Penang has many food streets - the famous New Lane (intersection with MacAlister Road), Carnarvon Street (with its numerous coffeshops or kopitians which do brisk business in the mornings & lunch-time), Chulia Street (its night-time street-side hawker stalls), and many others.
But my fave is Kimberley Street (or Lebuh Kimberley) - Penangites called it "Swatow-kay" or Swatow street, as many Teochew immigrants from Swatow province in China migrated here for the past two centuries. I particularly liked the cluster of streetside hawker stalls which started appearing at dusk near the intersection with Rope Walk (Jalan Pintal Tali).
Most of these stalls are run by second- or third-generation hawkers, and had been here since World War II. My faves are:
- Char koay teow stall. One of the best on the island. Order a plate with duck's egg added, it's richer in taste and the "wok hei" of the fried rice noodles with prawns, Chinese sausages, sprouts and chives is mind-blowing;
- Koay chiap - my first choice whenever I come here. Coarse, thick handmade noodles in a flavorsome dark brew, into which chopped pig's skin, intestines, coagulated pig's blood, liver, duck-meat, hard-boiled egg and many other delicacies were added. It's Penang soul food - super-delicious;
- Koay teow th'ng or rice noodles in chicken/pork consomme - delicate, subtle and light. This stall also served braised chicken feet as a side - again, the flavors imparted were simply mind-blowing: the delicate, semi-gelatinous chicken feet were flavored thru with a soysauce/5-spice/herbal stew. Intoxicating ;-)
- Chng teng or Chinese dessert stall which offered traditional Teochew/Chiuchow sweet, syrupy dessert soups with longan, lotus seeds, red beans, etc.
This was what Singapore used to be - colorful side-streets packed with life, hawker stalls offering simply great food, using recipes passed down through 60-70 years. I felt like I'd died and gone to foodie heaven :-D
Hawker stalls at Kimberley Street
137 Lebuh Kimberley, George Town, Pulau Pinang 10100, MY
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