Popular Influencer Phei Yong Partners With Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot To Open First Penang Outlet, Celebrating 50 Years Of Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations

Celebrating the launch of Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot at Sunway Carnival Mall, Penang
Celebrating the launch of Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot at Sunway Carnival Mall, Penang

More than 300 people flocked the grand opening of the first ZUI MA TOU HOT POT BY SHU DAXIA outlet in Penang as multi-hyphenate Malaysian YouTuber and content creator, Chan Phei Yong, more popularly known as Phei Yong, announced his official affiliation with Synergy Dining Group as the hot pot brand’s corporate partner. The announcement was made at the grand launch of the group’s first-ever Zui Ma Tou outlet in northern Malaysia on Friday, at Sunway Carnival Mall officiated by Penang Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, Wong Hon Wai, with the new outlet aiming to entice more tourist arrivals from China to Penang in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations.

“I eat hot pot frequently, but I realize while we have so many varieties of hot pot restaurants in Malaysia, there are not that many authentic Sichuan hot pot around,” said Phei Yong, explaining why he invested in the Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot brand alongside Synergy Dining.

“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, explaining the reason behind the expansion of the hot pot brand into Penang.

“I am pleased to work with Synergy Dining 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,” stated Phei Yong.

Phei Yong, a multi-hyphenate Malaysian Youtuber and Content Creator, officially announced his corporate partnership with Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot at the launch of hot pot brand’s first outlet in Penang at Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya
From left: Yap Kai Quan (Business Development Director, Synergy Dining Group), Dato’ Khoo Boo Lim (Board of Director, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau), Phei Yong (Corporate Partner of Zui Ma Tou), Wong Hon Wai (Penang State EXCO for Tourism & Creative Economy), Alex Yap (Managing Director, Synergy Dining Group), Elecher Lee (Corporate Partner, Zui Ma Tou), and Blair Wong (Deputy Managing Director of Synergy Dining Group) pouring the soup into the hot pot bowls marking the official opening of Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot at Sunway Carnival Mall, Penang
Phei Yong, Wong and Khoo presented the mock cheques to the representatives of the local charity homes, Silver Jubilee and Agape Home, as part of the grand opening celebration
Friends and family gathered at Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot’s first-ever Penang outlet to celebrate the grand opening and sample the menu

Zui Ma Tou’s expansion into Penang aligns with its overall brand strategy of establishing a presence in key culinary destinations worldwide. The restaurant aims to deliver authentic Sichuan cuisine to a global audience, with the Penang outlet serving as a pivotal step into this expansion plan.

Alex Yap, managing director of Synergy Dining Group, the culinary group behind Zui Ma Tou, outlined the group’s vision for the brand, “Our focus right now is to further expand into key locations in West Malaysia, with the first 3 locations being in the Klang Valley, Penang and the upcoming one, Johor Bahru before we venture out into Sabah and Sarawak. As we go along, we will eventually begin planning to expand outside of Malaysia.”

“This store (Zui Ma Tou Sunway Carnival Mall outlet) features the pioneering concept of a tea house, where patrons can savor selected teas alongside their hot pot, embodying a perfect fusion of cuisine and beverage,” pointed Yap. He also announced the group’s intention to acquire the rights to franchise the Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot brand in South East Asia. “This will enable us to bring our distinguished dining experiences to a wider audience where we will localize our offerings to suit the multicultural setting of ASEAN. It is a testament to our dedication in spreading the richness of Chinese cuisine across the region,” he exclaimed.

Zui Ma Tou is not Synergy Dining’s first hot pot or food & beverage (F&B) venture. The culinary group also owns and operates other renowned brands like 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).

Applauding the government’s recent move to implement a 30-day visa-free policy to tourists from China, Wong highlighted that in April 2024 alone, Penang welcomed 5,655 Chinese tourists, marking a 162.2% increase from the 2,157 visitors in the same period last year. “By May 2024, the number of Chinese tourists arriving in Penang soared to 7,247, a substantial 211.7% growth compared to the 2,325 visitors in May 2023,” he said.

He also touched on the ongoing Chinese premier’s maiden visit here as part of the celebration of the country’s golden jubilee anniversary since diplomatic relations with Malaysia began, expecting the visit to result in more cooperations between the two countries. Wong noted the recent increase in the number of direct flight routes from major Chinese cities like Xiamen, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai to Penang. “Next month, we will welcome the inaugural direct flight from Shenzhen to Penang,” he added, anticipating more tourist arrivals from the republic.

“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.”

The grand opening festivities included an officiating soup-pouring ceremony as well as a unique and contemporary lion dance performance that blends traditional lion dance with exciting street dance elements. Guests were also provided the opportunity to enjoy complimentary tastings of signature dishes and participate in exciting giveaways, including a special interactive session where Phei Yong distributed 300 cups of Zui Ma Tou’s signature milk tea in one hour.

As part of the grand opening celebration, 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.

Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot is dedicated to authenticity and quality, sourcing the finest ingredients and adhering 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-Flavored 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, which are available only at this outlet.

A diverse selection of broths is available, ranging from the iconic Sichuan Mala Butter Soup to Golden Soup with Fish Maw, White Pepper Pork Stomach Soup, and Tomato and Mushroom soup bases, catering to a wide audience of food enthusiasts, families, students, and groups of friends seeking a memorable dining experience.

Zui Ma Tou Hot Pot’s new outlet represents a fusion of tradition and innovation, bringing an authentic taste of Sichuan cuisine to Penang. The restaurant looks forward to sparking excitement and creating a buzz in Penang’s food scene, welcoming guests to experience the unique flavors of Zui Ma Tou.