Apart from the famous street food and instagrammable cafes, no doubt that traditional Chinese pastry is also an iconic must-have souvenir from Penang. These flaky pastries are favourites among the locals and tourists. Today, you will get to know some popular types of the traditional Chinese pastries and where to get them.
Types of traditional Chinese pastry
We have shortlisted some common types of traditional Chinese pastry. One of the best known pastries is Tau Sar Pneah. Furthermore, other varieties include pepper biscuits, coconut tarts, wife’s biscuits, egg tarts and more.
- Bean paste pastry (Tau Sar Pneah) – Round flaky pastry filled with thick mung bean paste. Its fillings can be made from different types of bean paste and can be sweet or savoury. It is softer in texture, has a thinner crust and is more crumbly. Tau Sar Pneah is usually sold in 5-piece packs and wrapped in waxed paper rolls.
- Tambun pneah (Dragon ball) – The smaller version of Tau Sar Pneah. It is a miniature bite size biscuit that has thicker crust and less mung bean filling. Additionally, Tambun pneah is usually wrapped in boxes.
- Horse hoof biscuit (Beh Teh Saw) – Its flaky body with sweet filling that is also a sticky sweet concoction made from brown sugar, white sugar and maltose. The biscuit is thicker on one end and resembles a ‘horse roof’.
- Brown sugar biscuit – The filling of this biscuit is sweet and soft brown sugar. Part of the filling is oozed out from the biscuits during the baking process, resulting in the unique appearance of the round biscuits.
- Coconut tart – It is a layered dough base with a filling of moist sugared grated coconut, topped off with a swirl effect top crust and brushed with egg yolk.
- Pepper biscuits – It’s thinly sliced with the taste of five spices and pepper for a fragrant and fiery taste.
- Egg tart – It has a flaky outer shell with a creamy but firm egg custard in the centre.
- Heong pneah – It is small bite-sized morsels. The filling is brown sugar paste with a smoky flavour.
- Wife cake (Lao Po Bing) – It is a round flaky pastry with a translucent white winter melon paste in the centre.
- Husband cake – It is a companion pastry to wife cake with fermented red bean curd, sesame and peanuts in the centre.
Traditional Chinese Pastry Shops in Penang
Some of the traditional pastry shops can trace their roots back for over 100 years to when the first pastries were baked in Penang. Hence, we have listed some of the chinese pastry shops in Penang where you can get those flaky pastries.
1. Ghee Hiang
Ghee Hiang Bakery is a 150-year-old brand, which is famously known for their sesame oil among other products. Likewise, their pastries are carefully crafted with age-old proven traditional methods and techniques to ensure the best quality pastries are served.
Address: 216, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang
2. Him Heang
Him Heang is an iconic pastry manufacturer in Penang that offers a wide range of local pastries. In fact, it is one of the famous brands in Penang where there is usually a long queue. Moreover, their pastries are made with passion and freshly handmade each day.
Address: 162A, Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Penang
3. Ng Kee Cake Shop
Ng Kee is an ordinary neighbourhood cake shop. It is best regarded for their Cantonese pepper biscuits as well as its sweet and flaky coconut tarts. Their egg tarts and coconut tarts are sold out early in the afternoon. Hence, make sure to reach there as earlier as possible.
Address: 61, Lebuh Cintra, George Town, 10100 George Town, Penang
4. Ming Xiang Tai
Ming Xiang Tai is one of the popular Chinese pastry houses in Penang. The brand has several outlets throughout Penang Island. For instance, one of the most popular outlets is the corner shop at Victoria Street and Armenian Street Ghaut. Their signature is the Signature Trishaw Egg Tart. The flaky egg tart with puff pastry is a must-try in Penang.
Address: No.26, Lebuh Armenian, Ghaut, 10200 George Town, Penang
5. Hock Lok Siew
Hock Lok Siew is a local biscuit shop that produces authentic flavour of Tau Sar Piah. It is one of the major suppliers of bakes in Penang. Their reputable products include mini mooncake (Gong Zai Peng), Tambun pneah and more. With the combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology, Hock Lok Siew produces quality pastries daily.
Address: 120, Lebuh Noordin, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang
6. Ban Heang
Ban Heang has more than 200 types of product available but their signature pastries definitely are Tambun biscuits and Heong pneah. Its principle never changed since it was established, which is “Made Now, Bake Now, and Sell Now”. Ban Heang biscuit recipe is a closely guarded family secret.
Address: 245 & 247, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Penang
7. Loong Nam
Loong Nam is one of the oldest Chinese biscuit shops in Penang. It is a century-old biscuit shop that has managed to keep its tradition of handmade biscuits since 1928. Loong Nam specialises in different types of crackers for Chinese families. For example, Roti Jari, Tau Sar Pneah, and Biskut Susu are among their most popular biscuits.
Address: 213, Jalan Hutton, George Town, 10050 George Town, Penang
8. Seng Heang
Kedai Biskut Seng Heang is a recognised Chinese biscuit specialised retail. Their signature is the Tau Sar Pneah made from the founder’s recipe since 1986. In addition, others recommendations from Seng Heang also include the Penang famous Sun Biscuit or locally known “Pong Pneah”.
Address: 136 138, 134, Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town, 10150 George Town, Penang
9. Soon Hiang
Soon Hiang Biscuit Shop is a small yet handful of traditional handmade Tau Sar Pneah shops where the locals go to. Their production rate is low and everything is made from scratch. Hence, if you’re coming for their Tau Sar Pneah, make sure to come early!
Address: 33, Jalan Kuantan, George Town, 10000 George Town, Penang
10. Seng Seng Hiang
Seng Seng Hiang is a biscuits shop selling Penang’s native products. The signature Tau Sar Pneah comes with a variety of choices of flavours. Besides, Seng Seng Hiang also sell other traditional pastries, Seng Seng Hiang Siew Pau, Phong pneah and more.
Address: 613-D, Jalan Pasar, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Penang