Prawn mee is only called prawn mee if you’re in Klang Valley, which is a bit funny since it is a dish that is originated from Penang, and up North we always called it Hokkien mee. It is unfortunate that Hokkien Mee is referred to something that looks like a plate of greased up worm instead of this glorious bowl of some of the finest creations from the Hokkien clan.
Heng Lee kopitiam at Sungai Way
Anyway, today I want to introduce to you one of my latest hawker find, the prawn mee stall at Sungai Way, first made aware to me by one of my instagram followers. A hawker stall at Heng Lee kopitiam located right opposite Sungai Way morning market on the main road with the entrance from Federal Highway.
glorious bowl of Penang style prawn mee
For RM 6, you get a bowl of prawn mee with all the proper ingredients such as prawn, boiled egg (a whole egg in this case), pork slices, kangkung, bean sprout, your favorite noodle/meehun, and even a few slices of fish paste which I don’t really care much about. The chili paste here is pretty decent, but the stand out part of this dish would be the broth, which I thought was really on point.
One thing to note, this stall serves Penang Laksa instead of prawn mee on Wednesday, something which I thought is a bit of a funny dish for breakfast, but whatever rock your socks. Give it a try if you’re a fan of these dishes.
Heng Lee Kopitiam (opposite wet market)
611 Jalan SS 9a/1,
Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.086479, 101.620678
As someone who’s born and bred in Penang, we obviously love our hawker dishes, and hence it is always a mission for many of us Penangites to find the local taste right here in KL whenever we can.
New Apollos kopitiam at USJ 4
Now when most think about hawker foods in Penang, curry mee, prawn mee, laksa, and char kuih teow is often high on the list, and if you mention kuih teow th’ng (or kuih teow soup), many don’t even realize how difficult it is to find a place that offers the dish here in KL. Hence when I accidentally ended up at Restaurant New Apollos in USJ 4 and saw this stall, I knew it was something I had to order.
proper Penang style kuih teow th’ng
The operator (not the one in the picture, she was just the helper) speaks Penang Hokkien, which passed the first litmus test whenever I order Penang food.
When the bowl of kuih teow soup arrived, I was already pretty happy. The dish looked the part, with three fishballs, shredded steamed chicken, a few slices of fish cakes, vegetable, fried garlic, and a few bits of lard.
I was well satisfied with the kuih teow soup
As for the taste, this RM 5 bowl of goodness hits all the right spots. It might lack strips of duck blood, but the fish balls and fish cakes had the right texture and tasted rather good. Portion was not overly big like other KL hawker dishes, and the shredded chicken cooked just right as well.
In fact, I liked it so much I rode all the way from Damansara Perdana to USJ 4 just for this yesterday. This kuih teow soup is now on the top of my list so far as Klang Valley is concerned.
Restaurant New Apollos
2, Jln USJ4/6B
GPS: 3.051770, 101.576209
Hours: Lunch and Breakfast, Closed on Tuesdays
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
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!