The Char Koay Teow stall outside Kedai Kopi Sin Guat Keong is one of the oldest in Penang that has been around for more than half a century. Currently manned by Ah Sean, the stall was actually started by his father, which was later passed on to him. Besides being the pioneer to include mantis prawns in their noodles, they are also one of the four ‘Kings’ (King of Seafood) I mentioned before at Sky Emperor Chicken Feet Koay Teow Soup post.
Here, a plate of ‘keh liao’ Char Koay Teow is RM5 and above, depending on how much additional toppings requested. Compared to the other Char Koay Teow in Penang, this one tasted a bit moist and had a strong, sweet seafood flavor. One plate is always not enough for me. But if you like your noodles drier you should notify him when ordering.
The Char Koay Teow stall along Siam Road, Penang has gotta be one of the best in town. And a good thing about it is you won’t be charged exorbitantly for a plate of Char Koay Teow – something that is supposed to be cheap and affordable but is fast becoming a gourmet priced food just because of huge prawns. But err, if you are a health conscious person you probably need not read any further lol.
Here, my requirements for a delicious plate of Char Koay Teow are fulfilled with flying colors – ingredients are pleasantly fresh, a lot of lard is used (just look at the size of the lard cube), cooked on charcoal flame and brimming with ‘wok hei’. The hardworking uncle would continuously add fresh charcoal into the stove and fan it vigorously to maintain the heat when frying. And to the long debate on whether charcoal flame makes food taste better and in this case produce better ‘wok hei’, I can attest and say “yes, it does”.
Char Koay Teow is no doubt the most iconic food in Penang. For tourists, if you left Penang without tasting a plate of this popular fried flat rice noodles then your trip is definitely in vain. Because of its immense popularity some hawkers had to have something special in order to stand out from the stiff competition and win more customers.
Nowadays having the option to top up extra ‘liao’ (ingredients, usually prawns) in your Char Koay Teow to make a premium plate is no longer a new thing. Cheaper ‘premium’ ones cost at least RM5 and the most expensive one I had so far is RM10 at Ah Leng.
We have seen before Char Koay Teow topped with humongous prawns and mantis prawns. But what about bamboo clams? Now that’s a first for me. Introducing Tiger Char Koay Teow 老虎炒粿条 at Ping Hooi coffee shop along Carnavon Street, which has seen operated by the Yeow family for three generations over half a century.
Tiger premium Char Koay Teow here @ RM6 is a healthy portion that consists of extra prawns, bamboo clams and fried using duck egg – something common in the mainland Penang but quite rare in the island.
The current chef of Tiger Char Koay Teow is the grandson of the first generation who officially took over from his father a decade ago. But his experience in frying Char Koay Teow is an impressive 30 years and counting. Penang’s famous philanthropist Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew was a weekly customer at Tiger Char Koay Teow when he was still alive, which contributed to their popularity considerably.