Penang top five: Aldrien Moh
A chef himself, Aldrien Moh is co-owner and creator of Asiatique’s imaginative flavours that marry east and west ingredients. Penang born and bred, he shares his favourite hawker spots around town that rivals his own more contemporary dishes.
Jit Sheng Hong Kong Roasted Duck Rice, Lebuh Carnarvon
One of the few favourite places I would have my lunches at is this hidden old coffee shop along Lebuh Carnarvon, turning into Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze. The coffee shop brings back a lot of the old Penang’s flair with plastic stools, worn out tables and obviously, really good food! The big portions of delicious roasted duck on rice, served with an optional of ‘chai boey’ soup tops my list of top five eateries in Penang. Also not to forget coffee shop owner’s ‘international’ chrysanthemum tea is a must try!
Jit Sheng's duck rice stall
Siam Road Char Koay Teow
Among all of Penang’s hawker food, to me, Siam Road’s old uncle char koay teow (pictured) is probably the best you can find on the island. Still sticking to his original roots of good char koay teow, uncle uses charcoal and a well-seasoned wok to create miracles. Normally, I would wait for at least 30 minutes for my plate of goodness, which seems like a lifetime! But it’s worth the wait and it’s the only char koay teow that tastes great as takeaway and eaten at home.
Ah Boy Koay Teow Th’ng
Hidden in the alleyways of Argyll Road, this stall sells Koay Teow Th’ng that’s very possibly the best koay teow soup in Penang. The thin and slippery rice noodles are soaked in an aromatic chicken broth topped with fish balls. A must try here is the beef tendon balls which are to die for. Penang may seem too hot for a boiling soupy lunch like this, but shaded within the cool alleyway with metal chairs and tables, this stall is what Penang food is all about.
Ah Boy koay teow th'ng stall
Duck Koay Chap, Kimberley Street
Three generations ago, this humble roadside stall on Kimberly Street was a place my grandfather had his dinner. The delicious duck meat and organs served on rice – is how I’d eat it, instead of rice noodles – is divine. Aromatic spiced duck bits topped with their special sambal blend and fresh coriander is the kind of dinner I’d drive into town for.
Ingredients for koay chap
If you love sweet stuff, you should be here. Located at the corner of Jalan Burma and Jalan Moulmein is a stall that sells Cantonese and Nyonya desserts such as bubur chacha, red bean soup, green pea soup and sweet potato soup. Not overly sweet like many other places, the shop owner cooks only a pot of each to sell daily. The experience of standing by the roadside, holding a bowl while having sweet dessert soup is quite incredible. Also do try uncle’s bak chang if it’s available.