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SIN HWA CAFÉ CHAR KOAY TEOW

Posted by crizlai On February - 26 - 2009|

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One of the more famous hawker dishes in Penang would be the Char Koay Teow. Everyone, regardless locals or tourists would swarm around these fragrantly fried koay teow (he fen or rice cake strips as some may call the noodles) stalls at any time of the day. In Penang alone, there are many versions of Char Koay Teow. Some would be fried dry whereas some would be cooked in a rather wet method. The ingredients alone differ from stall to stall. The basic ingredients would be the noodles, shrimp, bean sprouts, chives and cockles fried with special sauce with the option of added chili boh, chicken or duck eggs. Nowadays, with the competition from so many stalls, you can have other options such as squids, Chinese sausages, fish cakes, mantis prawns or even large king prawns. You would be amazed with what other seafood they would be adding in next.

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One such famous stall would be the one situated along the heavily traffic area of Pulau Tikus – Sin Hwa Café Char Koay Teow. For a few generations, the household members of this well known stall in Penang has been frying out some good Char Koay Teow ever since they had moved from the Jalan Gottlieb food stalls decades ago. With the main stall still within the premise of Sin Hwa Café in the early evening and another stall located in the Pulau Tikus Market Street Food Corner at night, many people have been patronizing them ever since. A normal plate without egg would cost you RM3, with egg would be RM3.50 and with duck egg at RM4.

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I visited the main stall recently to check out whether the taste had changed since it is now managed by the 3rd generation. The ingredients still maintained the same with the similar quality of lard oil, taste and spiciness but the style of cooking has differed quite substantially. Here’s what I was served.

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Due to the cooking style and the amount of heat applied (wok hei) during the frying process by another new generation member (the grandson of the original seller to be precise), I personally felt that the taste was a bit out from what I had tasted before. It was not as dry and fragrant as before. On top of that, the noodles were not loosened up well. Certain parts of the noodles were still stuck together, thus were not evenly flavored. Other than that, everything else was fine. I hope the cook would take note of this minor hiccup so that his client won’t be further disappointed.

Sin Hwa Café is located along a heavy trafficked area. To find a parking space would be rather hard. I will show you where would be the best few places to park your car. If you are coming from town along Jalan Burma, you would a service road after Lebuhraya Codrington on your left. That’s where the Pulau Tikus 7-11 branch is. Try finding a parking space there. If you can’t find one, you will have to come out of the service road into the main road and turn left into Jalan Moulmein (between two coffee shops). Drive further until you have reached a crossroad (Jalan Pasar/ Jalan Moulmein/ Persiaran Cantoment) and you will see a huge car park at a corner just opposite along Persiaran Cantonment. Park your car there and walk back up Jalan Moulmein, turn left and walk further up and you will see the stall along the five foot way of the old shop houses. You won’t miss it if you have a strong sense to follow the emitted aroma from the Char Koay Teow.

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Name: SIN HWA CAFÉ CHAR KOAY TEOW
Address: 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 10.30am-5.30pm on weekdays
GPS: 5.430656, 100.312400

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

11 Responses to “SIN HWA CAFÉ CHAR KOAY TEOW”

  1. […] stalls selling in Penang but I personally love the one served in Sin Hwa Café where the reputable Char Koay Teow stall is. What matters most in a Laksa dish is not the ingredients served but lies within the […]

  2. ahh..this is the one w the fan no?
    sometimes i eat the econ rice here..liked the curried served in those olden claypots..

    Yea.. the economy rice dishes served there are quite tasty.. except for the pricing.. There’s not many thing in PT area that’s real cheap. LOL! I would normally go further up to the corner coffee shop selling kuih in front or the one slightly further down in another coffee selling duck koay teow for economy price.

  3. ck lam says:

    The lady who used to fry the CKT has left …and the taste is totally different now.
    I took a group of Singaporeans there lately and they were disappointed with it. Hope things will improve for the better.

    I had read about that tour of yours earlier. The Dato’ Kramat one still good right? 🙂

  4. gill gill says:

    we’ve commented / complain to the stall lady owner once, end up she give her face black in sudden! Damn….cant take it?

    Well… not every cook/chef would be receptive towards positive criticism for improvements. 🙂

  5. Jason Wong says:

    Brother,

    The auntie who used to manned the stall has moved to Farlim. I was told she is in Block D. But which one?! I must ask the grandmother again!

    You can ask her for the information and brief us here… Is she having another stall there?

  6. foodbin says:

    did they add lard to it-looks a bit oily-must be fragrant, i like mine drier.

    Yea… most of the Char Koay Teow stalls here uses lard oil.

  7. tuck says:

    Halo, thanks for promoting our sin hwa coffee shop. I’m the owner grandson, not the worker there ok? – ck lam. the lady was my auntie ( my dad younger sister ). for ur information, my auntie just operating the stall for just 5 years, before that was operating by my grandfather, then pass it to my grandmother, and then to my dad ( when sin hwa was most famous ), after tat was operating by my uncle and then only pass it to my auntie ( Ah Lean ). yes, she move to farlim 7D flat already, where she used to operating the stall last time, so u guys can visit there if you are free ok? the picture look like oily, oh ya.. because of the camera lighting problem, my ckt style was half oily half dried same as my father ( Ah Hoe ) style. OPERATING HOURS 10:30am to 5:30pm weekdays. Without egg RM3, with egg RM3.50, with duck egg RM4. Different people different taste, so I can’t satisfied all of my customers, I’m sorry about that, but 9 out of 10 old or new customers who LIKE to eat ckt, told me the taste was improved already compare to last fews year, but I still think that my dad n grandmother taste was better because of the ‘wok’ taste better. I mean if customer continue coming, like during weekends now, the ‘wok’ will alway hot n surely the taste better, so i invite u guys come during peak period as the ‘wok’ taste better, thank you. Our business drop a bits during my auntie range n she now move back to her own stall in farlim ( my auntie wan better rest n do some traveling as I knew ). TO..ck-lam came at 10.50am or 11am if i’m not mistaken, so I sincerely tell u that the ‘wok’ are still warm n u can’t get the best taste and our ckt sytle was using NORMAL PRAWN n selling at affordable price, suitable for those who budgeting their lunch around RM5, including meal n drink, not like other stall who selling at RM6-RM9 per plate, it’s too expensive for penangite. Hope to c u guys n I”ll try my best. If u like dried, u must tell me, if u like oily, u must tell me too. And honestly i told u guys too, the laksa grandson was the old lady who sell laksa at pulau tikus market n not in our shop last time, laksa only start at our shop almost 10 years ago n the lady is not the same 1 as u guys saying, because I stay at sin hwa since I born, i used to help my dad n younger uncle when i’m small. when my auntie took over the shop, I;m doing my university study, so definately I’m not my auntie worker as ck-lam mention in her blog, so can u please edit ur blog? thank you. but persoanlly I think our shop laksa now was better than laksa sold at our shop n u guys must try it, laksa was selling from 10am-5pm. I took over almost 1 year already, and hopefully during april or may our shop will extend our operating hours untill 10pm at nigth to serve u guys better. Our business slowly but surely improve since last year, we renovate our shop to serve customer better and feel more comfortable. Any possible or negative comments will receive and consider by us. Anyway, thank you for all ur support, especially the blog owner. Bye n have a nice days. T u c k

    Thanks for dropping by to share this information with us Tuck. 🙂

  8. tuck says:

    Due to the cooking style and the amount of heat applied (wok hei) during the frying process by another new generation member, I personally felt that the taste was a bit out from what I had tasted before. It was not as dry and fragrant as before. On top of that, the noodles were not loosened up well. Certain parts of the noodles were still stuck together, thus were not evenly flavored. Other than that, everything else was fine. I hope the cook would take note of this minor hiccup so that his client won’t be further disappointed.

    the koay teow u order… no taugeh, no cili and that day koay teow was sticky as the koay teow was new 1, usually we order more koay teow and save for next day, because it taste better, not so soft, if the koay teow keep overnight,then no tauge no cili also no problem, am i answer ur doubts? personally i dunwan comment on anything about our ckt, because as I know, u never come to our shop so often, even my grandmother n mother ( who sell economic rice ) for 20+ years here not even know u. If u can find better ckt without tauge can fried better n nice’rrrr, please show it to me, thank you. I just told by my mother that u’re laksa owner friend or something??? My service will be better if u’re our regular customers or u’re sincerely coming to interview us, but not because u’re invited by someone to take photo and promoting our shop with wrong information, ok? I dun think we’re the best, but among the best 3 ckt stall in penang. we r the best during my grandma n father time, but after my auntie took over, our standard definately drop a bits, I sincerely tell all the visiter here. But the taste is finally back and the koay teow is evenly flavoured as I told by my customers. Cooking, most importantly is using our heart to FRIED it, served the best to the customers. I done my best already, but I can’t ask all the customers agree with me, because not all people like to eat ckt. wok hei or ‘wok’ taste very important, come during lunch time or peak period, u will have it.

    http://www.graceong.com/category/food-glorious.
    tis was our supporter, i dunno them, but they like my ckt. So, i think different people different taste, if all people come our shop, we can’t handle all too. but i just hope u guys dun simply give wrong information, thank you. u come our shop, we will serve u with our best. hope to c u all soon. bye

    Thanks for clarifying some of the hiccups stated in my post. At least I have a clearer picture of why the koay teow was not as good as before. Well, it really would take time before a person would be seasoned in his style of cooking. Keep it up and I’m sure you would succeed in the near future. I really admire you for taking the time to post up such long comments to let everyone here have a clearer picture of the actual scenario.

  9. ck lam says:

    It was very nice of Tuck for the information that he shared with us on the history of his Char Koay Teow stall.
    All the while, I thought he was the worker helping the lady but in fact he was the grandson… at least we get this point clear up now.

    I definitely will drop by again to try out the CKT during the later hours of the day when the wok is very hot as recommended by Tuck.

    Maybe we should give him another chance for his effort to improve further for his customers.

  10. gill gill says:

    tuck:
    We really hope you take the effort to improve and reclaim back the taste and glory of your grandfather and gandmother. We actually went there b4 last year, and it was with friends from KL. It was very big dissapointment to us and also to them. Anyway, since you said has been improve, and we will make an effort to give your place a try again.
    Anyway, at the end of the day, we still prefer to have the delicious food, that is what the most people wanted…..

    Cool! This is what I would call the spirit of a good food blogging community! That’s the way to upkeep the fame of the local food seller community by giving positive feedbacks in hope that they would improve for the better. I hope you would learn through their sincere remarks Tuck. All the best! 🙂

  11. Rico says:

    I agree that the taste is no longer special, for my CKT fix now, i go to hillside i think they start in the afternoon from lunch onwards. I like the ambience there sitting under the tree and yes next to a busy road. Sorry never knew the road name it is near the ESSO station along those houses below road level.

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Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

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