Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Best Char Koay Teow 炒粿條 in Penang

During our trip to Penang last year, we tried like like 6-7 different Char Koay Teow (also spelled as Char Kway Teow) from different stalls. We must have been mad! But for Papa Snew who's first time in Penang, this was not too much of a crazy thing to do! 

Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow

The best Char Koay Teow  no doubt, goes to the famous Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow. The signature identity is that the stall owners are frequently seen wearing goggles while frying the Char Koay Teow. Hence, they are better known in the Internet as the "goggle sisters".

While waiting for the Char Koay Teow, we also ordered Fried Oyster Omelette (Oh Chien 蚵煎). The taste is good although it taste slightly different from the one in Singapore, although I can't really describe how it is different. 

To quench our thirst, we also ordered Ice Kachang. Ice Kachang in Penang is served with a scoop of Ice-cream. This is passable. The best Ice Kachang in Penang is found in a coffeeshop, call Kek Seng Cafe in Penang Road which I tried in my previous trips

Here comes our main lead of the meal - our Char Kway Teow.

The Chinese believe that a good dish must have enough "Wok Hei" - meaning the fire must be big, or just enough to achieve a smoky taste. This could only done if the dish is cooked using charcoal and only experienced chefs with good skills are able to achieve this taste.

In addition, to ensure that every plate of Char Koay Teow is cooked just right, it has to be cooked in small portions, that is, every plate should be individually fried. However, to strike a balance between taste and efficiency, I believe they cook 2-3 plates together due to the demand.

I must say, this is just the perfect taste that I wanted. I won't dare to say I'm a food specialist, but having tasted Penang Char Koay Teow since young, I wouldn't settle anything less than a good plate of Penang Char Koay Teow  The Singapore version is always too sweet (with too much sweet sauce), and too much yellow noodles in it to be called a Char Koay Teow. Penang Char Koay Teow is cooked with lard instead. Unhealthy as it is, the lard taste should not be over-powering but yet brings out a nice aroma to the dish.

I was told that the lunch queue for this stall takes more than 1 hour. We were lucky that we went after lunch hour, about 2+pm, and waited no more than 20 minutes. Negative publicity has circulated in the Internet on this Char Koay Teow stall. There was even a FaceBook group started  to boycott this stall due to its rude and arrogant service. I guess for visitors coming from KL and as far as Singapore, we're not too bothered by it. Like any other of the guests, we just want our long-awaited plate of Penang Char Koay Teow.

Kafe Heng Huat
108, Lorong Selamat,
10400 Penang

Opens: 11am to 5.30pm (Close on Tuesday)

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