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 best char kuay teow in Penang, is this one…
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.
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.
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!