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Whenever everyone mentioned Penang, char kuih teow is surely one of the topics of conversation, and inevitably the issue of where about to have the best char kuih teow will come up.

The answer varies depending on who you asks. Many will mention the two Lorong Selamat hawkers, some will mention Ah Leng CKT, while others will point to Siam Road char kuih teow, our topic of the day.

the stall is located at the corner of Siam Road
the stall is located at the corner of Siam Road 

The char kuih teow stall is located at Siam Road by the intersection of Anson Road, just right opposite Hock Ban Hin kopitiam where you can consume your precious plate of char kuih teow.

The old uncle has been in this trade for decades, and business seems to be ever more popular. Wait time can be quite brutal if you are there on a Saturday afternoon (we waited for almost an hour), so don’t go there when you’re starving.

glorious char kuih teow that packs a punch
glorious char kuih teow that packs a punch

The char kuih teow (RM 5.50) here is rather old school, it’s plenty oily but with good “wok hei”. The prawns are of decent size but not of the giant “gourmet” variety found at Lorong Selamat, and there’s lap cheong (Chinese sausage), cockles, chives, bean sprouts, kuih teow, and more importantly, chunks of fried lard as well.

chunks of fried pork lard can be found in this dish
chunks of fried pork lard can be found in this dish

I also find the char kuih teow here a bit more spicy than other places, but well within most Penangite’s tolerance level (seeing that we love our curry mee, prawn mee etc).

If you’re a char kuih teow lover, this is one of the places that you’ll have to try at least once.

direction to siam road char kuih teow

Address:
Siam Road char kuih teow
Jalan Siam,
10400 Penang
GPS: 5.415456, 100.320352
Hours3pm-11pm, closed on Mondays
HGW: Siam Road CKT

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
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

yep, these prawns are massive!
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
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
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
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!

It’s been a while since I last went to the SS2 Pasar Malam (every Monday night), so I thought it’ll be good to check it out again and grab dinner while we’re at it.

The SS2 Pasar Malam is one of the biggest night markets in the country, and almost the same size as the Connaught version (every Wednesday). Parking is usually a tricky affair, but if you’re willing to walk for a few minutes, there are ample parking at the residential area surrounding the SS2 square, where the pasar malam is held.

Taiping char kuih teow at SS2 pasar malam
Taiping char kuih teow at SS2 pasar malam

After walking about a bit, I spotted this Taiping char kuih teow stall situated just opposite McDonald’s restaurant. Seeing that business is pretty brisk, I decided to give it a try.

Of course, I had to order with Hokkien as a standard litmus test to any hawker who claims to be offering Northern food, this one passed.

the char kuih teow stall, opposite McDonald's at SS2
the char kuih teow stall, opposite McDonald’s at SS2

The plate of char kuih teow (I had kuih teow + mee) that came was quite a good looking one. With an extra egg prepared over-easy that had some sweet soya sauce sprinkled on top, a little bit like the fried egg we had Restaurant Muar at Tengkat Tong Shin, which was a good thing.

it was delicious, did not disappoint at all
it was delicious, did not disappoint at all

There were no prawns in this version of CKT, but luckily plenty of fresh cockles to go around. Execution was great and there was definitely plenty of “wok hei” in this dish. I would not hesitant to order this again. If you’re a char kuih teow lover, check out this version.

At RM 6 a plate with that extra egg, it is a little bit on the expensive side, but I thought it was worth it nonetheless.

tofu bakar as snack, very appropriate
tofu bakar as snack, very appropriate

After the char kuih teow, we met Edvin, our dive master, by coincidence, and he introduced us this tofu bakar for dessert.

At RM 4.50 a box, you get crispy tofu bakar with prawn crackers, a layer of sweet prawn sauce, chili paste, chicken floss, and some fresh cucumber. It claimed to be from Penang but I’ve never seen anything like this back home. Very tasty nonetheless.

salt baked chicken, I had it for breakfast the next day
salt baked chicken, I had it for breakfast the next day

Lastly, we also ordered some salt baked chicken to go. The drumstick + thigh version cost RM 7 a piece and made for awesome breakfast the next day, though I imagine it’d be even better if I had some porridge to go with as that’d tone down the saltiness just a bit.

I need to go to the Pasar Malam again!

map to SS2 Pasar Malam

Address:
SS2 Pasar Malam
Jalan SS2/61
Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor
GPS3.117366, 101.621668

As someone who were born in Penang, one of the most difficult thing I had to adjust to when moving to KL was the quality of char kuih teow. While most stalls around the Klang Valley has the name “Penang” slabbed on the signboard, decent plate of this Penang signature hawker dish is pretty hard to come by.

So over the years, it’s been one of my missions to note down the decent char kuih teow stalls, places I would go again and again whenever I need to fix my CKT cravings.

Tips: If you speak Penang Hokkien, always order using this awesome brand of dialect. It is my litmus test of Penang food authenticity.

So here are five CKT places you should check out, two of which are pork free versions.

Penang char kuih teow at Lot 10, Hutong (non halal)
Lot 10 Hutong duck egg char kuih teow

Surprisingly, one of the better char kuih teow stalls in found within a modern food court that is Lot 10 Hutong. While prices is slightly higher than from kopitiam stalls, you get a couple decent size prawns and pretty generous serving size. Cockles, Chinese sausage, and even lard is present in this dish.

By the way, always ask for duck egg as I find it enhance the taste of char kuih teow considerably. A plate costs slightly over RM 10, but you do get air conditioning and very hygienic setting.

Lot 10 Hutong CKT stall, Lower Ground Floor Lot 10 Shopping Mall, Jalan Bukit Bintang KL |  Hours: Breakfast to Dinner

best char kueh teow in PJ
Char Kuih Teow at Kam Heong kopitiam, PJ State

For a plate of old school lard laden char kuih teow, nothing beats the CKT stall at Kam Heong kopitiam in PJ State. The kuih teow used here is slightly fatter, and lard usage is rather generous as well. The operator previously operated at the other end of the same row of shops, but has since taken over at this new location directly next to UOB bank.

You don’t get plus size prawns here, but prices are very reasonable at around RM 5-6 per plate.

CKT at Kam Heong kopitiam | 8 Jalan Tengah, Off Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jay | Hours: Breakfast and Lunch

Robert char kueh teow at say huat
Robert CKT at Restaurant Say Huat

For those who went to University Malaya, Robert Char Kuih Teow needs no introduction. This is one of the most affordable good CKT you can find this side of Petaling Jaya (like most hawker foods in Seksyen 17 actually).

The dish is served on banana leave, with all classic CKT ingredients included.

Robert CKT | Restaurant Say Huat, 1083, Jalan 17/29, 46400 Selangor | Hours: Breakfast and Lunch


Restaurant Jamal Mohamed with Aunty Gemuk char kuih teow

For those who prefer pork free/halal char kuih teow, Aunty Gemuk at Restaurant Jamal Mohamed at Kelana Jaya serves up a pretty good dish.

The CKT here is a little more moist, consistent with most Malay style CKT. Very flavourful and easy to eat, one of my favorite pork free CKT ever.

Aunty Gemuk CKT | Restoran Jamal Mohamed, 24, Jalan SS5A/9, Kelana Jaya | Hours: all day

Char Kueh Teow halal
with cili padi and prawns in shells, Lau Wan CKT

Lau Wan Char Kuih Teow, previously operating at Restaurant Jaya and now at the food court in on Jalan SS 3/33, is another Malay style CKT worth checking out.

The prawns is cooked whole, and somewhat interestingly, there’s a side of cili padi and soya sauce on the side of this char kuih teow. It is wet, peppery, but rather delicious in a slightly different, not so typical CKT type of way. There’s plenty of “wok hei”, and definitely satisfying.

Lau Wan CKT | food court, Jalan SS 3/33, Kelana Jaya | Hours: morning to night

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
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
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!
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.

map to kafe khoon hiang, Jalan Dato Keramat

Address:
Ah Leng Char Kuih Teow
Kafe Khoon Hiang
358 Jalan Dato Keramat,
10150 Penang
GPS: 5.412985, 100.319595
Tel: 012-498 3962
Hours: 8:30 am to 2:30 pm (closed on Thursdays)

Ah Leng Char Koay Teow