Tag / penang-food
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, 101.319595
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
One of my favorite comfort hawker dishes in Penang is the kuih teow th’ng, or kuih teow soup. This simple dish is prevalent on the island, but isn’t exactly popular at all in Klang Valley, most likely due to its similarity with pork noodle and fish ball/ fish meat noodle places.
So whenever I’m back in Penang, I usually try to sneak in a couple bowls of yummy kuih teow soup.
the kuih teow soup that used to be at Pitt Street, now at Lebuh Carnarvon
One of my favorite places that offers a good bowl of kuih teow soup was the stall at by Armenian and Pitt Street, and in fact I’ve written about the place more than 6 years ago in this entry, which is due for an update anyway.
The same stall has since moved to Lebuh Carnarvon, a stone’s throw away in the opposite direction of the famous (and probably the best) fried oyster omelete at Seng Thor kopitiam on the same road.
simple, light, and delicious kuih teow soup
Over the Chinese New Year break, we stopped by there for a light lunch. For the four of us, we ordered kuih teow soup with extra “meat sheet” for everyone, and an extra bowl of fish ball soup to share. I’d have added intestines and other innards but unfortunately they’d ran out of those goodies by the time we were there.
The fish ball here is home made with eel (鳗鱼) as the major ingredient, which results in a unique softer texture and exquisite taste that is quite different from your run off the mill smooth wolf herring fish ball (西刀鱼)
we ordered extra fish balls and absolutely finished everything
We really enjoyed the extra “meat sheet” as well. It’s made of pork and carries a slightly salty but savory taste to it, a bit like a flattened smooth meat ball for the lack of a better description. The kuih teow soup also comes with fried garlic oil, lard, and duck meat. For only a few ringgit per pax including drinks, we were well satisfied with lunch.
Parking can be a bit of a hassle when you dine here, but nothing a bit of patience won’t resolve.
Pitt Street Kuih Teow Soup
183, Carnarvon Street,
GPS: 5.414863, 100.334439
Tel: 017-479 3208
This is another one of my go-to curry mee places whenever I’m back to Penang visiting mom. If you love unadulterated Penang curry mee, you would enjoy this one.
kedai kopi new cathay has a pretty good curry mee stall
The kopitiam is located by the intersection of Jalan Burma and Lorong Kucing, offering many of your usual suspects when it comes to hawker foods from Penang – laksa, curry mee, char kuih teow, chicken rice and so forth. Parking isn’t usually a huge hassle thanks to the commercial centers right next door, but the shop can be quite a bit busy during breakfast/brunch hours.
yum yum, coagulated blood, loved by my niece too
For only RM 3.50 per bowl, the curry mee comes with cockles, one prawn, tofu pok, coagulated blood (my favorite, of course), a fish ball, and cuttle fish. You get to choose your favorite mee/meehun combination, and have as much of those fragrant and spicy sambal as you want.
I enjoy their almost mee-goreng style cuttle fish as well, brings a slightly different taste to the normal cuttle fish preparation. The prawn’s a bit smallish but hey, it’s RM 3.50.
Overall taste is superb and I’d have it any day. The only thing missing is a couple mint leaves, but I guess you can’t have it all every time.
good old fashion apom, get them fresh and warm here
And since hawker dishes in Penang are usually only 70% of what you get in KL in terms of portions, it make perfect sense to add some apom to the meal while you’re at it. The stall claims to be offering the best apom manis in town and will happily trade 6 steamy hot apom for RM 3.00. These too are yummy especially when consumed piping hot, slightly crispy on the outer layer, and sweet, creamy inside. Try it!
Oh, the steamed otak otak here is not too shabby either. If you’re in Penang, this kopitiam sure is a pretty decent place to visit for breakfast or lunch.
Kedai Kopi New Cathay
Lorong Kucing off Jalan Burma
10350, Pulau Tikus, Penang
GPS: 5.432376, 100.309504
Char kuih kak (fried radish cake) might not be in many people’s radar when it comes to Penang hawker food. It is somewhat a less glamorous dish compared to the likes of char kuih teow, laksa, curry mee, and hokkien mee (prawn mee).
The reason is probably due to the relative rarity of this dish, there aren’t many places that offers them in Penang, and generally only available at pasar malam in Klang Valley as a bit of a novelty dish. It’s a shame really, cos I absolutely love char kuih kak, and none of them at pasar malam around Klang Valley manage to impress me thus far.
batu lanchang food court, just right next to the wet market
So last weekend while traveling back to attend Tim & Audrey‘s wedding, Haze and I stopped by Batu Lanchang wet market’s food court for some char kuih kak love.
I have a bit of history with this char kuih kak stall, it used to operate at the (now defunct) Fettes Park market in the morning nearby where I grew up, and at current location in the afternoon. I had it pretty much on a weekly basis as a kid. It’s good to see that the same stall is still doing well after all these years.
char kuih kak is what I came for
By default, char kuih kak is a pretty bare dish with radish cake, bean sprout, egg, and preserved vegetable. However, over here you have the option of adding seafood and spice it up a bit, which we did.
The result is a plate of char kuih kak worth RM 4 but laden with a couple good size prawns, cockles, squid, and crab stick. It was the same old taste that I remember, savory, strong, and absolutely delicious. A bit like char kuih teow but with more texture, try it!
You can opt for either chicken or duck egg, ours was RM 4 per plate with chicken egg (ran out of duck egg that day).
curry mee and laksa were our second dishes
Of course, one does not simply consume only one dish per meal in Penang. I ordered a follow up dish in the form of curry mee from the stall located behind the #42 kuih kak. This was only RM 2.80 and came with prawns (small size lah), coagulated blood, cockles, tofupok, cuttle fish, and even mint leaves. It was fairly decent and absolutely worth what I paid for, would not hesitate to have it again.
it was hot and we were sweating, but it was worth it (blue case – invisalign)
Haze ordered a bowl of asam laksa (RM 3) instead, and yep, it’s laden with fish meat, vegetable, and managed to satisfy her Penang laksa craving, even just for a while.
We had a couple glasses of fresh sugar cane juice to go with these as well at RM 1.20 a pop.
That brought our total for this late lunch to RM 16.20, which is almost RM 12 cheaper than our breakfast at this Hometown Hainan Coffee in Taman Megah where we had 4 half boil eggs, 2 sets of toast bread with kaya + butter, 1 carrot juice, and a large coffee. I vow never to go back that chain again.
Batu Lanchang market
Lorong Batu Lanchang
Jelutong, 11600 Penang
GPS: 5.38945, 100.30633