Established in George Town, Penang, Malaysia in 1955 then under the name of Kwan Loong Sauce Factory, Kilang Kicap San Kwan Loong Sdn Bhd, has served several generations of culinary discerning Penangites with its traditional and uniquely brewed soy sauce.
Soy sauce is undoubtedly an indispensable condiment to the food culture of the Chinese. No delicious cuisine nor a master chef can do without it. This sauce has a unique fragrance, enhances flavours of food and can even promotes appetite for blandest of food. Soy sauce is not unique to just Chinese cuisine but has already become an integral condiment to food of our various races and cultures of our nation and international too.
The time consuming process of making soy sauce includes cooking the soya beans, fermenting the beans in a flour mix and sun brewing the fermented mix in brine solution till maturity.
This production method is still being practiced by the 83yr old craft master of Kilang Kicap San Kwan Loong Sdn Bhd. The master and his brother both inherited this enterprise from their founding mother, firmly believe till today, that only tradition methods can produce traditional products.
In the modern era of industrial food science and technology, many food industries have applied scientific production methods to hasten production and efficiencies. However, the 2 brothers are still steadfast to their production practices as modern ways will not get the same result as that of a time-honored secret recipe. They have no regrets holding on to this tradition and are of the opinion that a matured consumer will eventually taste the difference between a traditional and a modern product. The fact that this old establishment still exist today is a testimony of the support of its matured consumers having acquired the unique taste.
While reminiscing the nostalgic 1960s, when manual labour and the cudgel were the workhorse, marketing/advertisement is minimal if any, by way of a loud hailer while on the move, where deliveries and door to door sales in Georgetown and the very far away new suburban Air Itam and Green Lane were by a leg-peddled tricycle, the use and re-use of recycled glass bottles, of walk-in customers buying their day to day usage filled into their bring-along glass bottles in volumes measured by an unconventional bamboo ladle and the daching that weighed in katis instead of kilos, the 2 brothers now in their 80s, are rather unsettled by the challenges ahead and the lack of appreciation of the craft of making soy sauce among the young generation.
Nothwithstanding above, the 2 brothers will, as in all these years, personally inspect vats of freshly brewed soy sauce each morning to ascertain only the highest quality is being packed and shipped out to the market.