Category / Penang
On my last trip back to Penang, I caught up with my sister for late lunch, and since she is a lot more well versed with Penang food than me (not having stayed on the island the past 20 years), I naturally asked her to suggest a place.
We ended up at Hai Beng kopitiam for some good old fashion Hainan Lor Mee (卤面)
Hai Beng kopitiam at Pulau Tikus, Penang
Situated at the junction of Jones Road and Burma Road, Hai Beng kopitiam is a typical Chinese run coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch with a variety of hawker stalls, including the lor mee and a Malay nasi kandar stall which is rather popular (another post on another day).
Parking isn’t too hard to come by, and with plenty of trees around the premise, the restaurant is rather comfortable too.
plenty of extra ingredients for your choosing
The Lor Mee has been around since the independence of the country, and offers many add ons if you crave for extra porky goodness. This includes lor bak (卤肉), pig’s ear, 3-layer pork, pork knuckle, intestine, and so forth.
wholesome loh mee, we added some pork skin
For lunch, we ordered lor mee with pork skin. It comes with the usual ingredients of noodle and meehun, bean sprouts, pork slices, hard boiled eggs, and those thick, flavorful gravy. Splash some home made chili sauce and fresh garlic paste and you have a bowl of awesome hawker delights worthy of instagram, and your stomach.
Unlike most hawker stalls that offers lor mee in conjunction with Hokkien mee (also known as prawn mee), this stall specialized only on lor mee, all for RM 4 (small), and RM 5.50 (big). Of course, you pay a bit more for additional ingredients.
Now, I need to find a good version in KL.
Hainan Lor Mee
Kedai Kopi Hai Beng
Jones Road & Burma Road, Penang
A couple weeks ago I went back to Penang for a short stay, while I usually take every chance possible to catch up with Penang street foods, this time I decided to try something slightly different by going to the Hainanese Delights restaurant within 1926 Heritage Hotel on Burma Road (where I also spent the night, but that’ll be on another post)
chicken curry kapitan at Hainanese Delights, 1926 Heritage Hotel
The restaurant is actually operated by my friend’s dad since about 4-5 years ago. A true blue Hainanese family who follows the traditional recipes of the forefathers.
For the four of us, we started out with the chicken curry kapitan (RM 15) with some “Bengali roti”, the traditional Indian bread that’s has a crispy brown crust but super fluffy inside. The chicken peels off the bones easily, and the curry kapitan carries an intense flavor that goes very well with the equally fragrant bread, I can imagine having this as a great breakfast.
braised lamb with lady’s fingers, lorbak & spring roll
Penang lorbak, or lohbak (RM 5.50 per roll) is usually made with pork, but as this is a pork free restaurant, they substitute it with chicken. I must admit that I had my doubts at first, but they’ve really done a fine job with the poultry and the result is a version of lorbak that live up to the reputation.
The spring roll (RM 5.50 per roll) here is another one of their best sellers, stuffed with crab meat and other ingredients. Dipping it with their specially mixed lea & perrins sauce that carries a hint of mustard resulting in a pretty complex and rather delicious appetiser that’s unlike your normal run off the mill spring rolls. This is something I’ll definitely order again.
Braised lamb with lady’s fingers (RM 20) consists of 5 slabs of tender New Zealand lamb covered in brown sauce that goes perfectly with those steamed okra. You can have it with some steamed rice, or perhaps, beer?
assam prawns, Hainanese fried mee
Assam prawns (RM 7.00 each, min 4) is more of a Nyonya dish than Hainanese (I cooked this too), but the chef did a fine job preparing this dish, though I thought it would be great if they serve it with some sambal.
Lastly, we also tried the Hainanese fried mee (RM 8.90) from the kitchen. A dish that can definitely stand on its own with a combination of vegetables, chicken, prawns, and a side of sambal with a kick.
These were just a small sample of what is offered at Hainanese Delights, other dishes include lobster thermidor, crab mornay, Hainanese mushroom soup, inchee kay bin, yam duck, lamb stew, lamb curry, and of course, their pretty famous Hainanese chicken rice (which I had to forgo trying due to schedule). I’m going to bring mom here next time I’m back!
wenqi and her awesome cakes, tianchad & gf, KY & wenqi
We ended the night with some cookies and cheese cakes made by WenQi. These are some really delicious cakes made with quality ingredients, and she is starting to sell them at the restaurant and on her own as well. Will update this space when that is ready!
Thank you WenQi and see you again!
1926 Heritage Hotel
227 Jalan Burma,
10050 Georgetown, Penang
GPS: 5.42415, 100.32063
Tel: 04-228 1926
It’s pretty much a truce that Penang offers one of the best hawker foods anywhere, you almost plan up a whole weeks’ itinerary filled with different hawker foods and never have to visit the same place twice. The problem is, what if you only have a day?
Well, to make your life simpler, here’s 5 different places you could visit in a single day to sample some of the best from Penang. Food portions on the island is usually not too big, so 5 meals a day is just about right for anyone with a normal appetite. For extra credit, you can always fit in another couple meals in between.
Ah Hai kuih teow soup at Kim Lee kopitiam
Breakfast starts at Kim Lee kopitiam. Ah Hai’s kuih teow soup starts at around 7:30 am and would operate around 3pm. The kuih teow soup here offers bouncy home made fish ball, delicious fish cake, slices of duck meat, and most importantly, coagulated duck blood, as the original recipe calls for.
This place has been in existence for some 60 years, and still offers one of the best kuih teow th’ng there is on the island.
Ah Hai kuih teow soup | Kedai Makanan Kim Lee, Lorong Macalister, Penang | 7:30 am to 3 pm
char kuih teow at Dato’ Keramat – Ah Leng’s
For lunch, we continue keep our focus on kuih teow, but this time the fried version – the all important Penang char kuih teow.
While the two stalls at Lorong Selamat gets all the glitz and glamour, I find Ah Leng char kuih teow at Dato’ Keramat a more than worthy alternative. The fried kuih teow here has the customary huge prawns, lard, chives, duck egg, and for extras – mantis prawns (for RM 11 per plate). Pure ecstasy for those who loves this signature Penang dish.
Ah Leng char kuih teow | Kafe Khoon Hiang, 358 Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang | 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, closed on Thursdays
famous Balik Pulau laksa near the market
From Dato’ Keramat, drive up to Ayer Itam and through Payer Terubong to where the best laksa is found at Nang Guang kopitiam, Balik Pulau.
The asam laksa here comes in two different varieties, the usual asam style, and the richer lemak style, which is closer to the traditional Nyonya recipe. Neither would disappoint even the harshest laksa critics. The soup is flavorful and packed with fish meat, even the prawn paste has an extra kick to it.
If you’re to pack some for the journey back to Klang Valley (or anywhere else), they do it rather professionally with soup, prawn paste, and main ingredients all packed separately.
Balik Pulau Laksa | Nan Guang kopitiam, 67, Jalan Balik Pulau, 11000, Balik Pulau, Penang | Hours: morning to late lunch
mixed pork porridge at New Lane
In the evening, make your way back from Balik Pulau to the city center and stop by New Lane for something that isn’t readily associated with Penang – mixed pork porridge.
This is another stall that has been in business for decades and is still going strong as ever. A bowl of mixed pork porridge comes with delicious crispy intestine, pork tongue, slices of char siu, some spring onion, and pepper. Pretty simple list of ingredients, but one that tickles just the right spots on the tongue.
Pork Intestine Porridge (Chee Cheong Chock) | New Lane, Georgetown, Penang | Hours: from 6 pm till midnight
Green House hokkien mee and loh mee at Jalan Burma
For supper, head up just a few hundred meters to the East of New Lane to find the original Green House prawn mee stall at Jalan Burma.
This prawn mee and loh mee stall offers many ingredients you don’t typically find – home made fish ball, meat ball, sausage, pork skin, chicken feet, instine, and more can be added as extras to the prawn mee/loh mee for extra kicks. By default, they come with pork slices, prawns, hard boiled egg, fried shallots, and chili paste.
Green House hokkien mee | Jalan Burma, Georgetown, Penang (Opposite Chew Thean Yeang Aquarium) | Hours: dinner till late
Of course, I’ve missed out many other hawker stalls that are “must tries”, but if you have only 24 hours to go, this list should not disappoint. Happy eating!
While back in Penang for cheng beng last weekend, I also decided to try a char kuih teow place which I haven’t been before. After all, after having not lived in Penang for the past 18 years or so, there are many places that aren’t exactly new, but they are new to me.
A bit of Google-Fu and I ended up at Ah Leng char kuih teow at Kafe Khoon Hiang, located on Jalan Dato Keramat, between Penang Times Square and the old Stadium Bandaraya Pulau Pinang.
Ah Leng char kuih teow at Kafe Khoon Hiang
The kopitiam is just like any other in Penang, with an assortment of hawker stalls offering many local dishes. Situated right at the front of the shop, Ah Leng char kuih teow is their most prominent stall (by the way, Leng means “Dragon” in Hokkien)
A plate of “normal” char kuih teow is priced at RM 6, and RM 10.50 gets you one with “extras”. If you prefer duck egg instead of the usual chicken egg, chip in another RM 0.50.
glorious char kuih teow with extra ingredients – big prawns, mantis prawns, duck egg
Being a person who’s slightly weak when it comes to resisting temptations, I naturally went for broke and ordered a plate with duck egg and everything in it.
The result was RM 11.00 lighter on my wallet, but in return I had a plate of absolutely gorgeous char kuih teow that has four really huge prawns, duck egg, bean sprouts, chives, kuih teow, and another ingredient that’s pretty unique to Ah Leng – mantis prawns.
yep, these prawns are massive!
While this costs a bit more than your usual hawker dishes, the prawns were super juicy and fresh, and the kuih teow too had just enough wok-hei for my liking. If you discount all the ingredients, it’s still an above average plate of kuih teow, but with all these extras, man, I can have it pretty frequent!
If you’re in Penang looking for a plate of memorable char kuih teow to have but don’t want to go to Lorong Selamat, this is definitely a more than worthy alternative.
Ah Leng Char Kuih Teow
Kafe Khoon Hiang
358 Jalan Dato Keramat,
GPS: 5.412985, 100.319595
Tel: 012-498 3962
Hours: 8:30 am to 2:30 pm (closed on Thursdays)
While many Penang hawker dishes such as char kuih teow, hokkien mee, and laksa are famous all over Malaysia, wantan mee is always a bit of an odd ball. Being a traditional Cantonese dish in a predominately Hokkien area, wantan mee was sort of adopted by the islanders.
the wantan mee stall at kedai kopi seng thor
Like languages and culture, food that is separated geographically from its place of origin usually evolve and adapt to the local taste. This is evident in the case of wantan mee in Penang as well.
sambal goes very well with wantan mee
A prime example is the wantan mee at Seng Thor kopitiam at Carnarvon street. The dry version comes with both deep fried and boiled wantan, vegetable, charsiu (bbq pork), and the all important Penang style sambal belacan.
While the chasiu isn’t nearly as good as those you usually find in Klang Valley (for some reasons charsiu in Penang is usually dyed and not nearly as flavorful), I like the extra dimensions offered by deep fried wantan, and of course, the sambal belacan makes a huge difference, pretty much transformed the entire dish like how chili pan mee is different from normal pan mee.
If you love sambal and food in general, you should try wantan mee here (and many other stalls in Penang).
of course, you shouldn’t miss the best ochien in town
Of course, if you are already in this kopitiam, don’t forget to order the fried oyster omelet here. One of the bests ever.
Kedai Kopi Seng Thor
160, Lebuh Carnarvon,
10100 Georgetown, Penang
GPS: 5.415495, 100.33468