Kek Seng Kopitiam – Ais Kacang, Pie Tee, Laksa & Koay Teow Th’ng

Almost every Penangite knows where Kek Seng is if you ask them.  But try asking them, when was the last time they eat there and they will probably tell you something like, Decades ago.

Kek Seng is probably one of the earliest hawker centre/kopitiam with many hawkers on the island, dated back to 40-50 years old (or even more, who knows, I wasn’t born yet).  Long before Komtar was built, Kek Seng was THE place to eat.  Things haven’t changed much.  The foods stalls are all located at the same spot, the ais kacang served in the same type of plate and the place as dark and oily as previously.  Hence, not many Penangites eat there unless they are already around the vicinity.  You can’t find any parking nearby too.

However, almost all the foods there are good, really.  Everything is ‘up to the standard’ of Penangites’ tastebuds.  The pie tee above is scrumptious.  The pastry is very crispy, turnips flavoured just right, topped with eggs and the garlic chilli sauce made the whole mouthful worth the trip to Kek Seng.   Four of these little pie tee cost RM2.20 per plate.

This duck meat koay teow th’ng was one of the item my mom used to order for me when I was a little girl.  If you notice, the fish balls and meat balls look like they are homemade.  A very tasty, wholesome bowl of hot koay teow th’ng made today (a very cold, rainy day)  so comforting, filled with nostalgia.  Even my hubby has fond memories of going to Kek Seng with his own parents when he was a little boy!

This bowl of asam laksa is only so-so but it is still ok lah…., with the amount of hae-kor given.  There are char koay teow, mee java, lor bak  and many other stalls but they were already closed when we went there around 3pm.

Back to the ais kacang.  By today’s standard, Kek Seng’s ais kacang is only normal.  But back then, ais kacang was their signature dish.  It comes with shaved ice, covered with rose syrup, slathered generously with cream corn and red beans and topped with one colourful, multi-layer jelly (agar-agar type).  That jelly seems to stood the test of time.  It hasn’t changed one bit!

Do you know that Kek Seng produce the best-est durian ice-cream in the world?  They handmade these ice-creams and they are available the whole year round.  Once, a dying, elderly gentleman from Australia wished for some of Kek Seng’s durian icecream.  The story came out in the papers and Kek Seng managed to arrange to send to him, despite of the red-tapes involved.  I have forgotten if the gentleman managed to taste it before he died, though.

Kek Seng is located in Penang Road, just right across Komtar’s main entrance.  You will find a row of old shophouse and Kek Seng is the only place selling food.  I hope Kek Seng continues to maintain it’s old facade so that once in a blue moon, I can go back there and have some nostalgic moments.

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Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

21 thoughts on “Kek Seng Kopitiam – Ais Kacang, Pie Tee, Laksa & Koay Teow Th’ng


    (September 25, 2006 - 10:58 pm)

    *drools* over the ice kachang! love the ‘loh bak’ ther too!! waaaaaaaaaaa

    Mama Bok

    (September 26, 2006 - 12:52 am)

    Yummy and cheap.. !! definitely need to look you up.. next time.. i am in Penang..! the last time we visited.. we stayed at Penang Mutiara.. and didn’t really go nowhere.. because the person i was with.. was such a wimped. and got really sick.. and threw up and all..! stupid fella..!


    (September 26, 2006 - 1:31 am)

    ooh i was there with a bunch of friends on the very same day as you, at about 3.30pm though. great nice old place, even my parents know of it, i guess nobody doesn’t in penang. had my fair share of durian ice-cream, 2 bowls of it and it still left me craving for more….ahhhhh heavenly~

    ah Pek

    (September 26, 2006 - 10:59 am)

    Jin Jaik Sui neh!


    (September 26, 2006 - 11:26 am)

    ahpek – Sui boh loh eong. Must got good CTR leh. I dunno why this site sucks compared to my MlaaysiaBest. So, try change fengshui and see got improvement or not. Hehehe.

    mxin – I love their durian icecream too.

    MamaBok – Oh sure, I will be very pleased to play the tourist guide!

    soleilina – Everything there is good or else they sure kena tendang since space is so limited hor?


    (September 26, 2006 - 11:34 am)

    AUNTY!! If I go Penang, I definitely have to look u up and insist you bring me around, (I Pay petrol and food lah) Kueh Paiti!! My all time favourite!! Yum yum…its been a while since my mom made them….

    Sooi Sooi

    (September 26, 2006 - 2:14 pm)

    wah, house renovation….very nice! but the layout looks a bit lari in my IE?

    u’re right, i’ve heard abt Kek Seng all my life but i just couldn’t remember when was the last time i ate there. the ice kacang…whoever had seen an ice kacang like dat??


    (September 26, 2006 - 2:29 pm)

    Yamkoong lor, I tested so many new templates all cannot work. This one works fine with IE at 1024 but not with Firefox at 1280. So pening. What reso u use?

    Sooi Sooi

    (September 26, 2006 - 3:03 pm)

    IE 6.0 on 1024 x 768 lor. Tis blank on top except for the title and the ad/post/picture start to display only after the last link of Archive ‘January 2005’ on the side bar.

    Sooi Sooi

    (September 26, 2006 - 3:20 pm)

    hie hie..i’ll send u some screen shots of wat i c fr here. gd luck in fixing it!!


    (September 26, 2006 - 4:45 pm)

    Si beh hochiak!

    Nice new look for your site!


    (September 26, 2006 - 5:04 pm)

    Oh, after you mentioned about that dying assie guy i remember reading the news from papers many many years ago. Pssst… prefer the previous template la.


    (September 26, 2006 - 5:06 pm)

    Oh ya, the aussie guy didn’t manage to eat them cos you know the australia custom was very strict. Even now!!!


    (September 26, 2006 - 5:35 pm)

    wah your new template so refreshing, nice.

    i remembered a relative of ours took us to this place way back in the 80s, yeah i was still in standard err i forgot what hahaha. since it was my first visit to penang, the ice-cream gave me a very deep impression. see… so young also can get such kinda impression hahaha so i’m destined to be a foodie! so do they still hv those wooden booth benches?

    Rasa Malaysia

    (September 26, 2006 - 8:31 pm)

    I love the fish balls in the Kway Teow Th’ing. They are not the usual kind and have great texture. I went to Kek Seng while I was in Penang too.

    Guess what, I bought the mold of Pie Tee back! So happy. 🙂


    (September 27, 2006 - 8:09 am)

    hey there Lilian!
    Thanks for posting “Kek Seng kopitiam”.It brought me back my childhood memories where my grandpa used to bring me over. I think only “true” penangites will only know this place existed since nowadays,youngsters tend to go to the mall/cafe/restaurant rather than kopitiam.No offense though!
    Oh, I was wondering if you know about a kopitiam near to the “Indian Market” which was famous for it’s “loh mee” , “loh bak” , “koay teow th’ng” and “Ou chen” and wonder if it’s still around since I’m away from Malaysia for so long!! I really missed it!
    Thanks lilian!


    (September 27, 2006 - 10:56 am)

    i went there on my last trip purposely to try the ais kacang. i’m too full to try the rest though, only manage the popiah. the rest look so good. i got to go back there 😀


    (September 29, 2006 - 3:01 pm)

    Dear Lilian

    Forgive a lapsed Penangnite..remember going there when I was a wee lad but as with most things has been forgotten with the passage of time..are the dishes still up to high standard? Can post map or not? hehe.. The kueyteowthng looks to die for hehe..
    great job yr doing with the blog least I can visit more places to yr footsteps hehe



    (September 29, 2006 - 4:56 pm)

    ET – I will try to find a ‘non-copyrighted’ map of Penang and post it here when I find it. Kek Seng is along the old stretch of Penang Road, right across Komtar’s main entrance. I can’t say for sure if they are up to standard but all the foods are still very acceptable by Penang standard.

    rokh – Yeah, these stalls have survived for decades and decades so they sort of have the old and gold standard to live up to. 🙂

    Spunky – If I am not mistaken, Indian market is Chowrasta Market which we call ‘ke leng nga bansan’? I am not sure which stall you mean but I too remember they used to have this ‘eah kah’ (coconut tree foot?) hawker centre. But I doubt they still exist.

    RasaMalaysia – Wow, the mold, I heard it is not easy to get the consistency of the pie tee batter done right. Hope you get to enjoy making those little top hats.

    babe – Yes, those face-to-face, back-to-back seatings, right? They still exists but I didn’t take photos the other day ‘cos so many people sitting here. BTW, I used to go out in a group date with the son of the taukeh. Hehehe.

    Hijackqueen – Ya, they will nuke every food that contains milk ! Poor uncle.

    pabloba – In Penang everything also hochiak


    (February 9, 2008 - 8:04 am)

    nice food but a bit old and dirty, I like it but hubby lausai last time we went there! I’ll sure to visit this march when visit Penang.


    (February 23, 2008 - 4:27 am)

    anyone know where I can buy some ‘pie-tee’ shell ready made or does anyone has the recipe to make it….I am living in the states now and have been dying to get whole of this recipe…help, help!!! Please send me an email

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