Penang Teochew Cendol – Famous Malaysian Cuisine
What’s the perfect cooling treat for a steamy Malaysian day? Cendol!
Pronounced “chendol” and sometimes spelled that way on signs, it’s a sweet, refreshing iced dessert that’s served throughout Southeast Asia. However, the Malaysian Department of National heritage has declared cendol an “Intangible Heritage Object” food, alongside such definitive Malaysian classics as rendang and durian!
While cendol can be found all over the country in hawker markets and street stalls, Penang Island is the birthplace of Teochew cendol. It dates to the Teochew people of southern China, who migrated to Penang during colonial times, settling in what is now known as Penang Road in George Town. It’s an example of Peranakan cuisine, a mix of Chinese and Malay cooking styles combining flavours from both cultures.
The name may be derived from “jendol,” Malay for “swollen” – a reference to the swollen green pandan-flavoured jelly worms made from chewy rice flour that make this textural treat such fun to eat. The other ingredients are shaved ice and coconut milk, with Malaysia’s version distinctive from other countries by including a sticky sweet splash of gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup and unsweetened red beans. There are twists to the recipe, with jackfruit and durian sometimes added to the mix. Cendol is typically served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon, though you’ll also find takeaway cendol in a cup, with an extra-wide straw for slurping.
One of the best-known authentic Teochew cendol shops is Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol, run by the same family for almost 90 years. It began as a simple stall in 1936, with founder Tan Teik Fuang overseeing every bowl.
Whether you’re looking for dessert or just an afternoon snack, head down to Penang Road for an unforgettable taste experience. There’s something about eating cendol that brings people together – no matter where they come from or what language they speak!
Shop name: Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol
27-29, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100
0 4 262 6002
For other outlets, refer to the locations page on chendul.my
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