One of Penang’s most popular Teochew “gu bak koay teow” (beef noodle) spots was the Victoria Street Gu Bak Koay Teow, started by Kang Chew Eam in the 1960s. Kang had learnt his trade from his father, who emigrated to Penang from Swatow, China, right after World War II. Victoria Street is located just one block away from George Town’s busy main financial district on Beach Street and Downing Street.
Nowadays, Kang Chew Eam’s son, Kang Kheng Cheng, has moved their business into Sri Weld Food Court on Beach Street itself, where it’s operated as the Kwang Beef Noodles stall. It’s a rather busy food court on week-day lunch hours during pre-COVID days.
Flat rice noodles, akin to Vietnamese pho are used - blanched together with beansprouts and dressed in garlic oil. Generous amounts of crisp-fried, golden-brown, finely-chopped garlic are spooned over the noodles.
The hearty beef broth contained beef balls, sliced beef shin, beef tendon, and tripe - all cooked till very tender.
Typically, the noodles and meats will be served in the same big bowl with the beef broth itself - that’s the preference by 80% or more diners. It’s akin to Vietnamese pho beef noodles soup.
I’m one of those on the “other” side, i.e. who prefer their noodles served “dry” (actually dressed in garlic oil & a bit of fish sauce), with the beef broth and meats on the side. These are usually eaten concurrently anyway.
A Vietnamese friend of mine said it’s called “pho kho” in Vietnam, where the noodles and broth are served separately.