[Penang, Malaysia] Breakfast Options at 𝗞𝗵𝗲𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗶𝗻, corner of Penang Road and Sri Bahari Road

Kheng Pin Coffeeshop on the intersection of Penang Road and Sri Bahari Road has some of the best breakfast/lunch options in George Town.

The most famous stall here belongs to Lau Joo Choon, who’s been purveying “lor bak” - Penang-speak for Fujianese “ngoh hiang” for the past 3 decades or more. Still the best on the island.

Another favourite among the Penang crowd here is the “yee sung kai chok”: slivers of raw fish, topped with steaming hot, tasty chicken congee, dotted with delicious fragments of century egg and salted duck’s egg. Comfort food at its best, served topped with deep-fried “yu tiao” (dough fritters).

The “char koay teow” here is a hidden gem - lesser known than the other famous spots like the Lorong Selamat CKT and Siam Road CKT, the lady here stir-fries a mean plate of “char koay teow”, with the elusive Penang-style “wok hei” aroma and flavours.

Anne’s Nasi Lemak is a Chinese-style nasi lemak, richer and moister than the Malay versions, and with pork dishes as side options.

Kheng Pin kopitiam opens 7am to 3pm daily, closed Mondays.

Kheng Pin Cafe (群宾茶餐室)
80, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Opening hours: 7am to 2pm Tue to Sun. Closed on Mondays.


Is Lau Joo Chon the one who does a version of lorbak fritters with baby shrimp?

Baby shrimp like krills? No. I think he only used the usual sized ones.

Found the pic


Same guy. :slight_smile:

In Penang, shrimps this size are still considered “normal-sized” :smiley:

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We are back at Kheng Pin, but for lunchthis time, today. That’s when one of the “stars” of the coffeeshop opens for business: Mr & Mrs Foong’s Hainanese chicken rice stall. The couple, both in their 60s, serve perhaps the best Hainanese chicken rice in Penang. Mr Foong takes the orders and serves the customers, whilst his wife does the chopping of the chicken and the plating.

It was my first time here, actually - but what their many fans said about the Foongs’ poached chicken was true - the chickens were carefully poached, then cooled, timed perfectly so that one detects this jelly-like quality just under the chicken skin, separating it from the chicken meat, which Hainanese chicken rice connoisseurs look for. The chicken was gently drizzled in blend of light soy sauce, sesame oil and chicken stock/fat, served resting on a bed of cut, raw cucumbers, and topped with chopped scallions.

We also ordered poached chicken livers - a must for a complete Hainanese chicken rice meal, IMO. Small bowls of light chicken soup, and dipping dishes of blended chili sauce (chili/garlic/ginger/vinegar) and dark soy sauce are served on the side.

The chicken-flavored rice itself here, gently cooked in chicken broth, with ginger & scallions, scented with pandanus, is flavorsome, much more so than at most other places in Penang.

I normally come here for Mr Lau Joo Choon’s lor bak, but he seemed to have taken the week off. We ordered the char koay teow, which is also one of the best-tasting renditions in town. I normally come here if I don’t want to be bothered with the hour-long queues at the city’s top spots.

We ordered the Hokkien mee (prawn noodle soup) on a whim - Kheng Pin is not known for its Hokkien mee, and we soon found out why. The rendition here is run-of-the-mill - not bad, but not really above-average or excellent enough to warrant a return visit for it.


I would also order the livers alongside.

Every stall/shop has mastered their specialities and are known for them. I’d rather eat at a place that has a small menu and they do every single item well.

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Yes, hawkers here are highly-specialized, with each hawker doing only one dish, which he or she would do very well.

Take for example the “char koay teow” lady - she’d been frying her “koay teow” since 1975. If she sells 300 portions a day on average (she fries each order plate by plate), and she works 300 days a year, that would mean she’d have fried a single plate of “char koay teow” 300 (plates) x 300 (days) x 45 (years) = 4.05 million times! That’s how specialized a hawker can be.


Despite the recent loosening SOPs with regards to the COVID lockdown: fully-vaccinated individuals are now allowed to dine-out, none of the koptiams/coffeeshops in George Town would allow dining in at their premises as yet. Only take-outs from the various hawker stalls were offered.

This morning, we decided to traipse down to Kheng Pin downtown, and grab a few items for breakfast.

  1. Lor bak

  1. Yee sung kai chok

  1. Char koay teow

  1. Penang Hokkien mee

Penang hawker food don’t really lend themselves well to take-outs. Most of these items taste best when consumed within minutes, fresh off the wok or cooking fire. Taken home, the fried noodles lose their supple, freshly-fried texture, the sup noodles become soggy, and the lor bak fritters lose their crispness. Still waiting for these kopitiams to resume their dining-in business.