Day 1 in Penang. Our food journey continues to our 4th stop of the day. And this time, it would be street food at Kimberley Street Night Market. Every evening around 5pm, Lebuh Kimberley would be turned into a vibrant food street with pushcart hawkers lining up along the street.
Kimberley Street Night Market is famous for its ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ (四大天王) i.e. Kway Chap, Koay Teow Soup, Char Koay Teow and Si Koh Soup. Besides these four popular dishes, you can also expect other local eats like lok lok, Penang laksa, Hokkien prawn noodles, loh bak, fried carrot cake and more. There are also several dessert shops here that specialise in traditional Chinese sweet soups or ‘tong shui’.
Want to dine in? Order a drink first
Most of these street hawkers are located right outside existing coffeeshops and food shops. You can actually get a table in one of those eatery shops but you’d need to order drinks from them, then they will allow you to dine-in. Not a big deal because the drinks are not expensive and you’ll probably need something to quench your thirst anyway as the weather is so warm and humid. We found a space in one of the dessert soup shops and ordered freshly brewed chrysanthemum tea – only RM1.50 per glass.
Once you have a table for dining-in, you can basically order food from any nearby hawker stalls. Just need to tell them where you’re seated and they will bring over to you.
Sky Emperor Chicken Feet Koay Teow Soup 天皇鸡脚粿條汤
This was one of the most popular hawker stalls at the night market. We ordered a large koay teow tng with some braised chicken leg, chicken feet and egg.
Koay Teow Soup
Loved the sweet, refreshing broth that was not overly salty. Reminded me of a Vietnamese chicken pho. The broth tasted really natural so I doubted there was any addition of MSG.
There were so much toppings in this one bowl. Chicken meat. Fish balls. Liver. Crunchy pork lard. Portion size was really generous.
Didn’t feel thirsty even though we finished the whole bowl of soup.
Braised Chicken Leg, Chicken Feet & Egg
The braised dishes were also nicely done. Sauce was thick and sticky. Very robust tasting with a deep caramelised flavour but overall, it wasn’t too salty. The sauce really penetrated the chicken leg hence making the meat really flavoursome. And that chicken feet literally melted in the mouth. So good!
Sky Emperor Chicken Feet Koay Teow Soup – must try!
Assorted steamed dim sum from some random hawker stall
I got attracted by the variety of siew mai they had so just had to order some to try.
We got 6 different types – original, chicken, black pepper, salted egg, mushroom and tom yum. These were not of dim sum restaurant standard but more like those mass produced kind. Not spectacular but decent taste. At least they were not heavily processed with starch or flour so could still get a meaty bite with each mouthful.
Traditional Home of Dessert 汕头街四果汤
Even though there were several shops selling dessert soups on Kimberley Street, it seemed like this was the most popular one as it had so many customers.
Almond Soup with Gingko Nuts
We were recommended their Almond Soup so we got one with extra topping of gingko nuts and a serving of you tiao (fried dough fritters) to go with it.
OMG. This Almond Soup was unforgettable! Sweet, thick, smooth and just so comforting to have. The Chinese almond flavour really stood out. Naturally fragrant and good!
The dough fritters were crispy, hard and chewy. I guess they were purposely made that way because they tasted divine when soaked in the almond soup. Really absorbed the liquid without turning soggy. Heavenly pairing!
Si Koh Soup
Nourishing 4-ingredients soup with gingko nuts, lotus seeds, dried longans and red beans. Very similar to the ‘cheng tng’ we have in Singapore. Not bad too. Pretty refreshing!
Char Koay Teow
Ordered CKT from this stall as it was closest to where we were seated.
Unfortunately, this didn’t wow us as there was an apparent lack of wok hei. It came with cuttlefish, cockles, small prawns and bean sprouts.
Restoran Kimberly 汕头街权记鸭粥粿汁
This is the famous duck kway chap on Kimberley Street.
In Singapore, we are used to seeing kway chap being served separately from its ingredients. But for this, everything comes together in the same bowl.
Duck Kway Chap
This Large bowl had more ingredients than the kway itself, lol. The soup was like a combination of a thick braising sauce plus broth. Very flavoursome and delicious. There were a whole braised egg, intestines, pig skin, coagulated blood cubes and duck meat in the kway chap. Everything was good but my only gripe was that the duck meat tasted a little gamey.
Kimberley Street Balacan Fried Chicken
We came back to Kimberley Street Night Market on a second occasion as we wanted to have the almond soup again and also to try other new stuffs.
The fragrant fried chicken smell from this stall caught my attention, lol.
Balacan Fried Chicken
As good as our har cheong gai! Skin was crispy and crunchy. The chicken was nicely marinated so we could really taste the shrimp paste flavour.
Frying oil was fresh too so there wasn’t any stale or rancid oil taste.
Salted Fish Tofu
Outside was crispy and inside was soft. There was a lovely salted fish fragrance too. Very interesting and surprisingly tasty!
Jetty Lok Lok
This was pretty much a self-service lok lok pushcart. Just pick out the sticks you want and place them in one of the two pots of boiling water on the front. When done, transfer the cooked sticks onto your plate and douse over your preferred sauce.
We just stood around the cart to eat. Really fun experience. And when you’re done, just need to let the boss count the number of sticks you ate and then pay him accordingly. Worth a try!
Of the few night markets I visited in Penang, I thought Kimberley Street Night Market was the most bustling one. And it also had the most variety of street food to try. I fell in love with the almond soup which I kept coming back for. Except for the char koay teow, everything else that we tried were pretty outstanding.
Come check it out yourself when you come to Penang!
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