Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot launches first Penang branch, celebrating 50 years of Malaysia-China diplomatic ties

July 2, 2024

Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot has launched its first branch in Penang, broadening the state's culinary offerings for tourists to celebrate 50 years of Malaysia's diplomatic relations with China.

More than 300 people flocked to the grand opening of Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot by Shu Da Xia in Sunway Carnival Mall, where Malaysian YouTuber Chan Phei Yong, popularly known as Phei Yong, announced his official affiliation with Synergy Dining Group as the hot pot brand’s corporate partner.

“I eat hot pot frequently, but I realise while we have so many varieties of hot pot restaurants in Malaysia, there are not that many authentic Sichuan hot pot (restaurants) around,” Phei Yong said.

“As we know, Penang is the top food destination in the country. But before deciding to venture into Penang, I asked some of my Penang friends to try out Zui Ma Tou in the Klang Valley first, after which I received their seals of approval,” he added.

“I am pleased to work with Synergy Dining Group alongside the support shown by the Penang government through the state’s tourism and creative economy exco in attracting more tourists, particularly from China, to visit the state. It is the aim of Zui Ma Tou to become one of the top must-visit restaurants in the Penang tourism scene."

The opening, officiated by Penang Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, Wong Hon Wai, marks a new milestone in the brand's efforts to bring authentic Sichuan cuisine to a global audience.

“Our focus right now is to further expand into key locations in West Malaysia, with the first three locations being in the Klang Valley, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak. As we go along, we will eventually begin planning to expand throughout all Southeast Asian countries," said Alex Yap, managing director of Synergy Dining Group, the culinary group behind Zui Ma Tou.

“This store (in Sunway Carnival Mall) features the pioneering concept of a tea house, where patrons can savour selected teas alongside their hot pot, embodying a perfect fusion of cuisine and beverage,” Alex said. 

“Naturally, Chinese tourists visiting Penang will sample the local delicacies. However, Chinese restaurants like Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot also provide these travelers with a taste of home during their stay in Penang, alleviating any homesickness.”

Alex also announced that the group has successfully obtained licensing rights for Southeast Asia and has opened the first overseas Shu Da Xia Hot Pot in Bangkok. Additionally, the group is set to open its second overseas licensed store in Cambodia.

Synergy Dining Group also owns and operates Shu Da Xia Hot Pot, Wu Hou Fu Hot Pot, SUPAMALA Hot Pot and Happ Happ Sichuan Street Food (formerly known as The Taste of Time).

As part of the grand opening, Zui Ma Tou invited guests from nearby charity homes, namely Pertubuhan Kebajikan Agape Pulau Pinang and Silver Jubilee Home for the Aged, which received charitable contributions, with the restaurant providing food supplies and essential items worth RM10,000, signaling the brand’s commitment to engage with local communities and social responsibility.

The grand opening included a soup-pouring ceremony as well as a unique contemporary lion dance performance that blended traditional lion dance with exciting street dance elements. Guests also enjoyed complimentary tastings of signature dishes and participated in giveaways, including a special interactive session where Phei Yong distributed 300 cups of Zui Ma Tou’s signature milk tea in one hour.

Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot sources the finest ingredients and adheres to traditional Sichuan recipes. Signature dishes such as Twice-Cooked Pork, Boiled Pork Belly with Garlic Sauce, Sichuan Boiled Pork Slices, Double Pepper Beef, and Fish-Flavoured Shredded Pork are crafted to delight hot pot enthusiasts. The Penang location also features exclusive menu items, including Tiger Prawn Shrimp Paste, Beef Tongue and the Zui Ma Tou Offal Combo.

A diverse selection of broths is available, from Sichuan Mala Butter Soup to Golden Soup with Fish Maw, White Pepper Pork Stomach Soup, and Tomato and Mushroom soup bases.