Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where else but Lorong Selamat Penang

Returned to Lorong Selamat. Last time I featured the famous Char Kway Teow goggle lady, and this time, the older coffee shop, just a few doors away.

The goggle lady used to operate her push cart just a few meters from this shop, before she got rich from her takings and moved to her own shop a few doors away. Some say that the current CKT stall man taught her how to fry CKT. But all we know that he offers a mean CKT, and also is equipped with his own goggles

The wait was about 30 minutes...a bit less than the other, now more famous stall. And one does not have to deal with the antics of the lady and her assistants. The CKT looks beautiful. But the question is how does it taste? And more importantly, is his better than the lady's?

Well, not quite. My ultimate CKT is still Ah Leng's, with the duck egg and addition of mantis prawns. But coming in a close second is the goggle lady's...the way it is fried, the wok hei is just superior. The goggle man's version is very good, to be sure, but lacks the last bit of...shall I say je ne sais quoi.

The shop also have the usual evils...

The Hokkien Mee is quite good:

In fact, I still remember my school days, when I used to drop by in this very same coffee shop after a movie, and eat both the CKT and the HKM. In those days, some 30 years ago, the only CKT stall by this shop was the goggle lady's. And we also used to cool down with the ice kachang:

And if the occassion is right, and we have a bit of money in our pockets, some lor bak and heh chiee..

Note the bowl of lor...or gravy...which is the identity fo lor bak...meaning gravy meat...translated from Hokkien...not the variety of lorbak served in Penang restaurants in Singapore...which is sans lor. The heh chiee...prawn fritters are a speciality...crispy, and beautifully aromatic of fresh prawns.

This visit, there was also a jew her eng chye stall...which did not used to be there.

The most famous JHEC stall in Penang used to be by a corner at Gurney Drive...but that disappeared probably some 20 years ago. This one served at Lorong Selamat was all right, passes the mark, but does not really hit the spot for me...well maybe I was reminiscing of the good old days.

Anyway, this coffee shop at Lorong Selamat is still worth a visit for Singaporeans vacationing in Penang. As is the CKT at the Goggle Lady's visit both. Highly recommended.

Chuan Kee Cafe
82, Lorong Selamat,
10400 Pulau Pinang

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