I am not sure what happened but the nice Penang Char Koay Teow stall at Kepong Baru had a change of hands. Sad to say, the quality is quite terrible now. But I guess every cloud has a silver lining, because I just discovered another Penang CKT that is not only great and authentic, it tastes even better!
Coming from Penang myself I have ridiculously high standards when it comes to Char Koay Teow. But it also means I might be biased when judging Char Koay Teow from other states. In the Southern parts of Malaysia like Melaka, Johor and Singapore, Char Koay Teow is fried to appear dark but the overall concept remains the same since both ‘wok hei’ and lard are important aspects of a good plate of CKT. I feel that comparing the northern and southern CKT is like comparing nasi goreng cina with nasi goreng kampung – they are similar but not the same.
In Muar, Char Koay Teow is usually fried together with yellow noodle and is given a nice twist where the locally beloved otak-otak could be added (RM1 for 2 pieces) as additional topping. Frankly speaking this is more of a gimmick than adding any real taste into the dish. Since it is only RM1, I figured why not? Continue reading
It is quite rare to find decent Penang Island style Char Koay Teow in Bukit Mertajam. If you are wondering what is the Penang Island style, there are two main characteristics that define it – fiery red and topped with large prawns. In my humble hometown, CKT is usually fried with more dark soya sauce and normal sized seafood, hence darker in color and cheaper in price too.
Last weekend I spotted a stall that bears an interesting sign “Penang Auntie (Big Prawn) Char Koay Teow” It got me curious and I returned the next morning to give it a try. Besides chicken egg, you could opt for the duck egg version if you want for an extra 50 cents. If you ask me, that little extra is kind of justified since duck egg is larger in size and imparts additional fragrance to the dish as well.