Ah Leng Char Koay Teow

Ah Leng Char Koay Teow (亚龙炒粿条) is often associated to its daytime location at Restoran Tong Hooi (东园茶餐室), which has been largely operated by his son now. It is a little-known fact that Ah Leng also has a nighttime stall in Air Itam. The patriarch personally operates this stall, so I prefer to come here to get the most authentic taste of his signature char koay teow (炒粿条).
The plate of Special Char Koay Teow (RM13.50) strikes a chord with my palate, making it my utmost favorite place to satiate my craving. Unlike Siam Road Char Koay Teow, Ah Leng's version is cooked using cooking gas and is not as oily, but still manages to impact a distinctive sense of "fiery aroma" (镬气). The dish moderately spicy by default, but the amount of chili paste can be adjusted upon request.
Special Char Koay Teow includes several mantis shrimps (虾蛄). The mantis shrimps appear heavily charred and drier than before. I prefer the ones that I tried before, where the shrimps' flesh is still visible. On the other hand, the juicy shrimps are still as scrumptious as before. Their crunchy texture is gratifying indeed. It is evident that the shrimps are extremely fresh.
Although cockles (血蚶) are also used in this dish, they only play minor roles. However, the role of pork lard (猪油渣) should not be underestimated. Their aromatic appeal and crispiness really help to impart a lovely hint of toastiness to this dish. Chicken egg is used by default, but customers may opt for duck egg for RM1.00 more.
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow also sells fried rice (炒饭), but I have yet to check whether the rice is as appealing as char koay teow. Overall, this nighttime stall is still a hidden gem known only to the local community and ravings fans like myself. If you need directions to Ah Leng Char Koay Teow, it is directly opposite of Restoran Ee Tong (怡东中泰海鲜餐馆) and a stone's throw from Fanyin Temple (梵音禅寺).
Address: 30W, Lorong Zoo 6, 11500 Air Itam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-498-3962
Business hours: 5:00pm-11:00pm

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