Sepetang Famous Char Koay Teow

Special thanks to Sepetang Famous Char Koay Teow for extending this food review invitation.

Shun Li Restaurant (顺利茶餐室) is a popular Chinese coffee shop at Taman Merak, Simpang Ampat. Besides the mixed rice stall which is operated by the shop's owner, there are also a handful of hawker stalls that sell various kinds of local food.
One of the more prominent ones is Sepetang Famous Char Koay Teow (黑油和炒粿条). The proprietor is a humble man by the name of Ah Lai. Originally from Sepetang, Perak, his father was a runner-up in a char koay teow (炒粿条) hawker competition several years ago.
According to Ah Lai, his stall is called "engine oil" (黑油) because his father used to trade engine oil for a living. Operating 3 outlets in Simpang Ampat between his wife and himself, Ah Lai also has family members who operate their respective char koay teow stalls in Sepetang and Kulai, Johor.
It would be a heinous sin not to try Ah Lai's signature dish: Char Koay Teow (炒粿条). Through masterful control of fire, flat rice noodle is wok-fried using oil and pork lard (猪油渣). When done properly, the noodle dish attains the desired "fiery aroma" (镬气) which truly defines a good plate of char koay teow.
Generally, duck egg is preferred over chicken's due to the former's unique savoriness. Also included in the char koay teow dish are cockles (血蚶), garlic chives (韭菜) and bean sprouts (豆芽). Overall, the dish tantalizes the taste buds in a rather seductive way. I certainly recommend that you try Ah Lai's char koay teow when you visit Simpang Ampat.

Fried Noodles (炒面) is similar to the previous dish, but this dish uses yellow noodle (黄面) in lieu of flat rice noodle. Due to starchier sensation of yellow noodle, I feel that Fried Noodles pales in comparison with Char Koay Teow.
Alongside Fried Rice (炒饭) which I did not try, food here is uniformly priced at RM4.00 per plate. You may want to substitute chicken egg for duck egg for additional RM0.50, which I highly recommend that you do.

There is another stall selling Fried Prawn Fritters (虾煎), which is being operated by the shop's owner. Like Ah Lai's, this stall enjoys nearly non-stop business for the entire duration of my visit.
The fritters are made from flour, onions, scallion and of course, shrimps. Made into the shape of round disks, the fritters are deep-fried to golden perfection. The fritters are best eaten while warm because they tend to become soggy with oil when cooled.
Sweet chili sauce is provided as the dipping sauce for these fritters. I personally like the Fried Prawn Fritters both ways: with and without dipping sauce. Priced at RM1.20 each, there is no sensible reason why anyone would not give this delicacy a shot.
Name: Sepetang Famous Char Koay Teow (黑油和炒粿条)
Address: 101, Jalan Kendi 7, Kawasan Perniagaan Taman Merak, 14100 Simpang Ampat, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 017-529-1196
Business hours: 11:00am-5:00pm, closed on Thursdays
Website: N/A
Coordinates: 5.26694 N, 100.47166 E
Directions: From Jalan Bukit Tambun, turn into Jalan Kendi and drive for roughly 1 kilometer. Kawasan Perniagaan Taman Merak is a row of shops on the right. Shun Li Restaurant (顺利茶餐室) is one of the corner shops. Sepetang Famous Char Koay Teow is one of the stalls inside this coffee shop.

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