𝗕𝗲𝗲 𝗛𝘄𝗮 𝗖𝗮𝗳𝗲 on 10 Dickens Street was started way back in 1967 by the Sum family as a traditional Hainanese coffeeshop. At the time, it served only coffee & tea beverages, plus toast and soft-boiled eggs. Its clientele included policemen from the Penang Police HQ just across the street.
In 1992, Mr Sum’s daughter-in-law, Madam G N Ng, known to her customers as ‘Ah Lian’ took over the running of the coffeeshop as well as raising her family as a single mother after losing her husband.
Mdm Ng, a stoic, strong & resourceful Teochew woman, decided to introduce cooked dishes in her coffeeshop to satisfy her customers’ demands for more substantial dishes. She cooks everything herself. Respecting the fact that many of her regulars are Malays/Muslims, Mdm Ng only uses chicken (procured from halal suppliers) for her noodle dishes. She’ll 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 use, or permit any pork products to enter her premises.
Today, Mdm Ng still mans the stove, doing all the fried dishes herself - char koay teow (fried rice noodles, with shrimps, fish-balls, beansprouts, egg and chives), and fried rice (with shrimps, fishballs, Japanese kanikama/imitation crab sticks and egg) , two of the ever-popular dishes.
Her daughter, Yuki Sum, assists by serving out the equally popular Penang-style white curry mee and Hokkien mee (prawn noodles).
Her son, Ah Ming, takes orders and collects from an ever-present queue at the cash-counter. The family works with clockwork efficiency, and systematically serves out a train of freshly-cooked dishes to their multi-racial clientele. Come early for lunch, or be prepared to wait as the coffeeshop can get busy at peak meal hours.
𝗕𝗲𝗲 𝗛𝘄𝗮 𝗖𝗮𝗳𝗲 opens 7am to 3pm, Mon to Sat. Closed on Sundays. Tel: 04-263 6092/+60 12-854 0005.
10, Lebuh Dickens (Dickens Street), 10050 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.