Bukit Mertajam Famous Malay Char Koay Teow


Another famous food in Bukit Mertajam 大山脚 is the Malay Char Koay Teow, or also known as Koay Teow Goreng Basah. This is the first Malay food in my food blog so you can be rest assured of its tastiness. Bukit Mertajam is the place where this variant of char koay teow originated. It is so well received that many have taken the opportunity to setup their own char koay teow stalls in Penang.

malay char koay teow

Abang Is’ Malay Char Koay Teow’s ingredients include thin flat rice noodles (koay teow), beansprouts (taugeh), egg, lots of cockles (si ham) and huge sized fresh prawns. I have to admit the presentation is not that great. It will give the first timers a “oh my god, can this be eaten?” feeling. But trust me it is really good because I was one of the skeptics lol.

I remembered a story my friend (if you are reading this, you know who you are) told me where he brought his cousin from KL to try this kueh teow basah. At first his cousin thought it would be the regular Penang or KL char koay teow. So, he had this priceless OMG look on his face when the koay teow arrived.. But after he took the first mouthful, there’s no stopping for him. And he kept saying “wah, not bad wor”. Haha, that’s funny.

malay char koay teow

Usually when people talk about char koay teow in Penang, they will relate it with the Chinese. So, when I was told its a Malay version and basah (wet) some more, I didn’t even consider to try, like my friend’s cousin. But after listening to many good reviews about it even from my friends I decided to try it before leaving for Cyberjaya. Else, there won’t be any chance of reviewing it in the next few years to come.

The many cockles and prawns are the biggest contributor to the koay teow’s tastiness. From the looks it may seem like it should taste sourish like tomato sauce, because of the gravy’s color. But in fact it’s sweet. Sweet here doesn’t mean sugar that type of sweet, it’s more of the seafood’s sweetness. A usual plate costs RM3 and comes with 4 big prawns! The special one @ RM5 like the one I had has more koay teow, an extra fried egg and 5 prawns. It is so good I even finished all the gravy!

bukit mertajam char koay teow

This stall used to be a small push cart manned by two guys only. The good business has helped it to grow into a small restaurant and now hires a few people to do the cooking. Opposite the restaurant would be Bukit Mertajam’s post office, it’s pink. Can you see it? Using the post office would be the easiest way to find this place. Or you can also look beside the old court house next to Telekom Malaysia.

malay char koay teow

Another stall I went is located in front of Courts Mammoth opposite AIA building, their koay teow is not bad too. The only difference I noticed is the thicker gravy. So, it’s up to your personal preferences.

koay teow basah stall

Although the business is not as good as Abang Is’, it has managed to build up its own loyal customers.

koay teow basah

Because of the dark photo, this is another one I took away from the same stall as above. Just to show its original color. I bought it for my sister and mother who were both curious about it. And if you didn’t know, Ah Xian from AEC came to Bukit Mertajam not long ago to promote this. Take a look at his review too if you can understand Chinese.
GPS Coordinates: N5 21.891 E100 27.574

Leave a comment:


  1. Malay Char Koay Teow (Kueh Teow Basah) in Bukit Mertajam | Malaysia Food Blog, Malaysia Travel Blog…

    The best Malay Char Koay Teow in Penang is in Bukit Mertajam. It originated from there and is so popular that many people have opened their own stalls. Must try if you ever come to BM!!…

  2. aiyo…. not Loh Kuey Tiaw meh?? Loh mee ??

    but.. according to the law,
    the noodles got curry for sure got egg
    hokkien uai!
    chiak hun chio + nui = pang sai tiao hue(blood)

    sorry not to pour cold water
    anyway, belum cuba belum tau rasa.. :p

    Hmm.. I don’t really know what you are trying to say…. LOL

  3. Check out the Koay Teow basah in Kampung Makam if you like malay version of Koay Teow. Most people in PG who likes Koay teow basah likes the one near USM, i like it here. The not good part is the waiting part.

  4. Never try this stall char koay teow, but has tried few stall in Penang, Kulim and Alma is not bad, normally eat two plate once. Char Koay Teow Basah really different from Chinese once, it very taste, but quite expenside.

  5. Pls give me direction to famous malay CKT TQ

    vk: It is opposite BM’s Post Office.. or next to the court house.. or across the road from AK-RIA (something like that).. you can easily find it no problem.. go in the evenings.

  6. I brought my friend from USA to Abang IS and another store in Alma (close to Wonderful Minimarket), he liked the one at Alma better!

  7. the keow tiao is nice but the place is very dirty//

    vk: Agreed, lol. I think it’s better to be there early in the evening to avoid some ‘stuff’ if you know what I mean haha

  8. my god..I miss BM very much..this Malay CKT is always my favourite..

    vk: Me too.. I miss BM now. Nowadays my stay in BM is 3 days long at most.. can’t wait for CNY.. then I can eat and blog more BM food

  9. tis char keow tiao last time dun hav shop 1
    just beside tis shop, the lorong there.
    its very nice, but not every1 can tahan the looks of the food
    its like very…. geli
    even some of my bm fren also cannot tahan

  10. I have never tasted this Malay CKT in BM, but I have done so in Ghulam Mee Goreng restaurant in Sek 7 Kota Damansara, PJ. Some flashback stories of CKT basah –the 1st time I ordered Malay style CKT was during Pesta Pulau Pinang in early 2000, I also thought I would get the usual dry CKT. Terkejut juga when it came looking like mee bandung!
    Anyway, back to Ghulam Mee CKT basah, yes siree it is SEDAP and it looks just like the 1st pictue in your article. Those who may not have the opportunity to go to Bkt mertajam, why not give a try at Sek 7 Kota Damansara – it is open air dining and those who crave for Penang style food, you can get mee goreng mamak Ghulam, CKT basah, laksa Penang, mee rebus, burger, satay etc.

  11. bro, when you back to bm, try the one at alma, near the wonderful supermarket, in front of Honey Bakery, that malay CKT slightly better abang is, abang is taste n quality gone away recently, not the taste i had while they operate their CKT on the dark lorong opposite! taste the different between alma n abang is! cheers

  12. Wow…Great…post…great taste…great to be there…great VK ..Ahhahah..eventhough im from Penang, but not yet try this one..hope can be there ASAP. This week..on the way back to Penang. May i request post for ‘Halal Dim Sum’..got ah? got meh? how do i know..this task is your task VK…

  13. Disinilah tmpt bercinta Aku & suami sblm berkahwin dl. Pd ms tu mereka berniaga di tepi lorong shj & pelanggan mkn di tepi kaki Lima kedai. Boleh dikatakan setiap mkn km ber2 gi mkn di situ. Drpd dhl sehinggalah skrg perniagaan Abg Is bertmbh maju, km masih pelanggan yg setia. Walaupun skrg km tdk lg tggl di Penang, km tetap akan gi mkn char koayteow Abg Is 2 atau 3 kali setahun, dan mkn sepuas2nya. Abis mkn km bungkus pula utk dibawa blk utk dimakan bersama keluarga Aku yg tggl di Alor Setar. Dah merata tempat Aku mkn char koayteow ttp semuanya tk sama lgsg rasanya spt koayteow Abg Is. Thn ni km belum lg mkn koayteow Abg Is, tp insyaAllah cuti sekolah nnt km akan ke sana utk makaaaaaaannnn….

  14. I agree laa and also mystified…
    why they selling a plate of charkotiaw for rm3 and above? expensive eh…
    nothing that’s very costly in the ingredients, but still they selling so mahal..

  15. Hi, I am originally from Bukit Mertajam but living in the UK now. I can tell you how much I miss this dish!!! Can someone please be very kind and post the recipe!?!! Many thanks!

  16. GUYS!!!! you got to try this! it’s lovely….superb meal! small portions each plate! an average eater like me needs at least 3 plates! so u can imagine how tasty is it!!!!!!!


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