Ever tasted the delicacy Stinky Tofu (Chao Tofu) from Taiwan?

It was an amazing steamboat dinner we had on the weekend with some friends at Tang Steamboat & BBQ Restaurant in Rangoon Road, Penang. It is a different kind of steamboat whether when it comes to choices of food and soup.


Customers can choose between the buffet and the ala carte meal. We took the ‘All You Can Eat Buffet’ at RM22 nett per person which includes a wide range of seafood, meat and side dishes for the steamboat and skewered sticks for the BBQ. Besides that, we got the chance tasting the famous Taiwanese specialty Chao Tofu.


Extra items besides the regular menu

The popular Chao Tofu is widely loved by some for its exotic taste and also turned off by others for its unbearable smell. It is deep fried, not really crunchy but almost crumbly and soft on the inside. It was served topped with chili oil and with the accompanied sour cabbage.


Chao Tofu – the love/hate affair! How about yourself?


Eaten just the way it is or with the accompanied sour cabbage

The smell which originates from the fermentation process was quite exotic to say the least. I personally quite like the taste but that can’t be said for our friends. They were gulping down water in a hurry just to get the taste out of their mouths!

IMG_1170 IMG_2643

IMG_1172 IMG_1181

An unforgettable impression for the 1st time trying out Chao Tofu!

Moving on to the main dish, the steamboat comes with a variety of soup and we went for half a pot filled with the special spicy Ma Lat soup and the other half with clear soup. You have to place your order for the ingredients as they are not laid out as in other restaurants and you won’t see people rushing for the food. Only order the amount that can be consume as wasted food will be charged to your bill.

The meal was served with their homemade sauces, chili and the black sauce. The black sauce comes with chili padi and onions while the chili dip is slightly sour and had strands of baked coriander in it.


I am quite impressed with the varieties of specialty ingredients. Who would have thought of finding minced pork and fish glue at a place like this? It is indeed creative of them to come out with such simple homestyle ingredients. The minced pork was served with an egg.  We mixed it up and scooped spoonfuls of it into the pot of soup.


The other house specialty was the fish glue. It is kind of fun having to form the fish glue ourselves into rounded shapes using two spoons. I still remember my grandmother used to make this type of fish glue herself. Everyone enjoyed it, especially after it was being cooked in the Ma Lat soup! It was very fresh with a springy texture.



All of us being beef lovers took up a few plates of beef slices, cold bean curd, prawns and duck blood. The other recommended item was the baked mushroom. The soup gets thicker and more flavorful as it boils with the sweetness of all the ingredients. We added in some noodles to absorb the wonderful flavors of the soup.




Everybody having an awesome time!

Click the next page for more photos…

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 10:13 am and is filed under George Town, International, Penang, Promotion, Restaurant, Steamboat, Taiwanese Cuisine. 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.

40 comments so far


Looking at the texture of the stinky tofu, it doesn’t look quite same as the Indonesian one where the taiwenese has more softer and firm texture :)

Interesting and funny to see all the expression when they eat it. You wont see this kind of expression if you eat the Indonesian one, hehehe….

August 31st, 2009 at 2:14 pm

wow…can’t wait to go try out the stinky tofu in Pg. The last time I had one was from the Cheras Pasar Malam

August 31st, 2009 at 4:14 pm

The last time I smell chao tofu was in Gurney Drive open air hawker centre. That one you sniff it from the entrance of Gurney Plaza!

August 31st, 2009 at 4:23 pm

i love stinky tofu but have yet to try out the one from taiwan. Yum Yum.. wish i could try this or any of taiwan and compared with the one from china

August 31st, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Eee… that’s stink.

August 31st, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Selba – I had my camera ready to capture their expression as I know each and everyone of them have a different liking to this delicacy.

buzzingbee – Hope you like it :)

Jason Wong – Wow…so keng. I will check out that hawker stall. Thanks for sharing.

ai wei – I have yet to try those from china…

New Kid On The Blog – Haha but some love it so much.

August 31st, 2009 at 10:17 pm

So far I’ve managed to try once at Butterworth, but not in Penang. I am heading for this place :)

September 1st, 2009 at 12:08 am

I haven’t try the stinky tofu before, so no comment, but looking at the food variety, it really worth the RM22.

September 1st, 2009 at 8:08 am

I definitely will not try the stinky tofu! :P
Can’t stand the smell even from afar.

September 1st, 2009 at 9:37 am

The tofu is nice but the neighbour sure &*&#@&# when they fry it.

September 1st, 2009 at 10:40 am

haha, that’s a very cool collage of 1st timers on the stinky tofu adventure. :)

i for one, completely endorse the HK/Taiwan’s delicacy, and recommended it to everyone.

of course, most did not come up with a glowing response. =P

September 1st, 2009 at 11:58 am

This is great!! The only kind of buffet that makes me slightly better about pigging out is definitely steamboat buffet. And stinky tofu on top of all those goodies for only RM22? Def worth a visit!

September 1st, 2009 at 12:30 pm

wow great to have read your stingy journey this time makes we craviing for it now! Taste good, looks good too, smeel awesome! :)

September 1st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

the whole restaurant must be foul smelling, lol

September 1st, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I love “smelly” tofu!!! The best “smelly” tofu I’ve had so far was the ones from the street peddlers in Tianjin, China. I will definitely give this a try.

September 1st, 2009 at 8:33 pm

I’ve been seeking for chao taofu in Pg for a long time…as my dear love it sooo much! He miss the chao taofu that we tried in HK in the last trip! lol~
I saw this post in someone else blog but didn’t mention about the location… It’s great that now I knew it from yours… * happy *

September 1st, 2009 at 10:51 pm

StevenGoh.com – Hope this is the type of chao tofu for you.

Little Inbox – I would say the price is very reasonable.

allie – Try it once to have the experience…you might end up liking it.

email2me – It may be true. I am sure the neighbors have got used to it as this restaurant has been around for many years.

September 1st, 2009 at 11:24 pm

J2Kfm – Well, at least we let them have the experience tasting it.

550ml jar of faith – Do give this place a visit on your next trip home.

Big Boys Oven – Yeah…another chao tofu lover.

foodbin – I won’t say it is foul smelling, as this smell is the one that makes chao tofu as unique as it is.

My Food Fetish – Haha…one pretty lady that likes chao tofu too. Do share your review with me after your visit to this restaurant.

Siuyun – Hope your dear will like those stinky tofu from this restaurant.

September 1st, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Is this restaurant full of sticky smell? Did you all smell like chao tofu after the visit? I haven’t tried one but not adventurous at this moment. ;)

September 2nd, 2009 at 8:39 am

stinky tofu and steamboat is an interesting combination. and when there’s beer as well, i think it’s one great dining experience!

September 2nd, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Their look when eating the stinky tofu is really a great shot! LOL!

September 2nd, 2009 at 7:11 pm

food-4tots – It won’t get to our body. The smell is strong when being served.

Nic (KHKL) – They do serve beer but we did not go for it. Must try having them together next round :)

cariso – I was just waiting to take their photos when they go for the first bite…nice memories for keeping.

September 2nd, 2009 at 11:44 pm

ooomgggg this place looks so yuumyyy! I must visit when I go Penang :D

September 5th, 2009 at 1:59 am

I when to the shop today..since it looks so..delicious..i bring my mum along too..so we have ordered “Mah Lat” soup and clear soup..we got for “Eat All You can”. Frankly speaking is not worth for the Rm22…and the worst part is my girl just 2 years old and niece dont eat at all..and she don’t really eat..but the workers there insist that we have to pay at least one child or you make sure your children don’t eat the food..(This was told my the guy who works in the kitchen) :( The only food we like are “Stinky Tofu”

September 7th, 2009 at 12:31 am

christock – You must try the stinky tofu.

Yvonne – Places that serves steamboat or even BBQ have their own restrictions. Anyway nice to know that you like the stinky tofu….so its best for you to take the ala carte when you visit this place again.

September 7th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to try out smelly tofu and since I’ve never traveled to China nor Hong Kong b4 (somehow, banana-me tend to end up going to English-speaking countries for my trips), I’ve never had the chance.

So imagine my excitement when I read this post of yours, CK. Without wasting much time, I arranged with a group of tham-ciak friends to check out this place last weekend.

This is our review of the food at this place: (which is solely representing our very own opinions and no one else’s)

- smelly tofu did stink like the sewer but it wasn’t as BAD as we thought it would be.
- taste wise, it was nothing special. Tasted like any regular tofu, plus the smell and a tad bitter.
(we found out later from the chef that they soaked the smelly tofu in chinese herbs to mask abit of the smell. Hence the slight bitter taste when biting into the tofu. Disappointing to say the least)
- the ingredients for the steamboat are mostly frozen, which to us, meant one thing : Not fresh.
- The soup for the steamboat was nothing to shout abut.
- We liked the no-wastage policy of the place, though. They’d only allow an order of 10 items each round. Only when we’ve cooked all 10 items that they’ll let us order the next set of 10 items. Good concept.

Would we go back? Not a chance.

Again, we are only speaking for ourselves. This place may be up the right alley for some. Just not for us :(

September 8th, 2009 at 2:06 am

Eleen – Appreciate your comments and views. Haha… I guess everyone has their own view on the Stinky Tofu.
I also noticed that most of the steamboat outlets also have frozen items but at least they thaw it properly before serving.
Hope the management will look into this matter.

September 8th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

yaya..thanks for sharing!!
i also cant wait to eat chou tou fu liao!!
sure go there share with my friend!-,-

September 12th, 2009 at 12:55 am

Goodness me! Can’t wait to return to Penang to try this Stinky Tofu and the rest of the menu :-D My sister in Taiwan had been raving about it as well. I’d seen in Le Gourmet TV host dig in too. It’s a love and hate situation. Just like my EU friends who raved about their stinky cheeses, they detested Durian! As for myself, I love Durians and stinky cheeses. One thing though, I won’t go for the All-U-Can -Eat choice as my hubby and son not a big eater :-( But… I love the fab picts you took of the cringed faces LOL. Great candid picts!!!

September 12th, 2009 at 7:09 am

hmmmm … can i know the place or contact number ???

September 15th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

vannesa – Please note that there are two pages for this post. At the end of the first page, do scroll down and click on page 2. It will bring you to the next page with the address, map and telephone number of the shop.

September 15th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

hi thr..
1st time cae to ur blog like it very much..
i have found chao tofu everywhr in penang bt found it no whr..
thats great..
im goin to try it when free..

October 3rd, 2009 at 10:19 am

oOoopsSsss….wrong typing..

October 3rd, 2009 at 10:20 am
penang food lover

just went there after visited this website.. frankly speaking.. it doesn’t worth RM22nett at all.. the food aren’t taste as nice as what it named after.. should say.. “nothing special”..

October 25th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

That guy looks like Han Wei~

CK Lam Reply:

Hi Jean, you are right…that is Han Wei.

May 23rd, 2010 at 11:15 pm

The Steamboat is not worth Rm24.50!
Honestly, after I went there with my colleagues, we found that the food is not fresh and taste bad. Way under expectation.

November 10th, 2010 at 11:21 am

Happened to drop by the place one time.
Environment wise not bad.
Food- not fresh, nothing special.
Soup- does not leave any good impression, just normal
my advise- not worth even to try.
By the way, the price is now RM24.50 per person

November 10th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

look all over the comment, feel tat the food is not realy nice ~_~
will it be attrative for other?

May 25th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

just went with gf. so expensive 2 ppl charge 65.not worth at all. food not good and both of us getting discomfort and geli after finish. somemore the waitress very muka masam.
hate this restaurant and wont go anymore.

February 21st, 2012 at 6:31 pm

haha, not really attractive for me.
the food is now RM26 per person, exclusive 10% service charge.
for real the food is not fresh and the soup is just normal. the tomyam soup is a bit salty for me. stinky toufu is the only attraction since it is rarely found in penang, but not very tasty.
personally feel it’s not worth trying.

February 21st, 2012 at 7:56 pm

2 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. Penang Chou Tao Fu (Stinky Tofu ???) at Tang Steambot | Marccus Blog    Nov 29 2009 / 4pm:

    [...] little marccus get to know this place from the food blog of CK Lam. [...]

  2. Penang Local Food List Penang Deli    Jan 08 2010 / 5pm:

    [...] Tang Steamboat Restaurant Address: 7 Rangoon Road 10400 Penang Tel Number: 016 4352259 Business Hours: 12pm – 3pm & 6pm – 10pm Related Links: http://www.what2seeonline.com/2009/08/stinky-tofu-at-tang-steamboat-bbq-restaurant-penang/ [...]

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin