Memories of Penang’s Chicken Rice

by Apr 28, 2015

Walking into this restaurant I’m immediately reminded of my younger days when my Mom would take me to visit this restaurant for chicken rice.

Tho Yuen Restaurant tl;dr

Walking into this restaurant one may wonder how this differentiates from the at least 3 other restaurants I passed just walking here but believe me, it’s a classic and once you’re seated you’ll know it because you’ll be surrounded by locals who have come back time and time again for what this restaurant is dishing up.

Once seated, unlike the hawker stalls, a staff member will come by and take you order.

Chicken Rice 101

If if it’s your first time there get the classic, white chicken (they also have a brown option) and rice served with soup and the condiments of chili and soy sauce already on the table. Here you have to be specific about the kind of meat you want to savor (dark/white) or else they’ll most likely give you white meat from what I observed. With the chicken rice we usually order a plate of stir fried veggies as it usually comes with a light chicken broth soup.

Now on to the star of the show, the chicken. Unlike other places that seem to use a lot of MSG in their food, Tho Yuen’s chicken is beautifully cooked, light and tasty, served with green onions and a light soy/sesame sauce; accompanied by cucumbers and the red chili on the table.

From the first taste you can tell that this family institution has been doing chicken right for many years and their skill has been perfected. For the service, this is staffed by what looks like family members and/or old timers who have worked there most of their lives.

Focus on the FOOD

Just keep in mind you’re not going there for the service, you’re going there for the chicken so just be nice and they’ll treat you well. Couple of other notes about the restaurant, in addition to chicken rice, they serve a variety of noodles, soups, porridge and dim sum.

Also, in a very Hokkien speaking Penang, Cantonese is the prevalent language spoken in this establishment so if you can speak ‘Canto’ then you’re in luck! Once you’re finished, walk up to the counter and pay, full/satisfied and ready to explore more of what George Town has to offer!

Watch out for the tea cups. They come out served in a tray of hot water.

You're going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.
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