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.
The notion that they are the ‘Prawn Noodle Specialist’ was enough for me to try Asami – a newly opened restaurant in Bukit Tengah. What makes it different from the normal hawker style prawn noodle would be the better dining environment and the option to add various additional toppings. But I should note that this concept is not new, as the prawn noodle stall of Old Green House at Burma Road has been doing this for years.
Both dry and soup version of prawn noodles are available here. The dry version seems to be more popular in BM compared to the rest of Penang and you could probably find it at other coffee shops in BM. I won’t say the prawn noodle here is bad because I did finish everything. But the truth is, I expected better from the specialists. Continue reading
So you are at Balik Pulau because some locals swear by the laksas here. Note I use the plural, because there are actually two types of tasty laksa you will find here – Asam and Siam (lemak) version. Once you get past the winding hilly roads leading to the small town, finding the laksa stalls will be a breeze – since they are just along the main street and better still, opposite each other!
There are two famous stalls here, one at Kafe Chuan Heong which I posted before and Kim Laksa at Nan Guang Coffee Shop. After having tasted both sides of laksa in the same afternoon, I personally do not find a lot of difference between them.
So to be honest, I can’t tell you which is better because it all boils down to your personal taste. But my preference leans towards Chuan Heong’s – simply because the soup is made spicier hence suits my palate better. And not to mention the coffee shop is more comfortable to eat at too.