One of the oldest hawker stall in Penang that is still operating can be found at Kedai Kopi Seng Thor @ Lebuh Carnavon. Seng Thor is particularly famous its Lor Mee but I feel the Lor Bak here deserves a better mention. The uncle has been selling his home-made lor bak daily without fail for over 55 years since he was 12. Talk about dedication.
For the uninitiated, Lor Bak is basically a meat roll wrapped with bean curd sheet and flavored with five spice powder. Because of this, it is also known as Ngor Hiang in some other places like KL and Singapore. It is usually accompanied by prawn fritters, “tau kua” (fried bean curd”), Chinese sausage or any other fried seafood. Two dipping sauces are usually there for dipping, one being the gluey and starchy dark soya sauce and the other spicy and sweet chili sauce.
Penang is definitely the place to go for the best Lor Bak on earth, fact. If you think otherwise, well you are wrong lol.
Anyway, a customized platter for one person’s portion at Seng Thor was RM10 that included uncle’s signature lor bak, chinese sausage, prawn fritters and “tau kua” – very traditional and basic.
Among the things I ordered, I think uncle’s self-made lor bak is the specialty here. Not only it was much more delicious than the rest, the ingredient is somewhat different from the normal lor bak too. Instead of the normal minced meat, a strip of “bak tao” (loosely translated to “meat head”, it is a very lean but tender strip of meat) is used.
So the lor bak here does not have the standard ‘rolls’ appearance but meaty looking instead. And they certainly taste better too! Having a meaty and tender texture, the lor bak’s biting sensation is more enjoyable if compared to those made of minced meat.
Kheng Pin Cafe at Sri Bahari road remains my top choice for an all-around good lor bak because they have more choices and the fried seafood and prawn crackers taste fresher. Just so you know, the squids and prawn crackers at Kheng Pin are prepared and fried on the spot while at Seng Thor these are pre-cooked then re-fried so there is a vast difference in the taste. But if I were to compare just the lor bak alone, I will have to say Seng Thor actually holds the upper hand.
Lor Bak stall outside Kedai Kopi Seng Thor
Seng Thor Coffeeshop,
160, Lebuh Carnarvon,
10100 Georgetown, Penang
GPS coordinates: N5 24.923 E100 20.082
Open daily 7.30am to 12pm (Sunday 7.30am to 1.30pm)