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Restaurants & Bars

Penang - Gaik Ten Eating House - Strangest Seating Arrangement Ever

klyeoh | Nov 16, 200807:52 PM     6

I visited the old quarter of Georgetown in food haven Penang over the weekend & chanced upon this 60-year-old eatery on Magazine Road (opposite Traders' Hotel). It serves a paraphernalia of Teochew/Chiuchow dishes: braised pork, soy-flavored tofu, pickled mustard, salted ducks' eggs, omelettes filled with chopped salted radishes, sweet-sour fish fillets - all served with Chinese rice porridge/congee.

But what caught my eye was the seating arrangements upfront of the serving counter: long benches, topped with tiny stools. Apparently, these type of eateries were common in Southern China (where Penang-Chinese immigrants originally came from centuries ago) in the old days - the diners back in the 19th-century (many of whom were coolies or rickshaw-pullers) liked to squat atop the benches while seated on the tiny stools. Amazing to see such "traditional" seating arrangements still exist in Penang!

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