[Penang, Malaysia] Breakfast at Loh Kei Koay Teow Th'ng

Loh Kei Koay Teow Th’ng which operates on the grounds of the State Chinese (Penang) Association on 13 Perak Road is one of the most popular in Penang. It started off in Pulau Tikus Market, but this Perak Road location is much larger and busier nowadays.

Koay teow th’ng is a noodle dish of Teochew/Chiuchow/Chaozhou origins. It shares the same pedigree as Cambodian kuyteav and Vietnamese pho, also introduced by Teochew immigrants to those countries over a century ago.

The flat rice noodles itself - called “koay teow” is one of the most popular types of noodles in Southeast Asia:

The outlet here is fronted by Ms Celine Oh (whose father, Oh Kim Ghee, started the business at Pulau Tikus Market 40 years ago), although her husband, Ha Hoi Suin, takes over on some days. Both are easily recognised from their heavily-tattooed arms.

The eatery fills up quickly in the mornings - they operate very early - from 7.30am, and might sell out before 11.30am daily (except Thursday).

Be prepared to queue for a table, though service and turnover are very fast, so one doesn’t really need to wait for too long.

Koay teow th’ng are usually served in individual bowls of noodles, garnished with sliced duck-meat, pork meatballs, duck’s gizzards, pig’s intestines, pig’s liver, pig’s blood pudding, and fish meatballs, all steeped in a light but very savory pork-duck broth.

One can order extra sides like sliced duck-meat, drizzled with a very savory, lard-laden dressing, light soy sauce and sesame oil, topped with golden-fried lardons and chopped scallions.

Blanched beansprouts, also drizzled with the pork-lard dressing and chopped scallions, is another popular side-order.

One of the best breakfast options in town.

Loh Kei Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng
13, Perak Road, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6019-559 2633
Operating hours: 7.30am to 11.30am Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun. Closed on Thursdays.


Back to Loh Kei yesterday morning - it opens for breakfast at 7.30am, and a queue already forms by then!

Founder Oh Kim Ghee’s son-in-law, Ha Hoi Suin, runs this outlet. Clean-shaven bald and heavily-tattooed, he cuts quite a figure:

Service was very fast and efficient. Minutes after one was seated and orders placed, the food’s served out piping hot.

Koay teow th’ng: flat rice noodles in a light, highly-flavorsome broth, garnished with duck-meat, fish-balls, pork meat-balls, slivers of pig’s stomach, chicken liver and gizzards, and lardons.

Sliced duck-meat, topped with crisp lardons and scallions.

Blanched beansprouts, with lard-soy sauce dressing, topped with lardons and scallions.

Shredded pig’s blood pudding.

Boiled chicken feet.

One of the most fortifying breakfast options this side of town.