Song River Cafe @ Gurney Drive, Penang

Song River Cafe is a popular hawker center along Gurney Drive which is reportedly to have good hawker food especially for their Bak Kut Teh, Hokkien Mee, BBQ Chicken and Roti Babi.
I read many good reviews about Song River in a Penang Food Guide so I just had to check it out myself. Besides, prior to the visit I have never heard of Roti Babi before – it sure has a funny name lol.

roti babi

And yeah, the very first food we ordered was Roti Babi. This classical Nyonya dish is basically French toast with minced pork as the filling.
The preparation involves sandwiching minced pork between two slices of bread, dipping them into beaten egg mixture and then deep fried.
It looks yummy but we were not impressed by the taste at all. It was bland with a weird flavor and even the sauce provided didn’t go well with it.
I am actually surprised to find many good reviews about it. Well, maybe it doesn’t suit our taste buds, to each his own.

hokkien mee

Next up was Hokkien Mee as recommended by the food guide (I am not revealing the book’s name and author) It was normal tasting only just like the rest, nothing to write home about.

fried oysters

Although fried oysters were not mentioned at all in the food guide, I decided to give it a try. Luckily it was not disappointing and we enjoyed it.

otak otak

I liked the otak otak because it was spicy enough and the blended fish was fresh. After starting with two disappointing dishes, things were finally starting to get better!

bbq chicken

The last food to arrive was the one we enjoyed the most – BBQ Chicken. Sweet and crispy on the outside while soft and juicy inside, the taste was superb. Besides chicken thigh and wings, it seems like the stall also sells BBQ spring chicken?

bbq chicken stall

Here, take a look. They are spring chickens, aren’t they? I wanted to try it but we were just too stuffed to continue eating. By the way, the boss actually thanked me for taking his stall’s photo, lol. I think it’s not the first time he has been photographed.

song river

Next time I will try the Dai Chow or Bak Kut Teh and give the other foods a miss. From what I observed, most people were there for these two stalls anyway. So, did any of you actually eaten in Song River before and enjoyed the Roti Babi?
I might give it another try in KL at Yut Kee kopitiam, I heard the coffee shop serves good Roti Babi too.

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Comments 19

  1. Toffees

    I dont really like the BKT served in Song River as the price compared to Zealand or other places is over priced.

    I like the Choo Char dishes in Song River…one of it is the steam stingray with special sauce ( the taste is tangy , a bit spicy n sweet )

    The malay guy sellin Satay is also not bad.. I like the chicken n mutton quite juicy

  2. lingzie

    i LOVE the bbq chicken wings here. absolute favourite bbq chic wings stall! :)
    and i do agree with you abt the roti babi. it doesnt really suit my taste as well, most prob cos the filling is too little. but this is not a very common dish sold by hawkers so its pretty unique. best roti baby i had was by my late grandma…. unfortunately no recipe though :(

    the dai chow is also good and the mutton satay! :)

    lingzie’s last blog post..Padang Brown Popiah

  3. deb

    that place actually has one of the best ‘chu char’ in penang. Fresh food and very tasty. It’s actually very popular among its regulars to go there for rice meals so much so that if you dont call in and book you’ll have to wait at elast 45mins on weekends to be served.
    The prices are reasonable and the dishes are delicious. Do ask for their specialty dishes because they are pretty good.

  4. jason.l

    The Roti Babi has been there since i was young.

    Song River still has one of the best Roti Babi and one of the very few stalls selling Roti Babi in Penang.

    vk: Uhh.. sorry I still cannot accept it. When was the last time you tried it anyway?

  5. Cheryl Wee

    vkeong, there are 3 food that is superbly good @ Song River’s, in order:-
    1. the dai chow (as you call it)
    2. the chicken wings
    3. the roti babi
    … and maybe the Bak Kut Teh :P

    the dai chow is the main ‘attraction’ of this place actually, not the rest, but please be warned that the owner of the dai chow has his own ‘system’ where he will assign you with a number (identifiable to himself) and once your turn is almost up, he will approach you himself to take down your food orders, and once that happens, you can expect your food to be served within the next 5-10 mins. Before you are ‘assigned’ a number, he will first give you an estimation wait time, normally between 30-45 mins (if you’re there about 7pm onwards), so it is advisable to be there early, like 630pm :)
    many customers who don’t really know this system gets easily fed up of the long wait time and dumbfounded why the boss refuses to take their orders, but rest assured the food is definitely worth the wait

    As for the roti babi, I personally LOVE it! maybe you’re not really used to the taste, or the ones served to you that day was coincidentally not properly done i guess :P but of course, different people have different tastebuds

    Cheryl Wee’s last blog post..Buy 1 Free 1 @ Starbucks- New World Park

  6. bellechan

    hey vkeong..
    Patrons who go to Song River only eat a few of the food there. So far, the chicken wings are the best, followed by the otak-otak. The Bak Kut Teh isn’t that bad as well. :)

  7. shin

    Haha, i too cannot accept that roti babi is dissapointing…. the sauce goes very well with the dish, which makes all the different. Did u put the correct sauce? Maybe you are not used to the taste of the sauce

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