‘Tao Yong Mai Hua’ … What’s That?

Established in 1906, Kek Seng Cafe at 382-384 Penang Road qualifies as one of the oldest icons of classic Penang Heritage. The nostalgic interior fittings and furniture, and even ceiling fans remain much like they were 6 decades ago.

In my kiddo days, once a month or two, my parents would take us to this cafe for a mini-feast.  What I cherished most was their signature Ice Kacang — which had generous toppings of red beans, sweet corn, a scoop or two of ice cream, and an optional lump of colourful jelly.  

My mum did not like the jelly.  So, for her order, the kopi boy would shout towards the kitchen, “Tao Yong Mai Hua” (I suppose they meant Ice Kacang Minus Jelly).  Those 4 words still ring in my ears!

Besides the ice kacang, there were other yummylicious temptations, such as popiah, lor bak, asam laksa, etc.

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