Mantis Prawn Char Koay Teow @ Sin Guat Keong, Kimberley Street
The Char Koay Teow stall outside Kedai Kopi Sin Guat Keong is one of the oldest in Penang that has been around for more than half a century. Currently manned by Ah Sean, the stall was actually started by his father, which was later passed on to him. Besides being the pioneer to include mantis prawns in their noodles, they are also one of the four ‘Kings’ (King of Seafood) I mentioned before at Sky Emperor Chicken Feet Koay Teow Soup post.
Here, a plate of ‘keh liao’ Char Koay Teow is RM5 and above, depending on how much additional toppings requested. Compared to the other Char Koay Teow in Penang, this one tasted a bit moist and had a strong, sweet seafood flavor. One plate is always not enough for me. But if you like your noodles drier you should notify him when ordering.
Ah Sean has his very own method of frying his almost-legendary koay teow. Instead of frying everything at one go, he set aside a huge bowl of pre-fried noodles, which will be fried again later when orders come in. You must be thinking this is a weird way of frying koay teow, so did I. After talking to Ah Sean, he reveals that he does for efficiency purpose. Reason being he usually gets orders in tens and hundreds which require him to complete them in a short time. This is certainly not an easy job, and only a very skilled and experienced chef could dish out pre-fried koay teow to taste like those that are fried normally.
Plates of seafood in stand-by mode. These setups are based on ‘keh liao’ orders so you could tell its popularity.
The first thing Ah Sean does after setting up his stall is to fry the mantis prawns, prawns and cuttlefish. Then the seafood-flavor-infused oil would be collected and used to fry the noodles later, which explains why they have such a rich seafood taste. Taking Ah Leng as a comparison (because he also has mantis prawn) I actually prefer Ah Sean’s because it’s cheaper and the seafood flavor hit the right spot. Personally I find Ah Leng’s is overly sweet.
I don’t even have to mention anything about the ‘wok hei’, this photo says it all. Charcoal is still being used as the heat source just like the old days.
Ah Sean in action, the blazing sparks from the hot wok never fail to amaze me.
Among the very few Char Koay Teow stalls in Penang that still open at night, this is no doubt the one you should go for. An alternative would be Siam Road‘s but he is kind of elusive.
Mantis Prawn Char Koay Teow
Stall outside Sin Guat Keong Coffee Shop
GPS Coordinates: N5 24.990 E100 19.969
Open 6pm onwards, days off not fixed
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