[Penang, Malaysia] Breakfast & lunch options at ๐—ข๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ฒ, Jalan Bawasah

One Corner Cafรฉ at Jalan Bawasah, off Burmah Road, is one of the most popular breakfast places in George Town. Besides its famous Super Hokkien Mee, itโ€™s got a plethora of other good eats from the other stalls at the kopitiam.

  1. Hokkien mee from Super Hokkien Mee is reputedly one of the best, if not the best, Hokkien mee in Penang.

  1. Koay teow thโ€™ng with lots of minced pork - my personal favourite dish there.

  1. Penang-style char koay teow - the version here is one of the best around.

  1. Penang-style curry mee - very tasty rendition here. Also one of the best in town.

  1. One dud - the traditional Nyonya kueh has seen a huge drop in standard here . It used to be really, really good, but are very disappointing now - avoid!

One of the most popular breakfast and lunch spots in town - to avoid the crowds, come after 9am (when the office crowd dissipates) and also before 12.30pm when the lunch crowd comes in with a vengeance. This place is closed after 4.30pm.

Address
One Corner Cafe
4, Jalan Bawasah,10050 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Operating hours: 7.30am-4.30pm, daily

6 Likes

Super Hokkien Mee here sells out and closes by 10.30am daily due to its popularity! Super disappointed when following advise to come after 9.00am and before 12:30pm!

1 Like

Sorry that it sold out on the day you visited - it must have been particularly busy. I used to come between 11am & lunch-time (12-12.30pm) when it is quieter.
But the stall sometimes receive bulk orders and can run out pretty quickly.

Met up with a couple of old school chums for brekkie last Saturday (28 Sep) and they suggested the ever-popular One Corner Cafe. It was the eve of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or, as itโ€™s called in Penang, โ€œKew Ong Yeahโ€, a major Taoist festival which stretches for 9 days, and is also known as the โ€œvegetarian festivalโ€, as many Penangites whoโ€™re Chinese-Taoists will go on a strict vegetarian diet for 9 whole days. Many of Penangโ€™s famous hawkers will be closed for the entire 9 days as their customer numbers will dwindle drastically. One Corner Cafe itself will shutter for 9 whole days from 29 Sep till 7 Oct, with many of their hawkers taking the opportunity to go for vacation overseas.

Anyhoo, we were there, together with a whole horde of hungry customers, for one last taste of the hawker goodies before the Hunger Games begin.

  1. Unmissable, of course, is the famed Hokkien mee stall, which usually entailed a 1-hour wait. Their rendition of the Hokkien noodle/mee dish ticked all the boxes: flavoursome pork-prawn broth, good quality ingredients. Their chili paste was spicier than those from other Penang Hokkien mee spots. Of course, Penang Hokkien mee is as different from KL-style Hokkien mee, as they are both different from Singapore-style Hokkien mee. The similarity is that all 3 used pork and prawns, and yellow Hokkien wheat noodles.

The infamous stall - Super Hokkien Mee - beware the stallownerโ€™s wife who takes the orders. Sheโ€™s got a big tantrum and is the undisputed Hokkien noodle Nazi of Penang: more than a few of my friends had been on the receiving end of her wrath. They only โ€œfollowed upโ€ on their orders (a strict no-no!) and sheโ€™d holler, โ€œIF YOU CANโ€™T WAIT, YOU DONโ€™T NEED TO EAT HERE!!โ€.

  1. Lor Mee and Lor Kay Kah - Lor mee is a Fujianese/Hokkien noodle dish with a brown, unctuous sauce, very flavoursome from the use of meat stock and various condiments, thickened with tapioca starch, and streaked through with egg ribbons.
    We donโ€™t usually come to One Corner Cafe and order this - but then, half of the stalls were already closed in preparation for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival - including the more popular Char Koay Teow, Wantan Noodles, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Koay Teow Thโ€™ng stalls.

Penangโ€™s lor mee has a mix of yellow Hokkien wheat noodles and thin โ€œbee hoonโ€ rice noodles, with braised pork, chicken feet, fish cakes, hard-boiled egg and beansprouts. The Singapore version is similar, but with the addition of fish meat, and crunchy crisp-fried tapioca flour bits.

  1. This lor mee stall also offered lor kay kah or braised chicken feet, which my friends simply loved. Very tasty indeed.

  2. Koay chiap - this is a Teochew/Chiuchow/Chaozhou dish, and I loved the Penang rendition to bits, with its lighter duck-based broth. The version which Iโ€™m more familiar with - in Singapore, is pork-based and is blander and greasier. Bangkok (where the Chinese are largely Chiuchow/Chaozhou - they are called Taechiu in Thailand) has a pork-based version but with a very peppery broth.

All three renditions are similar in that the noodle used, or the โ€œkoayโ€, is a thick, broad flat rice noodle which curls upon boiling.

The rendition here at One Corner Cafe surprisingly has a strong pork-flavoured broth (instead of the more common duck-based Penang version), and is served garnished with boiled pork slices, braised pigsโ€™ ear, soy-braised chicken feet, tofu and hard-boiled egg. The flavours are more Penang than Singapore despite its pork-base.

  1. Fish rice congee - a Cantonese breakfast dish, and surprisingly tasty! Weโ€™d never had ordered this if the other popular stalls had been open, but weโ€™re glad we did - a new food find. Itโ€™s served with julienned ginger strips, fresh scallions, a shake of white pepper, and a drizzle of light soysauce and sesame oil.

  2. Chee Cheong Fun (left) and Teochew Chai Kueh (right) - chee cheong fun is steamed rice rolls - the Penang rendition called for a beanpaste dressing spiked with โ€œhae kohโ€ (fermented shrimp paste) which one doesnโ€™t find in versions elsewhere (KL, Singapore, Hong Kong, or anywhere else in the world!). Didnโ€™t quite like it here.
    The chai kueh or steamed dumplings filled with either stewed jicama or chives were marginally better, but I wonโ€™t come here for this specifically.

Okay, now to endure the next 9 days without many of my favourite hawker food around town.
P.S. - the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is only a big deal in Penang, where the populace are largely Fujianese/Hokkiens. Itโ€™s also quite big in Phuket (Thailand) because of its historic links with Penang. The festival is not observed on such scale (if at all) in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Malacca or elsewhere in Malaysia.

2 Likes

This morning at the Jelutong morning market - the usually-bustling hawker food stalls were all closed for the 9-day vegetarian festival all over the island. Taoism is more widespread in Penang than I ever envisaged. 4 more days to go.

Day 536 since Malaysia started its Movement Control Order (MCO) back in 18 March 2020. Under current SOPs in Malaysia, dining at restaurants, cafes, kopitiams and hawker centres are allowed for fully-vaccinated individuals only. I donโ€™t qualify as yet, so my breakfast this morning are take-outs from ๐™Š๐™ฃ๐™š ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ง ๐˜พ๐™–๐™›๐™š.

  1. Laksa, popiah & Nyonya kuih

    Anthony, the son-in-law of Pandi Nadal, who used to sell Nyonya kueh, asam laksa and deep-fried popiah & curry puffs behind Penang Plaza since the 1980s.


Dipping the crisp-fried โ€œpopiahโ€ into the โ€œasam laksaโ€ broth.


Selection of Nyonya kueh.

  1. Hokkien mee

    Hokkien mee, from Super Hokkien mee, run by Lim Bok Huat, a second-generation hawker who carried on the legacy of his father, Lim Kow Leong. The elder Lim was the first Hokkien mee seller at the old Kim San coffeeshop on the corner of MacAlister Road and Rangoon Road about 60 years ago.


The elder Lim Kow Leong had then moved his Hokkien mee stall to a new location in 1981, right behind the-then newly-opened and very popular Super Departmental Store on the corner of Burmah Road and Rangoon Road. He named his stall Super Hokkien Mee, after the Super Departmental Store which every Penangite seemed to want to shop at. When One Corner Cafe opened in Jalan Bawasah in 2006, Lim Bok Huat was attracted by the cheaper rental and moved there on 18 May 2006.

  1. Char koay teow - very well-done here, even though One Corner Cafe is not known for this dish.

  2. Koay teow thโ€™ng - my go-to dish whenever I visit one Corner Cafe. Its tasty broth and well-seasoned minced pork are winners - best-tasting Iโ€™d found in George Town.

The lockdown has slowed the business here tremendously, but One Corner Cafe still sees a steady stream of customers each morning.

1 Like