Batu Pahat Buy: GN Food & Biscuits (满發糕饼店) Teochew La Piah
One of the best things to do when visiting smaller towns in Malaysia is to search for local-made products. And one the traditional pastries that can be found in Batu Pahat is the Teochew la piah (潮州朥饼) at GN Food & Biscuit (满發传统手工糕饼店) that is located along Jalan Abu Bakar.
"朥" (pronouced as "lao" in Traditional Chinese), means the fatty meat of animals or fats /oil that is extracted from frying fatty meat. The biscuits that are baked using animal fat-oil are called "朥饼". However, in Simplified Chinese, it is called "腊饼“ or la piah.
GN Food & Biscuit's traditional la piah are available in two sizes with different fillings. The bigger-size biscuit is RM10 per piece (2022). For the smaller biscuits, the price is RM2 per piece and only RM13 for a set of 7 assorted pieces (2022). Getting 7 pieces of different flavours is cheaper and is a great way to try all the flavours. It is also a good idea to get some sets of la piah as gifts.
The smaller la piah have 7 types of fillings (although the signage shows only 6). The available flavours are:
black bean paste + salty mung bean paste (鸳鸯)
pandan + salty mung bean paste (翡翠明珠)
pandan + black bean paste (碧玉明月)
winter melon + black bean paste (双清)
black bean paste (黑豆沙)
The photo below shows a pandan + salty mung bean paste biscuit (翡翠明珠) on the left and a winter melon + black bean paste biscuit (双清) to the right. Although the fillings are supposed to be sweet, they do not taste too sweet.
The big la piah (大朥饼) has 4 different types of fillings, known as the Four Heavenly King (四大天王), in each piece. The sweet fillings are lotus (莲蓉), rose-flavoured red bean (玫瑰豆沙), pandan (翡翠) and winter melon (水晶冬瓜). To make the biscuits suitable for vegetarians, vegetable oil is used in place of animal fat-oil.
The big la piah is thicker and quite large (roughly equivalent to about 3~4 of the smaller biscuits). The flavours of the fillings are surprisingly distinguishable, taste nice and not too sweet. The crust is still crispy when consumed within 2 days.
Apart from la piah, GN Food & Biscuit makes and sells other types of traditional pastries too, including the Chinese-favourite sweet and salty mung bean biscuits. Their salty mung bean biscuits or tau sar peah (咸豆沙饼) have crispy layered crusts with savoury-sweet fillings.
I have not tried all the flavours of the la piah and will plan another trip to Batu Pahat to try the rest.
GN Food & Biscuits (HQ) (满發糕饼店)
180, Jalan Abu Bakar, Kampung Pegawai, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
9am ~ 8pm | Daily