Ask 10 Penangnite about the best char kway teow(CKT) in Penang and you will most likely get only two answers......basically Lorong Selamat and ........this place!!
The locals call this stall Tiger char kway teow and it's situated in Cafe Ping Hooi at the junction of Lebuh Carnarvon and lorong Melayu. It's basically a coffee shop so please disregard the word cafe :) The chef is 3rd generation Yeow family and his grandfather started the business some 50 years ago.......so really we are talking about history in every plate of this CKT!!
This stall only open for business at 8am!
Do take note of the reflection of the flame from the stove. Thats how you get all that "wok hei" or "breath of the wok" literally translated!! Also take note of the condiments and sauces at the side of the stove.....that's probably where 3 generations of family trade secrets are hidden!!
The cool chef mr Yeow. The cooking area was clean and tidy. Guess it takes more than good food to be famous CKT in Penang nowadays........ Also need style and showmanship during frying process!!
BTW at this CKT stall you have options when you place your order in addition to the normal "chilly or no chilly".
1. vegetable oil or pork lard.
2. Chicken or duck egg.
I always request the CKT to be fried till very dry!!
I guess the other secret is probably to fry in small quantity. So far i noticed no more than 2 plates are served at one go.
The prawns are reasonably big size and very crunchy. Probably blanched in cold iced water and then toss into a very hot wok to get this type of texture. Sometimes you can have bamboo clams in addition to prawns depending on availability.
The taugeh (bean sprouts) were still crunchy. Also note the color of the CKT. It's light in color and exactly how every Penangnite would expect of their CKT......if too dark in color, they will suspect that the chef is trying to hide something.....kiasu leh :)
look at that big piece of duck egg!!!
I would definitely rate this as the top CKT in Penang in terms of overall experience. The chef/proprietor was friendly and sometimes his wife would cook instead but the end product taste equally good.
In comparison the CKT at Lorong Selamat is nice but.......the waiting somehow kills the appetite and mood and the environment i don't find conducive.
Kway teow tng with shredded duck meat.
In addition to CKT, Ping Hooi Cafe also offer a lot of other dishes such as the kway teow tng , mee suah, loh bak, wantan noodles, etc...........but the star of the show is still Tiger Char Kway Teow!!
This post is dedicated to "Penghulu", my good friend in Penang!