Friday 19 January 2018

Penang Food Galore: 6.Penang's Famous Char Kway Teow And Duck Kway Chap

Penang's Char Kway Teow
'Char Kway Teow' is believed to have originated from Penang even though no one knows exactly who concocted the first plate of this dish. It could have been one of the early Hokkien Chinese settlers in Penang who migrated from China as 'Char Kway Teow' is a Hokkien term meaning 'fried flat rice noodles' ['Char' means fried and 'Kway Teow' are strips of rice noodles that are flat and white in colour]. This dish is now a very popular food in Malaysia and the term 'Char Kway Teow' is nationally used even by communities from other ethnicity as well as non-Hokkien speaking Chinese.

Char Kway Teow is easily available at every nook and corner in Penang and it is a hawker's delight that the state can truly boasts of. You can expect most stalls to fare above average at cooking up this dish. It is probably a skill honed over the decades and passed down the generation that makes Penang hawkers a specialist at it. There are many good Char Kway Teow stalls; some more famous than others. Rating a char kway teow stall is never easy as it very much depends on the individual's taste bud.

1. Char Kway Teow @ Cafe Heng Huat
I am of the opinion that the Char Kway Teow at Cafe Heng Huat in Lorong Selamat is one of Penang's best. The portion is pint sized, barely enough to fill a hungry stomach but the aroma and the taste are quite unforgettable. The price of Char Kway Teow here (at RM10 per plate) is about RM2 more expensive than stalls from other places but the vendor has the upper hand as the stall is very renowned. You get about three fairly large prawns, a few cockles and some slices of sausage in this plate of Char Kway Teow.
 It was quiet when we visited the stall but it was good as we got our food almost immediately.
In Penang it is a norm to see a modest stall operating from a modest restaurant and tended by an unglamorous looking chef but producing food that tasted like heaven!

Cafe Heng Huat
108, Lorong Selamat
Open: 11.30am to 6pm
Close on Tuesdays

2. Char Kway Teow @ Kedai Kopi Dan Ais Kacang aka Kedai Kopi Low Eng Hoo, Lorong Selamat
This trip alone we gobbled up three plates of Char Kway Teow and they are all from three different stalls. Even though the basic ingredients are similar (all have prawns, cockles and sausage) the taste is distinctly different. Some say it's the type of wok used, some say it's the stove and strength of fire,... the oil, the seasoning,... and even the magical hand that stirs the kway teow that makes the difference. The Char Kway Teow from Kedai Kopi Low Eng Hoo is good by general standard but we enjoyed eating the one from Cafe Heng Huat much more. By the ways they are just a few doors apart. 

Kedai Kopi Dan Ais Kacang,
84, Lorong Selamat
Open: 1pm to 6pm
Close On Tuesdays

3. Char Kway Teow @ Sin Yin Nam Cafe, New Lane
The Char Kway Teow at Sin Yin Nam Cafe is not raved about but there is quality in it. Among the three plates mentioned in this post, I would rate this #2.

Sin Yin Nam Cafe
Corner of Jalan Macalister and New Lane, 
Open: 5pm to 11pm
Close: Wednesdays

Penang Famous 'Duck Kway Chap'
'Kway Chap' is a sister version of 'Kway Teow' that comes in squarish flat pieces instead of strips. This dish is not half as popular as the Char Kway Teow and is less talked about but I sought out a famous stall at Jalan Kimberly that sells Duck Kway Chap.
The crowd and queue waiting to order their Kway Chap tells it all, that this open-air stall outside Kimberly Restaurant has made a name for itself. 
Business was brisk with a non-stop flow of customers and I believe the chunks of food seen here will completely be sold out by midnight.
A lot of stuff are put inside this bowl of 'Kway Chap' that comes in a dark soupy broth . Even though it is called Duck Kway Chap, there is an assortment of many ingredients and other meat in it. Duck meat is just one of them. It makes a good and wholesome meal but I wouldn't rate it as 'awesome'. 

Kimberly Restaurant
135, Lebuh Kimberly
Open: 6.30pm to 11.30pm
Close on Thurdays

Related Posts: Click To View
1. Best Roti Canai In Penang
2. Penang's Famous Hokkien Mee, Loh Mee And Wantan Mee
3. Flower Pot BBQ Chicken At Easy Brew Cafe
4. Penang's Famous Nasi Kandar Restaurants And Best Mee Goreng Mamak
5. Penang's Famous Banana Leaf Rice And Malay Restaurant 

6. Penang's Famous Char Kway Teow And Duck Kway Chap
7. What's Good At New Lane Night Hawker's Centre

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