Before we started for our Penang trip, I made a list of best Penang char koay teow so we can try at least one or two of them. One of them is Tiger Char Koay Teow on Lebuh Carnavon, not far from Armenian Heritage Hotel.
Tiger Char Koay Teow
While Ping Hooi Coffeeshop (which houses Tiger Char Koay Teow) wasn’t terribly crowded at 12pm, finding a parking space was a different matter. We had to circle for four rounds before parking a few streets away. At that point, CS told me, he hoped it’s worth all the trouble.
Fortunately, all’s well ends well, as Tiger Char Koay Teow came with fat juicy fresh-tasting cockles. Not too raw nor overcooked. The kuey teow was so nicely done with enough wok hei that we can taste the smoky aroma to it.
What I would complain about, as with all Penang char koay teow – the portion. It’s small in comparison to its price tag of RM7 (RM8 for duck egg version). I wonder how will the norm office worker last the day with this as their lunch.
Address: 179, Carnavon Street, 10300 Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: Daily 8.00 am to 2:30 pm
GPS: 5.41462, 100.33412
Red Hat Aunty Char Koay Teow
After the good experience, CS wanted another round of Penang char koay teow and we ended up at Red Hat Aunty Char Koay Teow. Highly recommended by a food vlog channel as the best char koay teow in Penang, we were so looking forward to this. There are a few coffeeshops offering char koay teow along Lorong Selamat but no one would have missed the lady with her signature red hat.
We caught a glimpse of the price and we were like “RM9.50 for a char koay teow?” We entertained the possibility that it might be bigger portion or have more extras, whatsoever.
Here’s something you might want to know – sitting in this coffeeshop without ordering any drinks is an offense. You will be booted out and get prosecuted. Nah.. just kidding. However, a charge of RM1.50 will be imposed for not ordering a drink.
From one of the biggest photo on the wall, the Ais Kacang looked decent so we ordered for one. It turned out to be very bad, in both visual and taste. Seriously lacking sweet syrup, it’s bland. Ice shave was terribly coarse and the dollop of ice cream? Looked like someone just stole a bite off it!
To add salt to injury, Red Hat Aunty’s Char Koay Teow was just as bad. The rice noodles were floppy and slightly mushy. The taste was lackluster and all we could taste were the salted radish. Prawns were big, but cockles were dry and overcooked.
Personally, I think Red Hat Aunty’s Char Koay Teow was so amateurish that I don’t think it will even attract any crowds in Klang Valley, let alone Penang, the land of char koay teow. I can’t help but wonder how the heck it came to be one of the best CKT in Penang.
Address: Kafe Heng Huat, 108 Lorong Selamat, 10400 Georgetown
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 6pm. Closed on Tuesday
Tiger Char Koay Teow definitely won hands down between the two. In fact, CS suggested that we should have a second round at Tiger CKT just to wash off the awful aftertaste of Red Hat Aunty’s CKT.