Penang Char Koay Teow At 1 Utama

Penang char koay teow
Penang char koay teow.

Wuan and I would patronize restaurants serving Penang hawker food whenever we come across any in the Klang Valley. We were at 1 Utama last weekend and were undecided on what we wanted to eat after we finished watching ASIMO in action. We wandered around and came across a restaurant tucked in a corner and remembered that we had eaten there once a few months before. I also recalled that I had a rice set dish which I thought was too bland in taste.

To play safe, I decided to order something else. The last time I had char koay teow was many many months ago. I have yet to taste a plate of nice Penang char koay teow in the Klang Valley. I ordered that anyway hoping that it would appease my appetite at the very least. I also ordered cincau. Cincau or leong fun is a black grass jelly. It is served thinly sliced in a glass of simple syrup and ice cubes. It is one of my favourite drinks. Cincau is especially refreshing on hot days.

It took a while before the dish was served. The moment it was laid on on the table, I already knew I would not like it. First, it did not have that unique aroma common in a good plate of char koay teow. First and foremost, the koay teow must be stir-friend on a kuali that is well heated which I believed was not the case. The heat is to remove the raw smell of the taugeh (bean sprouts) and bring out the aroma of the other ingredients, especially the egg.

The dish had the usual ingredients like ku chai (chives), si hum (cockles), shelled prawns, taugeh, crab meat and egg. What it did not have were bak eu pok (crispy pork lard) and sliced lap cheong (Chinese waxed sausage). The omission of the last two ingredients kind of contributed to the lack of aroma. Penang char koay teow without the bak eu pok is just not Penang char koay teow.

Sauces also play an important role in making a good plate of char koay teow. I guess it was not well blended. The dish was rather bland and not as spicy as it should be. Char koay teow should be a little on the salty side which is somewhat complimented by the sweetness of the lap cheong slices. This dish was none of those. All said, I would rather forget that I had char koay teow that day. It was a total disappointment and I promised myself that I will never return to eat at that restaurant again.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers in The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

10 thoughts on “Penang Char Koay Teow At 1 Utama”

  1. Accept the fact, you can’t find nice food easily. Especially in shopping mall. Nowadays, they just cook it for the sake of cooking it.

    Peter:
    Some do take their food seriously but they are far and few in between and even rarer in shopping complexes.

  2. where is this shop in one-u? oriental cravings?

    Peter:
    I have not been to Oriental Cravings for a while. Do they serve char koay teow there? 😛

  3. I am also a Penangite currently residing in KL.

    Try Robert’s Char Koay Teow in Section 17, infront of the Section 17 wet market. The name of the coffeeshop is Sentosa if i’m not mistaken. IMO, his is the best Penang Char Koay Teow i could find in Klang Valley. Robert’s from Penang i think, he speaks fluent Penang Hokkien 🙂

    Peter:
    Thanks for sharing. Will check Robert out when I am around the vicinity. Sad to say my Penang Hokkien is going down the drain. The only time I get to speak Hokkien is when I get back to Penang.

  4. You had halal char koay teow lah bro.Its like having bak kut teh without the pork.Next time fry at home ,then can taro lots of artery clogging bak eu pok,a duck egg for flavour and lots of ku chai.Char koay teow is one of the easiest dish to prepare.

    Peter:
    Truth be told, I have fried a better plate of char koay teow than that a long time ago. That was why I was so disappointed. Bak eu pok, lap cheong and duck egg with char koay teow is the best! Luckily I will be going back to Penang tomorrow for some hawker food. I do hope they are as tasty as I had remembered them. Did you manage to eat at Hai Nan Town when you were in Penang?

  5. No,ended up in Hot Wok instead at my friend’s invite.Apparently, Hainan Town and Mamas are under the same management,Hainan Town being set up by Mamas and the latter is not in my friend’s A list!
    Next time maybe,enjoy the food during your sojourn in penang! I over ate as usual!

    Peter:
    Too bad I did not over eat like you but I did enjoy the food that I had.

  6. Try the one at Hoke Wah in the evening(not sure if available in the morning/afternoon), on the left side of the shop, along the 5 foot way to the shops. Dad who’s a Penangite say it’s worth a try. Haven’t tried myself though.

    Peter:
    Thanks. Will check it out.

  7. robert’s char kway teow in section 17 is located in restoran say huat. their kway teow theng is also quite good. the seller speaks penang hokkien wan.

    btw, don’t expect char kway teow with pork-related stuff from shopping malls lar… its always gotta be halal 😛

    Peter:
    Robert’s char koay teow so famous. Must go try. Thanks.

  8. Oh yeah, another one in Pandan Perdana. At Fock Guan, beside the old Warta(Maxisegar?). Super spicy. 🙂

    Peter:
    You have been eating out around Pandan Perdana a lot huh. Will check that out also. Thanks.

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