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REVIEW: Good Teochew Kueh in Penang: Chao Xuan Restaurant 潮轩 in Penang, Malaysia

The Penang Teochew community, also recognized as Chaozhou people worldwide, constitutes a minority dialect faction within Penang's Chinese population. We explored Chao Xuan Restaurant 潮轩 renowned for its Teochew Kueh, a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant.

Address: 90, Lebuh Melayu, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Open Address: 9.30am - 3pm

Closed on Monday

Given the array of available kuih, we opted for a mixed selection to try the variety, including a mix of Chai Kuih - Mangkuang Kuih, Toh Kuih, and Kuchai Kuih. The delicate, rice flour-based translucent skin displayed a tender, slightly chewy texture.

Mangkuang Kuih, prominently featuring jicama, is crafted by grating the jicama and combining it with ingredients like dried shrimp, garlic, and shallots. When steamed, it yields a soft, slightly crunchy, and juicy texture from the jicama, offering a delightful blend of sweet and savory flavors, augmented by hints of umami from the dried shrimp. This appealed to me the most with a subtle sweetness complemented by savory elements.

Toh Kuih, also recognized as "Turnip Cake," primarily consists of shredded daikon radish and rice flour, imparting a unique fusion of tastes—mild sweetness from the daikon radish and savory notes from yam, peanut, garlic, and shrimp.

Kuchai Kuih, or "Chive Cake," blends chopped chives with rice flour and various seasonings. It undergoes steaming and subsequent pan-frying to achieve a crispy exterior. The predominant savory taste is complemented by the freshness and distinct essence of chives, enriched by ingredients like dried shrimp and garlic.