Toh Soon Café located at Lebuh Campbell has become one of the must-visit place when you are in Penang. I visited them in year 2014 and 2 years later I am back again with my friends. The shop is located in a narrow alley (lorong in Malay language) and is a walking distance to Penang street art mural. As compared with my visit 2 years back, Toh Soon has become more popular and securing the seat is getting harder too.
So this time round we shared table with a couple because securing a table of our own takes quite a bit of time. We ordered and waited patiently for our breakfast to be served.
What so unique about Toh Soon?
Toh Soon uses charcoal stove with three compartments to do wonders. The top part is for steaming bread, middle for the charcoal to burn and bottom to toast the bread. It is quite a tedious work to squat down and toast the breads. I still remember it was the local worker who did it 2 years ago and now they have foreign worker doing this process. And this tradition is what keeps Toh Soon Café unique and booming as one of the tourist must-visit place in Penang.
So, once the toasting process is done, they will scrap away the burnt parts and start spreading kaya butter on top. And that’s the end result.
We did not order the steamed bread this round but here is how it looks like. (Taken in year 2014).
We also had the half-boiled eggs in cup. This is how the half-boiled eggs are served in most of the Penang coffeeshops.
If you wish to enjoy the nostalgic moments and relive old school memories, perhaps Toh Soon Café is a good place to visit. Otherwise, you can also enjoy good toast and coffee at Kopi Thai Lai, the century old coffeeshop which is well-known among the locals too. The difference is that you enjoy your traditional breakfast by the drain in a back alley and the other is in a physical shop.
And special note for those who plans to visit Toh Soon Café, there is no queue system. Whoever ‘chop’ the table secures the seat. So, don’t queue blindly and keep a lookout at any potential tables when you are there.
Meanwhile, read more on other places to makan in Penang from my travelogue post.
Toh Soon Café
Address: Lebuh Campbell
Georgetown, 10200 Pulau Pinang,
Opening Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM (Closed on Sunday)