earned a well-deserved reputation as a beloved breakfast spot among the locals. Expect your usual dim sum favourites here, like siew mai, lo mai gai, steamed pork buns, beancurd rolls, and more.
If you’re unsure or need some recommendations, simply reach out to one of their attentive staff. The price tag is reasonable for the quality you’re getting, so don’t hold back on the orders!
Address: 2, Jalan Maju, Taman Sri Maju, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: +6016 482 9113
6. Fu Er Dai, George Town
Its casual open-air concept makes Fu Er Dai a breezy and highly-favoured breakfast spot for locals and visitors alike. With quite an extensive selection of dim sums, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice; their sesame balls, steamed ribs with rice, shrimp dumplings, and yong tau foo are must-tries! To avoid disappointment, time your visit wisely as it gets crowded during lunch.
Address: 7 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 George Town, Penang
Contact: +604 251 9289
7. Yee Heong Restaurant, George Town
Passed down through at least two generations, Yee Heong holds a special place in the hearts of the Penang-ites. As you step inside, you’ll likely observe locals engaged in lively conversations with friends, accompanied by pots of fragrant Chinese tea. Aside from the inviting ambience, the highlight of this place is undoubtedly the delectable variety of dim sum options available.
From noodles to rice dishes and little bites, you’ll find an impressive selection that shouldn’t be missed. Make sure to indulge in their must-try specialities, such as the deep-fried carrot cake and fried carrot cake (char kway kak); both prepared fresh in-house daily.
Address: 12 & 14 Lebuh Campbell, 10450 George Town, Penang
Contact: +604 261 6990
8. Tho Yuen Restaurant, George Town
Recently honoured with the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand, this establishment in George Town has been serving delectable dim sum for an impressive 80 years, showcasing remarkable resilience amid the F&B industry’s modernisation wave. Sure, you’d have to wait in line thanks to its popularity, but it’s worth it!
While their dim sum selection is undoubtedly exceptional, don’t miss out on savouring their renowned noodle dishes, which are equally famous and deserving of acclaim. These noodle creations stand as signature dishes, further elevating the restaurant’s reputation for excellence. A must-visit if all you have space for is one dim sum restaurant in your itinerary.
Address: 92 Campbell Street, George Town, 10100 Penang
Contact: +604 261 4672