I believe the Seafood Popiah at Gerai Gerai Padang Brown (or also known as Dato Keramat Stalls) is one of the oldest in Penang with a history of over 60 years, even older than the food court which was opened back in 1966. Currently run by uncle Ong, it could might as well be the only popiah stall in town that include real crab meat as one of the ingredients.
Two pieces are the minimum order priced at RM2.80. As you can see the popiah is done the wet way, drowned in the ‘bangkuang char’ (stir-fried turnip/radish) gravy.
Firstly, a quick glaze of Hoisin and chili sauce on the paper thin crepe for the basic flavors.
Then a leaf of lettuce is laid on top of the crepe and followed by the remaining fillings of shredded omelette, a scoop of ‘bangkuang char’, a handful of crab meat and a sprinkle of fried shallots. Some fillings that can be found in the other popiah stalls like the sinful lard, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts and sliced meat are not included here.
After the popiah has been properly wrapped and enveloped it is finally bathed in the gravy that not only warms it; the crepe also becomes sweeter after absorbing the gravy.
The addition of crab meat was a nice touch really, as it made the popiah felt premium. Even though only a small handful amount of shredded crab meat it was enough to impart a sweet seafood flavor into the popiah, giving it that upper hand in taste and quality.
But I felt it could use some crunchy bite due to its moistness, where the missing bean sprouts could have contributed. Because of that, although this seafood popiah is tasty, it is not that deliciously great to make me fall all over it. But that’s just me.
The ice kacang @ RM2 from the end of the stalls was not bad either – just that the shaved ice was a bit coarse. Besides that, coconut drink is also available at the Penang Cafe @ RM1.50.
Other foods worth mentioning at Gerai Gerai Padang Brown are lok lok, char koay teow, pasembur and yong tau fu – each having a huge following of their own. If you want to try the popiah, do come before 5.30pm to avoid disappointments although their ‘official’ business hours is until 7pm. And expect waiting time during lunch hour. An open car park is next to the food court at a rate of 40 cents for every half an hour.
Padang Brown Seafood Popiah
Stall 17, Gerai Gerai Padang Brown (Dato Keramat Stalls)
GPS Coordinates: N5 24.861 E100 19.003
Open between 1 to 2pm until 7pm (Closed on Thursdays)