[Non-halal] Seow Fong Lye Café in Penang serves good chee cheong fun. The famous Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak which was added to the Michelin Guide KL & Penang 2024 is also located here.
Located on Lorong Macalister in Penang, this kopitiam serves two of the best street food in Penang.
[Nov 2023 UPDATE: Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak was added to the Michelin Guide KL & Penang 2024. Check out our Michelin post here]
Seow Fong Lye Cafe in Penang
One of the oldest kopitiams in Penang, Seow Fong Lye Cafe features two of the more popular stalls on the island – the chee cheong fun stall run by Madam Lee Lai Fong, and char koay kak stall run by the Eoh sisters.
Delicious Penang-style chee cheong fun
Penang-style chee cheong fun (CCF) is one of Max’s favourite varieties of rice noodles dish.
Compared to CCF found in other states, the Penang version typically has a thick gravy made with prawn paste (hek ko), silky smooth flat rice noodles, and topped with sambal and sesame seed.
The CCF stall in Genting Cafe is one of the most popular ones on the island, but we didn’t really fancy that at all due to the addition of peanut butter (You can read our post here).
Hence we were excited to try this one at Seow Fong Lye Cafe.
Serving delicious CCF since the 1960s
Located just outside the kopiitiam, the CCF cart is operated by Madam Lee and her husband, who also run Seow Fong Lye.
We arrived at 11.20 am on a Monday morning – and thankfully it wasn’t very busy. However, we did have to wait for about 15 minutes as each order is made by hand, with a few customers already ahead of us.
The CCF comes in three different portions – small for RM2.80, medium for RM3.40, and RM4.00 for large.
Super thick prawn paste
There is a choice to order the CCF noodles in the rolled-up form or flat (which is our preference so it could soak up more of the paste).
It’s pretty cool to watch how each order is assembled. First, the noodles are steamed before it is drizzled with super thick brown paste and chilli paste. It is then finished with some oil and sesame seeds.
We loved it! The Chee Cheong Fun noodles have a nice soft, silky texture. The prawn paste is also quite balanced – not very sweet, with a nice savoury kick from the he ko (prawn paste).
We liked that it’s not very pungent, and blends well with the chilli paste and nutty flavours of the sesame seed.
Char koay kak by the Eoh sisters
While waiting for our CCF, we also decided to order a plate of Char Koay Kak (Stir-fry Rice Cake) from Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak.
We didn’t know that this stall was popular – so we were actually pleasantly surprised by how good it was!
Similar to the CCF stall, this stall was first opened by the sisters’ father in the 60s.
Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak was recently added to the Michelin Guide KL & Penang 2024.
Char koay kak is full of wok hei
Rice cakes are stir-fried in pork lard, garlic, preserved radish, chilli paste, sauce, beansprouts and egg.
This was delicious! The dish was very aromatic and full of wok hei. The umami is really present from the garlic and radish, and there was a nice chilli kick to it!
The rice cakes had a nice soft, bouncy texture – which provided a satisfactory bite.
We were really pleased with our discovery of Seow Fong Lye Cafe. While Ming thought the two dishes were slightly better than average, Max thoroughly enjoyed both the CCF and Char Koay Kak dishes here. While
Seow Fong Lye Cafe
Address: 94c, Lorong Macalister, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Hours: 7.30am-12.30pm Daily
Phone: 04-229 7390
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