My Penang friends were determined that I should try some local favourites away from the mainstream, over beaten tourist tracks.
This famous stall has no name or signboard. It is simply called Bukit Mertajam duck egg fried char kway teow 大山脚鸭蛋炒粿条
The local people at industrial Bukit Mertajam (far from the Penang tourist belt) are very proud of this char kway teow. It's in an ordinary bare bones kopitiam with only one stall that opens in the evening. The kopitiam (the name Restoran Mei Le Hwa 美麗華海鮮餐室 is overstating it :-P ) was in a rather dark, dingy street corner and the weather beaten sign board was dimly lit.
But, this char kway teow stall is easy to spot.
Just look out for this fireworks near the Jalan Kulim and Jalan Kampung Baru junction.
The boss, Ah Heng 阿兴 still fries his char kway teow with charcoal and the sparks make a spectacular fireworks display when Ah Heng whips the kway teow in his super heated wok. Ah Heng fries the kway teow with gusto and with pride of his mastery of the fire and frying skills.
The queues are long and Ah Heng fries non-stop from 8:00pm to 1:00am.
We waited about 20 minutes.
The tastiest ugly mess, Anthony Bourdain calls char kway teow.
The ingredients were very basic.
Just kway teow noodles, duck eggs, bean sprouts, cockles, prawns, (plenty of) lard, soy and chili sauce. Small plate at RM3.50 and large RM4.
The kway teow noodles were mostly broken up by the high energy frying. The kway teow noodles stuck together in clumps were relatively dry and tastes mildly savoury. There were bits and pieces of hard, crunchy lard crackers in the plate of kway teow.
I like the spicy version with chili added more as it has a better balance of savoury flavour with spicy and slight sweet notes.
The duck eggs mixed well into the fried kway teow. The bean sprouts were plump and juicy. The prawns and cockles were fresh and juicy.
The locals eat their fried kway teow with fried duck eggs as side dish. The duck eggs were done just right. The egg white fringe was crispy while the egg yolk was nicely runny. Each fried egg at RM1.
Ah Heng has been frying char kway teow this way for over 35 years. Ah Heng has mentored 2 others on his style of char kway teow. His disciples run their own char kway teow stalls around Bukit Mertajam and all of them have their own fans.
If you have already tried the famous char kway teow stalls in Penang, you may want to venture further and check out Ah Heng in Bukit Mertajam.
Acknowledgement: Original Century Food Pte Ltd, maker of MyOri Penang White Curry Noodles supported my visit to Penang and my mission to "Put Every Good Hawker on the World Wide Web".
Restaurant name: Bukit Mertajam Duck Egg Fried Char Kway Teow 大山脚鸭蛋炒粿条
Address: Jalan Kampung Baru and Jalan Kulim Junction (opposite Caltex Petrol station), Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia
Hours: 8:00pm to 1:00am
Date visited: 27 Oct 2014
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