Almost every Penangite knows where Kek Seng is if you ask them.Â 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).Â Long before Komtar was built, Kek Seng was THE place to eat.Â Things haven’t changed much.Â 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.Â Hence, not many Penangites eat there unless they are already around the vicinity.Â You can’t find any parking nearby too.
However, almost all the foods there are good, really.Â Everything is ‘up to the standard’ of Penangites’ tastebuds.Â The pie tee above is scrumptious.Â 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.Â Â 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.Â If you notice, the fish balls and meat balls look like they are homemade.Â A very tasty, wholesome bowl of hot koay teow th’ng made today (a very cold, rainy day)Â so comforting, filled with nostalgia.Â 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.Â There are char koay teow, mee java, lor bakÂ and many other stalls but they were already closed when we went there around 3pm.
Back to the ais kacang.Â By today’s standard, Kek Seng’s ais kacang is only normal.Â But back then, ais kacang was their signature dish.Â 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).Â That jelly seems to stood the test of time.Â It hasn’t changed one bit!
Do you know that Kek Seng produce the best-est durian ice-cream in the world?Â They handmade these ice-creams and they are available the whole year round.Â Once, a dying, elderly gentleman from Australia wished for some of Kek Seng’s durian icecream.Â The story came out in the papers and Kek Seng managed to arrange to send to him, despite of the red-tapes involved.Â 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.Â You will find a row of old shophouse and Kek Seng is the only place selling food.Â 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.