Some places in the Klang Valley where you can get Penang Char Kuay Teow.

A FELLOW Penangite once told me that a good plate of char kuay teow was better than sex.

That statement baffled me – it is common to say that about foie gras, truffles or caviar, but char kuay teow?

Then again, I was talking to a true-blue Penang Hokkien, so it’s natural that he was passionate about the island’s most popular noodle dish.

During my yearly visit to Penang (both island and the mainland), char kuay teow is always on my list of must-eat dishes. In KL, I’m constantly looking for char kuay teow that can rival or at least match the ones in Penang.

Here are some of my discoveries in the Klang Valley.

Robert Char Kuay Teow at Restoran Say Huat, Section 17

Robert is from Penang, and his char kuay teow is the best I’ve had so far in the Klang Valley. I’ve been patronising his stall for the past eight years, and he knows just how I like my char kuay teow – spicy, with extra cockles and a large portion.

The queue for his char kuay teow gets quite long during peak hours, but it is worth the wait.

Served on a banana leaf, Robert’s char kuay teow boasts fluffy, separated noodles, crisp lap cheong slices, crunchy beansprouts, chives, several medium-sized prawns, pork lard and juicy cockles. The noodles taste as though they have been dancing in wok fire and the fish sauce gives the char kuay teow good umami.

Good stuff! I know quite a number of Penangites residing in Kuala Lumpur who come here for their fix every week.

Robert Char Kuay Teow (non-halal), Restaurant Say Huat, 1083 Jalan 17/29, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Char Kuay Teow at Mei Sin, Jalan Imbi

5D2CED5A859846C69E1ADF3C5F4C860CThe kuay teow at Mei Sin has crunchy beansprouts and lightly cooked cockles.

The dry hor fun with poached chicken is good at this coffee shop, but I spotted quite a number of people ordering the char kuay teow, so I followed suit.

The noodles (small RM5; large RM5.50) came with plenty of cockles, three medium-sized prawns and crunchy beansprouts. Presentation wasn’t much to shout about, but the noodles were spicy and fragrant from the wok hei (wok fire).

The beansprouts were crunchy and juicy, which complemented the fluffy yet firm texture of the noodles. I especially enjoyed the lightly cooked cockles as they added a touch of sweetness to the char kuay teow. While it’s not the best I’ve had, this is definitely one of the better ones in the Klang Valley.

Restaurant Mei Sin (non-halal), 16 Jalan Melati, Off Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur.

Francis Char Kuay Teow at Restoran 8888, D’sara Perdana

My friend Ken recommended this place to me when we caught up for curry laksa not long ago. According to him, Francis is the nephew of the man behind the famous Ah Leng Char Kuay teow stall in Penang.

I hardly venture into Damansara Perdana, so after a few Whatsapp messages to Ken, I found the stall.

Francis is friendly and speaks good English, so if you’re a “banana” like me, you’ll have no problem ordering from him. My large plate of char kuay teow came with duck egg (RM6) and smelt delicious.

Lighter in colour compared to Robert’s, this char kuay teow had its own merits. If you like your char kuay teow less spicy and still full of wok hei, this is your best bet.

Francis Char Kuay Teow (non-halal), Restoran 8888, Jalan PJU 8/5d, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Aunty Gemuk Char Kuay Teow, SS5, Kelana Jaya

FA08F7662E7A4BC59EC9A265C4CB92B1Aunty Gemuk’s is a halal versionthat holds its own.

Someone asked me if I knew where she could find tasty and halal char kuay teow. I thought long and hard, but couldn’t give her a good answer because, to me, a good char kuay teow needs to have pork lard and lap cheong.

Or so I thought until I tried Aunty Gemuk’s char kuay teow at Restoran Jamal Mohamed in SS5, Kelana Jaya.

Almost everyone at the restaurant was there for the noodles (small RM4; large RM4.50), a sign that I was going to tuck into some pretty tasty char kuay teow.

The noodles were slightly reddish from chilli paste and had a good dose of wok hei. I liked the still-bloody cockles, which gave the dish a richer flavour. While I still prefer the non-halal version, this is a good halal char kuay teow. Give it a try and decide for yourself!

Aunty Gemuk Char Kuay Teow, Restoran Jamal Mohamed, 24 Jalan SS5A/9, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Char Kuay Teow at Seng Lee, Jalan Batai

570A4CD792764A0FA28982FCEC24B53ASeng Lee’s kuay teow has its share of Malay clientele.

Some people swear by this char kuay teow so I have included it, but I found it rather disappointing.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, the coffee shop was packed with people waiting for their fix. My order (small RM5) arrived about 30 minutes later, looking rather anaemic. There was no lap cheong or pork lard, and the essential banana leaf base was missing.

While this char kuay teow came with a generous amount of beansprouts and cockles, it lacked wok hei and tasted quite bland. The noodles were adequately fluffy, but bordering on dry, and wasn’t spicy enough for me.

Not a char kuay teow I’d vouch for but it’s a matter of preference. I was told no pork is used because they cater to Malay clientele but do clarify with the owner before ordering.

Seng Lee, 8-6 Jalan Batai, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Tiong Sue Lynn blogs at and tweets at

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