Siam Road Char Kuay Teow

Today I am going to show you what I think is the best char kuay teow in Penang.

No, it is not the one in Lorong Selamat. Although that one is arguably more famous, but I think that stall is bullshit. Not only is the waiting time equally long, the auntie is f**king rude, and prices there are much steeper, and more importantly, what you get there doesn’t taste better at all. The only reason they win is because of the bigger prawns. After all, bigger prawns = more impressive looking on Instagram. That’s all.

Bear in mind this is my personal opinion so if you disagree, feel free to… f**k off! Also if you can tolerate that auntie’s rudeness, you should well be able to tolerate mine as well.

My personal opinion: the bestΒ char kuay teow in Penang, is this one…

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Char kuay teow stall on Lorong Siam (Siam Road), operated by an old man and an even older man. The old man basically does everything except cooking (preparing the ingredients, taking orders, packing, delivering plates, washing plates, etc). The even older man does nothing except, well… cooking.

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The wait here is probably as terrible as in Lorong Selamat, which is to say if you come on normal hours, be prepared to wait at least an hour, usually two. You can opt for tapao (take away), or dine-in where you place your order, then go to the corner shop just opposite the stall to wait.

There are no customization options here. You can only have char kuay teow here and nothing else. The only differentiation you get to choose here is the size of your order: small (RM 5.50), medium (RM 6.00) and big (RM 6.50).

I personally recommend to tapao. Why? I don’t want to elaborate, but you’d understand if you come here to stand and wait and witness first hand how the plates and chopsticks are washed. If you tapao, you don’t have to use those plates and you get separate take-away chopsticks. Then you can be rustic and eat anywhere you want.

Me and my friend? We ate these goodies beside the road, with the back of the car as our makeshift table. 0 points for comfort, 100 points for rustic.

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Char kuay teow (big) – RM 6.50

To be honest though, I don’t do this very often. In fact, this was my second time doing it. While I think this is the best char kuay teow in Penang, it is still stupid to wait more than an hour for it. It is always smarter to get something 80% as good with only 10% of the waiting time.

Also, I think I know why this stall is particularly good. I noticed the even older man adding two things into the wok. I’m not going to tell you what I think those are though. That’s uncle‘s rice bowl, man. Just come here and tapao!

33 Comments

    • I wouldn’t use the word “best”. “Best” is a subjective word, I don’t want you going there and then end up cursing me for making bogus recommendation. I am not recommending anything to anyone. I’m just saying this is “my personal favorite”. πŸ™„

    • Different people have different limits when it comes to how oily is oily though. But usually the delicious ones are more oily than usual. πŸ™„

  1. Eh, I will be in Penang this weekend. Dunno got time to visit this uncle or not. If got time to visit dunno got time to queue or not >_<

  2. CL, I heard of this old man famous CKT.. yes, have to wait super long minutes… just want to confirm cos when we passed Anson Road the other day, my friend told me that there is one old man frying KT at the roadside… I guess this must be the same old man… ok, will KIV for next round.. I wonder when is the off peak hours?

    • Yes lah, that’s him, his stall is just off Anson Road. Officially, he opens at 3pm, but I heard sometimes you can already find him open at 2.30pm. I would say weekends and weekdays dinner time are peak hours. Best to go on weekdays 3-5pm, when most office workers are still, well… in office, hahaha!

  3. No worries about your filthy mouth. I have tolerated that Lorong Selamat’s aunty since I was a kid, so come on! She would sweat and spewed our curses with her saliva dripping into the wok and kuang-kuang to stir the CKT. Her DNA inside made them sweeter and famous! She always swore at the rival old man opposite her who fried CKT. When someone complained waiting for too long, she would shoo you to buy from opposite old man who is faster if you don;t mind eating his CKT.

    That Macalister Road CKT is indeed the 2 sisters who were very petite virgins when they started frying. Now they are grandmothers now and use their own laundry’s pegs to peg the plates with numbers. Muahahaha What shocked me was one rich man in KL once asked me to collect 50 packets of otak-otak from this Sister’s CKT shop to bring back to KL!!!! I never knew their otak-otak was so good. Hmmm…

    I cannot remember how this Siam Road CKT tasted as I only had it once many moons ago. That stall seemed to venture into CKT much later.

    • Really? I heard actually this uncle has been around for much longer, but maybe he used to sell in a different location. Who cares? The important thing is I like this one better. Well, not that I would eat it again and again and again anyway. Anything that requires long queue = no no for me… πŸ™„

      • Ah so TM explained that the two are different – sisters and the lrg selamat so that means I have never eaten the one at lrg selamat and don’t plan to lah since the seller is so rude and the wait is long.

    • In the mean time, I think PJ also got a few decent Penang style CKT to be had. πŸ˜‰

  4. I can guess one of the secret ingredients but I wonder what’s the other secret ingredient. I’m surprised you were willing to wait for this as it’s one of those really famous ones in Penang. I thought you were going to show us some CKT that’s off the beaten track that visitors/tourists don’t know about! πŸ˜€ Anyway, I’ve not taken a strong liking to Penang CKT coz it’s done with just kway teow. For some reason, I like my CKT with a mixture of kway teow and mee like the ones I get in KL.

    • If you are guessing lard then no, lard is not a secret ingredient at all, lard is common sense hahaha! If you guessed other things then… well… maybe πŸ˜› …

      Well, I do know a few other decent CKT places that is not famous, but… they’re just decent, not as great as this famous one so… πŸ™„

        • Bingo! Great minds think alike. You’d be surprised (and disappointed) that there are many who doesn’t feel the same way…

  5. queuing long for a plate of CKT isn’t my style either…and summore under hot sun! crazy siao! that uncle must hav been frying for xx years and perfected the skills of controlling the ‘wok hei’…so I guess sharing that 2 secret ingredients doesn’t matter to him…hehehe! so, tell la what is that 2 secret ingredient…

    • Actually, I saw those ingredients, and I only think I know what they are after tasting the CKT. But then I might be wrong, seeing how my tongue is broken. Maybe those ingredients are not what I think they are. πŸ™„

  6. The Lorong Selamat CKT, is that the same as the famous Macalister Road CKT? I have only been there once back in 1992 when I was studying in Penang but I didn’t like it so I have never been back there.

    The CKT that I ate around Bayan Baru food courts are good enough so I don’t think I need to go to queue at this siam road CKT.

    How long did you wait at this siam road ckt for your packet of ckt? After tapao, have to eat immediately like you did because ckt tastes best when it is fresh hot out of the wok.

    So if we go and watch the older man, we would know what the two secret ingredients are, is it? Maybe I go to watch him cook lah. No need one hour, 10 minutes should do I guess because I don’t expect him to take more than 10 minutes to stir fry a plate of ckt.

    • Well, I don’t know. Lorong Selamat is indeed off Macalister Road, but it is closer to Burmah Road side instead. Did you mean Sister CKT instead? That one is pure bullshit. I have absolutely no idea why they are famous.

      I waited 1.5 hours for it. Then we drove 10 minutes somewhere before having ours by the back of the car.

      Actually, I’m not sure. I tried to scan other blogs which covered this place, their photos all captured one of the secret ingredients, but nobody made any mention of it. Everybody only talks about wok hei, lap cheong, charcoal, chili… nope, the things I noticed were not these…

    • Don’t know, I have ceased to follow A Xian programs since his early days when it became apparent that the so called old school eateries that he covered were in fact paid coverage. Seems like he changed his ways if he covered this uncle CKT then… πŸ™„

  7. You’re taking me down Memory Lane!

    That was a good portion at a competitive price. How many pieces of prawns were there?

    What’s the char kway teow with thick, sweet black soya sauce and bean sprouts?

    Are these the two mysterious ingredients in your lip smacking meal? Malacca sugar (Gula Melacca) and lard.

    • I didn’t count the number of prawns. It was more than 3 though. πŸ™„

      Lard is NOT a mysterious ingredient! It is common sense for char kuay teow, come on! CKT without lard = fail! Hahaha!

  8. This uncle stall looks very low key, that is it’s all about the cooking. It looks like they say very little and let their food do the talking πŸ˜€ When I went to Penang, the Lorong Selamat one was the one I went too and yes, I remember the head auntie was f**king rude. I went as part of a group of fifteen with the family and she seemed pissed we had a large entourage and it became a seating issue πŸ˜€

    Does this one has chilli or not? Is it optional? Back of the car as the makeshift table? 100% rustic sans comfort? And hot weather all round? Sounds like my kind of date πŸ˜‰

    • Nowadays there’s a second CKT stall in Lorong Selamat. I heard it is equally good, but I have not verified that claim yet. Not feeling the urge to verify it anyway, what with the stupid queue.

      Of course a proper CKT has chili! I think you can ask him to omit chili for you, but I imagine he won’t be thrilled. But he’s nicer than that rude auntie. Auntie will probably tell you to f**k off. πŸ™„

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