[Penang] Breakfast at New Cathay Kopitiam, Pulau Tikus

New Cathay Kopitiam at the junction of Burmah Road and Kuching Lane is one of the most popular breakfast spots in George Town. If you come before 10am, be prepared to join the big breakfast crowd which tapers off towards late-morning, only the build up again at lunch-time.

  1. Koay chiap - a popular hawker dish of Teochew/Chaozhou/潮州 origin. Wide rice noodles in a strong, almost herbal duck-pork broth, garnished with pork, duck-meat, pig’s offal, hard-boiled egg and tofu, topped with golden-fried chopped garlic and garnished with fresh coriander sprigs. New Cathay is pretty well-known for this koay chiap outlet, rivalling those in Ayer Itam market and also the evening one on Kimberley Street.

  2. Char koay kak, another hawker dish of Teochew/Chaozhou/潮州 origin. It’s a very popular dish within the Chaozhou diaspora in South-east Asia, and the dish (with very minor variations) is known as “pad kanom pak kard” In Thailand. “chai tow kway” in Singapore, and “bột chiên” in Vietnam. Basically steamed rice flour cakes with consistency of polenta, cut-up into small cubes and fried with lard, beansprouts, eggs, chopped salted radish and garlic, flavoured with fish sauce and soysauce, then given a spicy lift with a dollop of chilli paste.

For other well-known char koay kak stalls in Penang, try:

In Bangkok, there is a very good version at Soi Saint Louis:

  1. Chee cheong fun - steamed rolls of rice noodles. The Penang version uses a strong prawn paste (hae koh) to pep up the dish, with its usual beansauce and chilli paste dressing.

The same stall also offers steamed yam cake, topped with dried shrimps (hae bee), shallots and chopped scallions. Delish with a dash of sweet chilli sauce.

  1. Penang-style “char koay teow” - there are so many other better-known renditions in Penang (Penang's Top 6 "Char Koay Teow" Spots), but the rendition here is pretty respectable.

Kedai Kopi New Cathay
425, Jalan Burmah
10350 George Town
Tel: +60 16-452 1378
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 8am-2.30pm. Closed on Sundays.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo