I speak from personal experience when I say that the thing Penangites miss the most when away from home (apart from family and friends, that is) is its wonderful hawker food. For sure, there has been a mushrooming of hawkers and cafes alike purporting to cater to the palates of Penangites, who now call KL or PJ their second homes. But more often than not, these stalls and cafes pale in comparison to the “real thing”.
My previous attempts at eating Penang street food outside of Penang has mostly ended badly. To me, the experience has been a lot like eating vegetarian “meat” – it looks like meat, never tastes the same and always leaves you with a bigger craving for the real thing!
Because of this, my natural inclination has been to mentally prepare myself by lowering my expectations whenever I decide to order Penang delicacies like Char Kway Teow. This way, I avoid total disappointment when my food arrives.
It was with this same apprehension that I approached the Char Kway Teow stall at ATC Kopitiam. But this unnamed non-descript stall located in Centrepoint, Bandar Utama came as a very nice surprise to me. I had set out for lunch early to avoid the crowd. My order of Char Kway Teow without “see ham” came briefly after I had placed my order with the well-tanned man who was slaving feverishly over his wok.
My first impression was that the generously sized prawns looked quite fresh – hopefully, this was true as stale prawns would ruin the dish, regardless of how good the taste the overall dish was. Amazingly, I was not disappointed as the prawns were scrumptious – and so was the Char Kway Teow!
My only complaint was the kway teow used, which seemed narrower and soggier than the variety normally used in Penang, and the chilli, which was a little to spicy for my liking. So, is this the best Char Kway Teow stall outside Penang? Probably not but its definitely a place you can go to temporarily satisfy your Char Kway Teow cravings before your next trip home.
Penang Char Kueh Teow Stall
Lot G29, Centre Point
3 Lebuh Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya