Excellent Classical Koay Teow Thng @ Kim Lee Coffee Shop

To a lot of people, Koay Teow Thng is a food for the sick, because the taste is very plain and there are not much extreme flavor with the food. It is neither spicy nor sour unless we add in some chilis which are served together with the noodle.

The above mentality applies to me as well. I will only take koay teow thng when I am feeling sick. However, it was a coincident for me to find out a stall which serves lucious and appetising koay teow thng. This particular stall of Koay Teow Thng is not located at any famous food courts or hawker centers, but at a half century old pre-war building. The name of this particular shop is called “Kim Lee Coffee Shop”. 

The stall is located just in front of the coffee shop and is owned by “Ah Hai”. He has been operating this stall for more that half a century.

Ah Hai started his business as Koay Teow Thng seller at the age of 20 and now he is more that 70 years old. He started selling at other places before moving to this “Kim Lee Coffee Shop”. The whole stall is taken care by Ah Hai only. From ingredients preparation, cooking till serving customers are all done by himself. I asked him that why he did not hire any assistants to help him with all the cleaning and serving. He replied that the customers are unpredictable. Whenever there is a new staff hired to help him the sales will drop. But when he is working by himself the customers keep coming in. Therefore an assistant to him is not justifiable.

The price for Ah Hai Koay Teow Thng is reasonable, selling at RM2.50 for regular bowl and RM3.00 for large bowl.

The soup looks very plain if you haven’t really tasted it. The soup is cooked with white turnips and pork ribs for more than 2 hours to bring out the taste and smell of the ribs so that the soup will be sweet. 

Other than the usual slices of meat, fish balls and also spring onions for topping, there is something very special about the taste which I can’t really describe in words. So far this is one of the best koay teow thng in town. I brought another friend of mine to try out here and he told me this is one of the best as well.

Ah Hai Koay Teow Thng is really special not only on the taste but also the lifetime of his business and experince. I really hope that he will find an apprentice to transfer his knowledge and skills to ensure that Penang will never lose another trademark Koay Teow Thng.

Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):

Food Presentation

Operation hours: 7:00am – 4.00pm, 7 days a week.
Adress: Macalister Lane (just behind Hong Leong Bank, off Burma Road.)

14 thoughts on “Excellent Classical Koay Teow Thng @ Kim Lee Coffee Shop”

  1. wah.. the best in town ar? Must go try ade…

    Using turnip to cook the soup indeed will make the soup sweet. This is my way of cooking soup for noodle too. 🙂

  2. I can’t detach the sick people’s food label from local KTT. I’m not too big a fan – I like how the Thais and the Vietnamnese approach this, as they pile the flavours from herbs in the soup. Dark, aromatic soup at that.

  3. From what I know, Ah Hai KTT was at Hai Oan where the Pitt Street KTT is now, then he moved to Padang Brown, and now at Macalister Lane. But through the years and the moving, he has lost his touch.

    Although KTT is a simple dish, but it is the hardest to prepare especially the broth. And the crispy pork lard and garlic bits are also hard to make as much patients and skill is needed to fry them to just the right consistency and crispiness.

  4. last time he was in hai an kopitiam, jalan burma. i used to live there and i knew him since small. he always shake his head when preparing the ktt.

  5. hmmm.. u should try the KTT @ Jalan Phuah Hin Leong (off Jln Burma; before reaching Him Heang shop) …available for breakfast till 11am. The seller sells the KTT from his pushcart and u dine al-fresco style… hehhehe.. by the road side..

    One of the best i had…. in penang

  6. Pingback: Ultimate Penang Food Guide | Food Point of Interest

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