Joo Hooi kopitiam is only famous for one thing - the cendol, sold from a pushcart right outside it along Lebuh Keng Kwee which, IMHO, is the best-tasting cendol I’d ever had anywhere.
You can get also Penang char koay teow and Penang assam laksa there - both pretty respectable versions, but not the best around.
One only needs to compare the appearance of the Penang char koay teow at Joo Hooi here versus the one from Kafe Heng Huat in Lorong Selamat to see the difference in standards.
Joo Hooi’s version:
Kafe Heng Huat at Lorong Selamat:
Joo Hooi’s assam laksa actually looked worse than it tastes. I must admit that their rendition of the assam laksa was not attractive at all - but it had all the requisite flavours one associates with good Penang assam laksa. Here’s how it compares, appearance-wise, to the Ayer Itam assam laksa, one of the most famous in Penang.
Joo Hooi’s assam laksa:
Ayer Itam assam laksa:
Still, Joo Hooi is packed to the gills all day - with mainly Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian tourists visiting Penang. Be vigilant in order to snare a table if you must come.
Joo Hooi Cafe 愉园茶室 Cendol
475, Jalan Penang, corner with Lebuh Keng Kwee
George Town, 10450 Penang
Opening hours: 11am to 5.30pm daily, except Thursday.