Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Favorite KopiTiam, Kheng Pin Café – Penang

One of my favorite KopiTiam in Penang is Kheng Pin Café, I like it because there are lots of good food in that shop. You can find different types of hawker food there like Char Koay Teow, Loh Bak, Yu Sang Kai Chok (Porridge), Chicken rice and others. Kheng Pin Café is located in Penang city center, just a few minutes walk from Cititel Hotel. This Café is situated at the junction of Penang Road and Sri Bahari Road. Kheng Pin café is an old style café where you will still find those old fashioned marble tables and wooden chairs.

Kheng Pin café only opens during breakfast and lunch. During lunch time the café will be crowded, this is because of the nice hawker food there. The Loh Bak over there is very famous and most people dining here will order it. According to a friend of mine, the Loh Bak stall will only open for business 9 months in a year. The remaining 3 months, the stall owner will be invited to one of the hotels in Singapore to serve Loh Bak over there. I don’t know how true that is, but after trying the Loh Bak, I am inclined to believe it because it was really very nice. Today, I will not introduce all the hawker food available in Kheng Pin café, I will only introduce those that I find really nice and interesting. Things that I like in that café are Loh Bak, Wan Tan Mee and Chicken rice.

Loh Bak is a traditional Chinese delicacy that you can easily find in Penang. Loh Bak is actually a Hokkien word, it is made from mince pork marinated with spice and wrapped in soya skin then deep fried. Besides the Loh Bak, the stall also serves Fried Prawn Cracker (Heh Chi), Deep fried Fish, deep fried squid and others. As you can see from the picture, Loh Bak is served together with two types of sauces. One of them is chili sauce and the other is black in color and is called “Loh”, “Loh” is made of starch. To eat, take a Loh Bak and deep in the "Loh" then into the chili and eat it, it tasted wonderful. I really like the Loh Bak and Heh Chi serve over here, all of them were deep fried to crispy and together with the sauces it is really tasty.

Another thing that tastes good in Kheng Pin Café is the Wan Tan Mee. The Wan Tan Mee here is special because the noodle used are handmade noodles. Unlike other stalls that uses machine made noodles, this stall uses handmade noodles and all noodles served here were handmade by the stall owner. The Wan Tan (dumplings) is also nice and the best part of the Wan Tan Mee is the Chinese mushrooms. Try it and you will know.

The last thing that I would like to introduce from this cafe is the Chicken Rice. I really like the chicken rice over here and I'm still missing it while writing this post. Damn, let me quickly finish writing this and after that I will head over there to eat the chicken rice. Unlike other chicken rice stalls, this stall serves only steamed Chicken (Pak Cham Kai), there is no Siew Kai (Roasted Chicken), Char Siew (BBQ Pork), Siew Yuk (Roasted Pork) or Duck in served at this stall. The Chicken is steamed to perfection where the meat and the skin were so juicy and the thin layer of fat underneath the skin was still there. As you can see from the picture, the meat was tender enough and tasted really delicious. I can say that this is the best steamed chicken that I ever had. Although there are only 2 of us eating, I ordered a half chicken because it tasted really nice. I would recommend those chicken rice lovers to try this stall, it is a must.

Overall, I would say that Kheng Pin café has lots of good food, if you have time try it and I would guarantee that you would go back again once you had tried. Loh Bak is a nice side dish or appetizer if you go there and trust, the steam chicken rice is a must!!! I would individually rate the chicken rice 8.99999 out of 10.

Makan King's ratings = 8.5 out of 10

-Wasabi King-

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Famous Ah Leng Char Koay Teow – Penang

Fried Koay Teow a.k.a Char Koay Teow is one of the best hawker delicacies in Penang. Penang is famous for its Char Koay Teow. You can easily spot a Char Koay Teow stall in any coffee shop, hawker center and also food court in Penang. It can be consider as a “MUST EAT” category for tourist and most of them would love it. Although I am born in Penang but I must admit that I am not a fan of Char Koay Teow. I didn’t specifically like it or dislike it.

A lot of people came to Penang and wanted to try good and nice Char Koay Teow. There are so many stalls in Penang but which one is the best? If you ask a local people, mostly they will tell you Lorong Selamat, Sister Char Koay Teow or Ah Leng Char Koay Teow. I didn’t like Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow because of the stall owner attitude. The Aunty is so damn snobbish and damn LANSI. Damn it !!!

If you would want to have good Char Koay Teow, I would suggest you to Famous Ah Leng Char Koay Teow. Recently, Fly fm just awarded Ah Leng as the best Char Koay Teow in Malaysia. The stall is located opposite Honolulu Café which previously is Federal Cinema (Lian Bang Cinema). The stalls open from morning till afternoon around 2.30pm. I was there on the last weekend and I would say I enjoy it very much.

When ordering the uncle normally will ask you do you want a normal one or a special one? The special one cost RM8, but trust me is worth it. The special Char Koay Teow had additional big prawns and mantis prawn (Lai Niu Ha). To my understanding Ah Leng is the only one that had mantis in Char Koay Teow.

The Koay Teow are fried together with other ingredients to a perfect level. The Koay Teow, prawns and mantis are just nice, not over fried. You still can feel the juiciness and the crispy of the prawn. From the picture you can see that the prawn is really in XL size. The prawn is really mouthwatering and together with the koay teow it was just perfect. Ah Leng Char Koay Teow tasted very well because of mantis was added into it. The sweetness of the mantis had gone into the koay teow itself. When I order, I had asked for more chili to be added in, I love spicy food. I myself had eaten two plates and I really enjoy it very much.

Overall, I did enjoy my lunch very much over here. Although I dare not say that it was the best Char Koay Teow in Malaysia, but I would say it was one of the best in Penang. If you are in Penang, I highly recommend that you should try Ah Leng Char Koay Teow. It was a little expensive (RM 8) but to me it is worth because of the huge portion of prawn and mantis. I would definitely go back for it and will introduce to my outstation friends. Famous Ah Leng Char Koay Teow, yummy !!!!

Makan King's ratings = 8.75 out of 10

-Wasabi King-