FoodReviewReview from Penang Foodie

Tai Buan Porridge: Not Your Regular Comfort Food

The Definition of Teochew Porridge

Porridge, the ultimate comfort food during rainy days or what we love to call as “sick food.” Did you know it’s a tradition for the Teochews to have porridge? Unlike other porridges, Teochew porridge is served as a banquet of meats, fish egg and vegetables eaten with plain rice porridge. It’s like rice but in liquidy form, get it? The tradition lives on in Penang and Tai Buan Porridge is known to serve one of the best Teochew porridge in Penang. We went to try it out to see if it lives up to its fame.

About Tai Buan Porridge

A humble family-run business located at Lebuh Muntri, Tai Buan Porridge has been running its business since post-WWII. The current owner who’s an old couple, has been selling for 56 years. It’s easy to miss Tai Buan porridge at first glance as it’s tucked in a rundown, old shop. Finding a carpark here could also be a headache. Moving on to the food.

Also Read: What to do in Penang in 3 Days (Best Places to Visit)

Process of Ordering and How It Tasted:

You could see the old couple busy preparing customer’s order upon entering Tai Buan Porridge. That’s where you make your order. It’s best to come with a partner so that one could find a seat and the other make orders. Basically you choose only side dishes to pair with their plain rice porridge. There are a variety of choices, mostly braised dishes. Braised duck, braised pork, braised pork innards, braised eggs and beancurds are a few to name.

The wife scoops the porridge and picks the condiments while the husband chops them, ready to be served. They could get grumpy sometimes but definitely a nice, friendly old couple.

We ordered braised duck, braised duck feet, braised egg, fried egg with braised turnips and pickled vegetables to pair with our porridge. The total costs us RM20, we thought the price is well justified by the amount of our orders.

There’s no rules to eating, you just scoop whatever you want to pair with your porridge and feast. It might look a little unappealing but definitely warm, comfort food.

Apparently, Tai Buan Porridge’s fried egg with braised turnips and pickled vegetables are some of the must-order side dishes. You could see almost every table orders these two. The fried egg has a balanced taste, eggy and with a hint of saltiness due to the braised turnips. The texture is just right, not too oily. The pickled vegetables on the other side, is refreshing to pair with your porridge. Not overpowering, yet has a distinct flavor.

Our braised side dishes were really well braised, they soaked up the essence of the broth. They played a major role in raising the prorridge’s taste. Though we thought the braised duck feet was a bit of let down as there were still odor to it, not overpowering but enough to taste it.

Tips: Tables are limited so it could get crowded during peak hours. If you couldn’t find parking, you could park at the private car park opposite Cititel Hotel at a rate of RM2 per hour.

Last Thought on Tai Buan Porridge:

Those who love porridge or prefer lighter meal, go for it. Tai Buan Porridge is the definition of Teochew porridge. The vibe and friendly old people makes you want to come back for more. As for us, we thought the taste is a little bland to our preference as we love stronger flavors. It’s all up to personal preferences, but great to try it at least once. Tai Buan Porridge tells a story don’t you think?

Tai Buan Porridge

Address: 173, Jalan Muntri, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang.
Operating Hour: 11:45 a.m.-5 p.m. (Closed on Weekends)

Taste: 7/10
Environment: 7/10
Price: 5/10
Experience: 7.5/10

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