*** UPDATE 7 Nov 2013: The Char Koay Teow seller is a different person now, quality is very bad. ***
I finally found a place that serves decent Penang hawker food in Kepong. And the best thing is that I don’t even need to travel far for it because it is hardly a five minutes drive away from my house.
Restoran HL Yee started their operations about two years ago. I remember at that time there were only two or three stalls under the zinc roofs – braised chicken rice, Rojak and maybe Wantan Mee. More and more stalls opened since then which included grilled fish, BBQ chicken wings, curry mee, fried oysters, Penang Prawn Noodle and Penang Char Koay Teow. The latter two are the ones I wish to highlight.
The Penang Prawn Noodle stall is operated by a husband-and-wife team, who are sometimes helped by a lady who I assume is their daughter and they sell Lam Mee too. Anyway, I am not sure if they are actually from Penang but they could converse in Hokkien. So there is always a hometown feel that comforts me when I get my food here.
The smallest serving @ RM4.50 a bowl is larger than most places and you get a good amount of toppings as well – not like those who cut cost and only give a few tiny, miserable pieces of everything. As for the soup, it is delicious enough on its own but tastes even better with the spicy chili paste, which is a must in every bowl of authentic Penang prawn noodle. But of course the reality is that nothing is perfect. After eating here for like a dozen times, it appears to me that there is a consistency issue with the prawn soup. Fortunately it still tastes great for me most of the time.
If it smells and looks good, it should probably taste good too. I am glad I trusted my instincts or else I wouldn’t have known that there IS a decent Penang Char Koay Teow in Kepong after all. Slightly thinner rice noodles? Yep. ‘Wok Hei’? Sure got. Fried with lard? Check. Duck egg available? You bet it is. Big and fresh crunchy prawns? There are two. Cockles? Plenty. Chinese sausage? Present. Fish cakes? None of that blasphemy.
Out of 10, I would give the Penang Char Koay Teow here a solid 7. My tip is to you is to order the small plate (RM4.50 for chicken egg, RM5 for duck egg) only, don’t ask me why. And for any Penangites who are reading this and plan to try out this CKT, trust me and ask for more spicy.
Besides the two food I just mentioned above, the braised chicken rice here is delicious as well and worth trying too. It is very different from the usual Hainan roast chicken rice or Ipoh bean sprout chicken rice. You could also order mamak and Western food from the adjoining ‘Gou Lou Mamak Dong’ which is another popular hangout spot in the vicinity.
Restoran HL Yee
Jln Mergastua (Jln 56),
52100, Kepong Baru
GPS Coordinates: N3 12.180 E101 38.667
Business hours: 6pm till midnight (chicken rice stall operates from lunch onwards)
Off days not fixed. Avoid Sunday because of the pasar malam