Just when I thought Char Koay Teow in Penang wouldn’t get more expensive, I stumbled upon one that sells a ‘keh liao‘ (added ingredients) version that has a price tag of RM12 while the normal version is RM5.50. FYI, the most expensive Char Koay Teow I ever had prior to this was at Ah Leng that cost RM10. And coincidentally, this stall at Bee Hooi Coffee Garden along Kimberley Street is where Ah Leng used to operate before he moved to his current location.
Even though I knew the noodles would have a tough time competing with the caliber of Siam Road‘s, the curiosity got the better of me. I simply had to see for myself how this could top Ah Leng’s. So after I placed my order and sat down, I paid close attention to the cooking.
And just as I had predicted, the extra cost goes into having much bigger prawns and having an extra ingredient – mantis shrimps. There weren’t any cockles, which is weird so my only guess is that it was hard to get any supply during CNY.
Taste wise it isn’t fantastic for Penang standards but it is still a good one essentially, at least enough to cure me of my Char Koay Teow cravings. A slightly burnt smell was detected in the noodles though, a small annoyance that I hope is not a recurring problem.
According to the cook, he might be taking time off soon and going back to KL due to tiredness. He said he will definitely be back but did not mention an exact date. So a little luck is needed if you want to try his Char Koay Teow. But if so happens he is not there, you can always walk across the street to Sin Guat Keong instead. The Char Koay Teow there uses mantis shrimps as well, is cheaper and definitely tastes better in overall. The downsides are: you might not get a seat and the waiting time is a lot longer especially during public holidays.
Bee Hooi Coffee Garden
Kimberley Street, Penang
Business hours: 6pm till midnight. Off days not fixed