Char Koay Teow, a beautiful combination of silky smooth flat rice noodles, chili, pork lards, eggs and the “wok hei” that can’t be seen but only be tasted.
But they are not all created equal.
You can almost find char koay teow wherever you are in Penang.
So how do you know if you’re going to enjoy a good plate of this magical dish?
Or end up wasting another of your cheat day quota?
We had the same struggles just like you.
So, we scoured through Penang to find the best char koay teow.
While we’re at it, we also created a list just for you; a list that we know won’t disappoint.
Let’s get started!
Note: List is in no particular order; we will continue to update this post when we found something worth mentioning to you.
Best Char Koay Teow in Penang
1. Ah Soon Char Koay Teow at Hillside
If you're craving for a good plate of char koay teow, you definitely don't want to miss this stall in Tanjung Bunga. Ah Soon Char Koay Teow has been around for a long time and is very well-known among the students in the Tar College students in Lembah Permai area.
The is the best char koay teow in Tanjung Bunga!
Ah Soon Char Koay Teow (亚顺炒粿条)
Operating Hours: Opens 11am - 6pm daily, close on Tuesday
2. Ah Leng Char Koay Teow, Penang
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow is a slightly 'wet' version of Penang CKT. They are currently running two stalls, operating at different hours and different locations in Penang.
The prawns here are extremely bouncy and the extra creaminess from duck egg is yummm!
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow (亚龙炒粿条) @ Ayer Itam (Night)
Operating Hours: Opens daily 5pm - 10pm, Close on Tuesday and Wednesday
Address: Lorong Zoo 6 11500 Air Itam Penang
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow (亚龙炒粿条) @ Dato Keramat (Day)
Operating Hours: Opens daily 10am - 3:30pm, Close on Wednesday
3. Tiger Char Koay Teow at Carnarvon Street
Tiger Char Koay Teow at Ping Hooi Cafe is well-recommended by Penangites. You can expect a plate of char koay teow fueled by a lot of wok hei here!
The duck egg version is a must try!
Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)
Operating Hours: Opens daily 8am - 2:30pm
4. Char Koay Teow at Siam Road
The famous Siam Road Char Koay Teow stall, now operates its business at a new address along Siam Road. And as far as we can remember, his CKT still tastes as good as it used to be from the old location at 110, Siam Road.
The average wait time here is about one and a half hour, but we're going to tell you it's worth it!
Siam Road Char Koay Teow
Operating Hours: Opens daily 12pm - 7pm, Close on Sunday and Monday
5. Duck Egg Char Koay Teow at Gottlieb Road
This stall opposite of the (Peng Hwa) Penang Chinese Girl's school fries up some really nice char koay teow; especially the duck egg version. It is creamy, full of aroma and comes with juicy prawns and plump cockles. We feel that the stall is really worth mentioning as it is really good and not really receiving enough limelight.
For extra creaminess, we again recommend you to ask for a duck egg upgrade!
Char Koay Teow Taman Emas
Operating Hours: Open daily 12pm - 5pm, Close on Monday
That completes our list of the Top 5 Best Char Koay Teow in Penang.
Which one did you like the most?
Was it on our list?
Char Koay Teow or Char Kway Teow is one of Penang’s iconic street foods.
The basic ingredients of this dish consist of flat rice noodles, pork lards, waxed sausage slices, bean sprouts, chives, fresh cockles and prawns stir fried in soy sauce and chili paste.
Usually chicken or duck eggs is added to the dish, though you can also order one without eggs.
One of the distinctive differences in taste between the stalls in Penang is the “wok hei” (char aroma). This largely depends on how the char koay teow is fried.
While many stall owners has turned to a gas stove for the convenient, many of the traditional (and famous) ones are still using their ‘wok’ over charcoal fire.
Charcoal fire helps to achieve better “wok hei” which then infused into flat rice noodles. There’s also a special term for it in mandarin — 炭炒粿条 (Charcoal Char Koay Teow).
Heads up! When it comes to food and experience, opinions varies from person to person. So please take ours with a pinch of salt.
Photo credit: @jeremeleung