The day started with a “yum cha” session at the old eatery, Aik Hoe Restaurant located in Carnavon Street Penang.  This restaurant which occupied two shop houses still managed to retain its old nostalgic charm after fifty over years.

The fixtures of old ceiling fans with flooring of small squares of blue and white tiles still remain there after all these years, making this place a real heritage in its own way.



Nothing much have changed and the restaurant still has the very ‘Chinese old school look’, even still with its signature metal chairs. The shop’s name has been embedded into the metal chair itself; a real rare find nowadays.



Teapots waiting in a row to be fill with Hot Chinese tea which is a must have to go with the dim sum as it helps in lightening the richness of the food. There are many varieties of tea leaves, from the more common tai yip to the fragrant ti kuan yin.



No push carts were seen here but instead you will be served by waiters walking around carrying the bamboo basket filled with dim sum. Customers just choose the items from the baskets. We selected a few items. One of the signature items was the lor mai gai ( glutinous rice) with pieces of chicken and mushroom. The texture of the rice is well done; the grain is QQ enough and not mushy soft.



The rolls of Fun Cheong Kuen have a very translucent layer of skin as compared to those sold elsewhere. A cut piece of it reveals the luscious filling of pork, shrimp, black fungus and Chinese water chestnut. This roll is subtly flavored with the additional grounded ginger.



One of the must-have is the prawn dumpling, more commonly known as the Har Kow. This steam dumpling shape of a shell has the succulent taste of prawns and lean meat.


Har Kow


The next item was the old-time favorite, Bau! From the steaming basket of Bau, we ended up picking the Char Siew Bau and Pork Bau. The texture of the Bau itself is firmer as compare to the HK version which tends to be lumpy when you bite it. The Char Siew is also marinated very well.


The sweet juicy filling of barbeque Char Siew


Pork bau with robust taste


Next on the menu is the ‘must have’ in this restaurant, mainly because these two authentic dim sum are rarely seen in other shops around Malaysia. The first one is the Gai Chat (steam chicken on Chinese cabbage). It is described as a food item that can induce the old nostalgic feeling that is derived from the good old times.


Gai chat


The second item is the Yoke Aun Kuen (pork roll). It is basically a piece of thin lean meat wrapping up a piece of fat, liver and Chinese water chestnut. The soup/gravy tasted just like home cooked steamed meat…very tasty.



Yoke Aun Kuen


There will always be times that you may be craving for some specific dim sums that are already sold out. In the case, customers can request for it and if the ingredients are available they will prepare it fresh on the spot for you.


Requested items prepared on the spot


Another item that we ate was the fried turnip squares. There are also many more other flaky pastry items, char siew sou, lin yung sou and the wu gok (taro dumpling).




This dessert with filling of corn is personally too sweet for me


Thanks to Lee Choo, the feature writer from Guang Ming for introducing this restaurant and also organizing this yum cha session. Her write up article was published in Guang Ming Daily on 29th March 2009, with the online version available here.


Lee Choo & myself


I would recommend you to try out the dim sum. It’s worth a visit for the few ‘must have specialty’ items. Parking can be a bit difficult as it is located right in front of the morning market. Click here for the Map Location. It is a few houses away from the busy Chulia Street.

These specialty dim sums are getting rarer nowadays, with many outlets preferring more commercial and basic ingredients, instead of those that need extra long preparation and effort. Does anyone know any more of these “old school look” eating outlets and anything along those lines to recommend?

Aik Hoe Restaurant
No.6 & 8 Lebuh Carnavon
10100 Penang

Tel no : 016 472 0971

Business Hours : 5am – 2pm

Closed on Monday

GPS Coordinates : N05 2502.8   E100 2009.8

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 7:02 pm and is filed under Chinese, Dim Sum, George Town, Media, Penang Restaurant. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

32 comments so far


Tks for the review. I luv to try out those restaurants serving authentic dim sums in Penang. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to find a good one in my last trip.

lk´s last blog post..Sui kow (??) – Featured recipe for Rasa Malaysia

March 30th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I love the rustic and authentic look of this place, cant imagine having dim sum under this roof! so full of our tradisional roots!

bigboysoven´s last blog post..

March 30th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

The yoke aun kuen is such a novelty! I don’t believe I’ve seen that ever, even in truly old school type of dim sum houses. Heading straight for Aik Hoe next!

550ml jar of faith´s last blog post..Hometowning in Penang

March 30th, 2009 at 10:34 pm
Kaqi Hung

Did you all know that Aik Hoe had a branch in Sunway Tunas couple years ago?

March 30th, 2009 at 11:54 pm

lk – It’s worth to try out this place.

Bigboysoven – It’s my first visit and I definitely will be visiting it from now onwards.

550ml jar of faith – I think many of the younger generation have not heard about this item too.

Kaqi Hung – Thanks for sharing the info…will check it out.

March 31st, 2009 at 12:02 am

wow…. i never try some of the things before. Should go and try this. Thanks for sharing!

FoOd PaRaDiSe´s last blog post..Keat Seng Restaurant @ Air Itam, Penang

March 31st, 2009 at 8:20 am

I really like the shot of the signature metal chair.. Feels so homey and at the same time, touched with nostalgia. :)

I’m so making this one of my stops when I come to Penang!

Life for Beginners´s last blog post..The Most Happiest Girl in the World

March 31st, 2009 at 8:29 am

hmm, Penang dim sum, not my cup of tea…but there’s one I feel is quite good, opp KDU College, don’t know whether is still there?!

SimpleGirl´s last blog post..Home-cooked food @ Earth Hour Day

March 31st, 2009 at 8:40 am
Kaqi Hung

Too bad, your review wasn’t sooner, or else folks in Bayan Baru area will enjoy their tim sum without going all the way down to Carnavon Street.

March 31st, 2009 at 8:42 am

Wow, didn’t know of this place before. And those must-have dishes are actually alien to me. Therefore I must go and try them out soon! :)

iamthewitch´s last blog post..Earth Hour 2009

March 31st, 2009 at 8:59 am

nowadays the fun cheong kuen is quite a rarity-i would like to try it.

foodbin´s last blog post..WAN TAN MEE

March 31st, 2009 at 10:04 am

Love dim sum! Would love to try it if I’m in Penang :)

Selba´s last blog post..Tukang Kacang Rebus (Peanuts Man)

March 31st, 2009 at 10:23 am

Food Paradise – Now is the time to try it.

Life for Beginners – When you do come to pg, let us know. All the bloggers would sure like to meet you.

SimpleGirl – The shop that you mentioned is doing good business…packed on weekends. You can give Aik Hoe a visit too.

Kaqi Hung – Thanks for your info.

Iamthewitch – Hope you like what you find.

foodbin – It’s true, moreover theirs have good amount of grounded ginger.

Selba – Would be glad to take you to this place.

March 31st, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I may be totally wrong but some of the dishes in your pics are not very appetizing to look at, eg. Gai chat, pork roll and the 4 dishes below

March 31st, 2009 at 5:43 pm

One serious good place to try when up north in Penang. Can already feel the goodness bursting in my mouth and all the pics looked darn good.

jencooks´s last blog post..WARAKU – ONE HAPPY CUSTOMER

March 31st, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Sonny – Don’t be deceived by the looks, in fact they are very tasty.

jencooks – I am happy to have found this place…the taste is different from the rest that I have visited so far.

April 1st, 2009 at 12:11 am

thanks for the recommendation.

i’m kinda lost with dim sum places in Penang. :)

J2Kfm´s last blog post..The Return of The Motormouth (with Higher Integrity!)

April 1st, 2009 at 9:57 am
SW Tan

recommend you some good place to explore for good food in Butterworth; like Char kuey teow, sar hor fang, dried kuey teow, chicken rice and etc. will prepare a map for you if you interested to t

April 1st, 2009 at 11:33 am

J2Kfm – Do come over to pg more often to try out the food.

SW Tan – Thanks for visiting my blog. It’s very nice of you to share the makan places with me…do send it over.

April 1st, 2009 at 12:03 pm

the char siu bao looks good! i like my filling dark and slightly salty, unlike those hong kong reddish ones..yummy, this!

Nic (KHKL)´s last blog post..Tell-A-Tale (Part 34): Oh My Jumping God!

April 1st, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Nic (KHKL) – Same with me too. I always like my char siew darker in colour but there are still many outlets selling the reddish ones.

April 2nd, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I frequent to this place for it’s dim sum too. I lived at Pesara Claimant for more than 20 years. Upstairs they rent out their rooms to backpackers and locals as well but am not sure nowadays. Everyday I passed by this area to go to CLS :-)

pixen´s last blog post..Pine ‘n’ Coconut Pancake Rolls

April 6th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Can i have the gps coordinates for aik hoe restaurant, thanx~

April 8th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Aik Hoe has been my dim sum place since I was in primary school. I just lived directly opposite Aik Hoe. I still remember hearing the steaming started as early as 5am.

Obviously, ha kau should not be missed when visiting this place. It is my life time favourite and the best so far compared to those in KL or even in HK. It has something that no other ha kau has – water chestnut!!!It makes the whole thing taste sweet and crunchier.

April 10th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

This place sure brings back a lot of memories for me. My grandpa used to bring us kids there for breakfast, some 40 yrs ago!
TQ for bringing back the memories and I will definitely make it point to visit the place again.
I really enjoy your blog and keep up the good work.

April 17th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

pixen – It’s interesting to know about this place and also a bit of yourself…thanks so much for sharing it.

Tiffany – Only realize the GPS was not there after reading your comment. I have updated it already…pls check.

TrinaNaRanong – Nice of you for sharing a bit of yourself and also aik hoe.

skywolf – I am happy that this post on aik hoe brings back nice memories for you. Do drop by again for more of other food outlets in Penang.

April 17th, 2009 at 11:37 pm
Dr. Vijayan

Thanks for this lovely site. Now I can take my European/USA friends to some of the best chinese food out let. Pray your efforts are rewarded.
Dr. Vijay

May 12th, 2009 at 5:22 am

Dr. Vijayan – Thank you for taking your time to visit my food blog. Do drop in for more updates.

May 15th, 2009 at 11:08 am
Uncle Chew

I was born in Penang, brought up in Chulia Street, and later moved to Hutton Lane, Nagore Road, both closed to New World Park, until I started to work in KL. I tried 3 dim sum early this year in Tai Dong, Aik Hoe, Thor Yuen, and still think Thor Yuen is the best, though variety is not that much.

Anyway I am very surprised to see people ordering fry mee(Kong Fu Chau, Hokkin Char etc). To me this is very usual.
All the 3 restaurants make pau, sorry to say the pau in KL are better.

Can you find out why the Kong Fu Chau is different from the olden days say 20years ago? Those days’ Kong Fu Chau is real special. Should try to get the answer from Foo Heong Restaurant. They had the best KF Chau in those days. Sorry to say they are so far behind now.

CK Lam Reply:

It is not easy finding tasty KF Chau these days. The three dim sum restaurants that you mentioned is still doing relatively brisk business.

June 29th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

This is my regular dim sum place whenever I’m in Penang. Introduce it to my family, and everyone loves it because of:

1. Extremal reasonable priced (cheap) as compared to KL & other states.
2. Nostalgic environment. The place are normally fully packed. Especially the regular locals & senior citizen.
3. Good old school type of Dim Sun

If you don’t like the food there, the prices would definitely stop you from complaining.


CK Lam Reply:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

April 16th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

wow…i love the enviroment. the food also nice. i love dim sum, especially siu mai. recently i had try out 1 new shop in macallum street. the food nice and the price also reasonable. worth the pay a visit. the shop call golden star hong kong dim sum.

CK Lam Reply:

Thanks for introducing the shop in Macallum Street. Will have a go for it in time to come.

April 23rd, 2010 at 3:52 am
Tham Jiak

Hi, I am so drooling reading this blog! Will be visiting Penang first time and am looking forward to progressive meals. Haha am tham jiak, what to do? :) I live in Melb and hard to get good dim sum

September 14th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

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