Timothy Tye
Thin Seng Sauce Factory

Thin Seng Sauce FactoryThin Seng Sauce Factory (5 June 2011)

Thin Seng Sauce Factory is a traditional soya sauce factory in George Town, Penang. It operated in Kampung Malabar since 1912 until 2011, when it relocated to Jalan Gemas. The present owner inherited the business from his forefathers who started the business with a group of partners. His family held the majority share of the operations. They are Sin Ling people (similar as myself) from Toi San District in Guangdong Province, China.

In the early days, Thin Seng Sauce Factory exported its products to Indonesia and East Malaysia. It had up to 25 employees. Since then, it has reduced to just three family members running the business.

Thin Seng Sauce FactoryThin Seng Sauce Factory (5 June 2011)

I visited Thin Seng Sauce Factory with a group from the Penang Heritage Trust on our monthly site visit on 5 June, 2011. The proprietor and his daughter showed us around and described how soya sauce was made. In addition to the thick and thin soya sauce, Thin Seng Sauce Factory also produces tau chiau, the fermented soya beans used in cooking. Basically the different types of soya sauce and tau chiau come from different stage of the bean processing.

Thin Seng Sauce Factory 360° View (5 June 2011)

Presently Thin Seng Sauce Factory is one of the endangered trades of George Town. This is because their rental of the premises expires at the end of 2011, after which, they will be forced to relocate. Hence the factory is now looking for new premises to continue the enterprise.

Visiting Thin Seng Sauce Factory

Thin Seng Sauce Factory is now located along Jalan Gemas. It is at the eastern end of the road, at the junction with Lintang P. Ramlee. The best way to reach Thin Seng Sauce Factory today is to go by car. This is because Jalan Gemas does not have public transport routes. See the map for the location. Best to reach it via Terengganu Road.

Soyabean cookerSoyabean cooker (5 June 2011)

Drums containing thick soya sauceDrums containing thick soya sauce (5 June 2011)

The proprietor's daughter explaining the different stages of the soya-sauce-making processThe proprietor's daughter explaining the different stages of the soya-sauce-making process (5 June 2011)

Crystalized salt on the soyabeansCrystalized salt on the soyabeans (5 June 2011)

Thin Seng Sauce Factory at Jalan Gemas

The Thin Seng Sauce Factory moved to Jalan Gemas in March 2012. The proprietor's daughter recognised me as soon as I arrived. At the time of visit (Oct 2012), they haven't even put up their signboard yet. The site is smaller than the one at Kampung Malabar, but at least they can continue their trade.


Thin Seng Sauce Factory
79 Jalan Gemas
10460 Penang
Phone: +60 4 283 2998

Thin Seng Sauce Factory at its present location in Jalan Gemas, Penang (8 October, 2012)

Soya fermentation drums at Thin Seng Sauce Factory in Jalan Gemas (8 October, 2012)

Location of Thin Seng Sauce Factory on the map

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