It was 9am and Penang Island was still soundly asleep. Quite a surprise actually as I thought the older folks would be out and about doing their yam cha routine. At least it was a quiet easy drive until we hit the busy Macalister Road. As we drove towards our destination, the “legendary” status 2 Sisters Char Kuey Teow, I was super excited. Having slept early the night before, my tummy was rumbling and this made me wanted it even more bad. But being a tourist on this island, I was lost. Various times the GPS pointed us to the right location but yet, there were no visible signs of the coffee shop called Lam Heng Cafe. That was because…it did not have one. Really a FML moment as we had to drive a few rounds and THEN the road got super busy! Your best bet is to look out for the hardware store next to this obscure eatery.
Almost directly opposite Loh Guan Lye Hospital (Park behind the hospital in the derelict bungalows)
185 Macalister Road, Georgetown
Opening Times: Breakfast and Lunch
Closes on Mondays
Bloggers, tourist and I believe a decent number of Penang-nites still have an unwavering loyalty to the name of the 2 Sisters Char Kuey Teow. Known for their atrocious behaviour towards impatient customers and to a certain extent their relatively expensive fry-up, they have been in the business for a long time now. While I have no numbers, I am guessing at least half a century? Walking in, the place was actually quieter than expected and to my dismay, there were no two sister’s but an elderly man. It was then that I found out he was the son/nephew of one of the ladies which have stopped cooking as she was over 70 years of age now. Amazing. Her sister, unfortunately have passed away. Unlike most Char Kuey Teow in town, the 2 Sister’s version is less burnt but still packed great flavours. It was tasty and the prawns were without a doubt very fresh. That little bit of crab meat failed to justify its RM5 price tag compared to the RM3.50 charged around town. In terms of providing taste, it was a very minor component. Given its legendary status and publicity, I was expecting a little more “oomph”. No, this was not bad in any manner and I believe this is still better than most places in KL, but considering the hype surrounding it, I was not blown. Just a simple decent plate of delicious noodles.
Also famous besides the 2 Sister’s Char Kuey Teow in Lam Heng Cafe is the neighbouring Yam Cake stall. I have seen various Singaporeans posting around the internet that the motto when travelling to Penang is to eat the 2 Sister's Char Kuey Teow and pack heaps of yam cake. Some even commended the lightness of the yam cake which made it so delicate that its condiments had to be packed separately so as to not destroy the yam cake. A bit of an exaggeration IMHO. But hey, a little drama adds colour to the experience, no? But I will be honest here. It was good. As described by most as fluffy and delicately prepared, I could feel it. The yam was cooked perfectly. Consistency was smooth and the generous toppings of dried shrimps, fried shallots and scallions really gave it a boost of flavour and fragrance. It was yums! I remember it being RM3! Not bad at all!
Dad’s also decided to give the Prawn Noodles here a shot. Dad says the noodles here was simple and traditional. Its flavours captured the basics of the Prawn Noodles. Flavoursome broth rich in flavour with the usual suspects; hard boiled eggs, shallots, pork slices and prawns. Dad seemed to enjoy this quite a fair bit. He left a bit for me and I was contented with it. It tasted right but I could not tell the difference between the one we had here and the one we had later on. Would I eat it? Definitely a yes.
This breakfast which most would consider fat, full of carbs and unhealthy felt great. The morning heat was rather mild so eating all this sort of food was still bearable and very enjoyable. However, I did not get the hype surrounding my hawker fare today. Yes it’s flavour was good but is it cream of the crop which most claim it to be? I find it hard to agree. However, if I am looking for great food all in one place, I would definitely come to Lam Heng Cafe. Start with a Hokkien Mee, continued by a yam cake and finish off the meal with the 2 Sister’s Char Kuey Teow was something I could have easily done all by myself. A Malaysian serving is no more than half a serving in Australia haha.