Seafood Char Koay Kak in Penang, Malaysia

Seafood Char Koay Kak

by Maxim Cafe, Penang, Malaysia

I love anything smokey... campfires, Scotch, wok-cooked street food... and so of course I would love this dish! Char Koay Kak, which  translates to "fried rice cake", serves as the base of this dish. The rice cakes are stir-fried in a smoky wok along with a rich and savory sauce made of chili paste. The outstanding feature in this particular dish, however, is the seafood. Sweet shrimp and rings of squid stand out in this super rich and filling meal. Though it's served on a paper plate in a tiny and cramped food court, this dish would fit right in at any five-star restaurant.

Seafood Char Koay Kak
Seafood Char Koay Kak

We had spent the morning at the Penang State Museum. The State Museum is pretty small, and parts of it were undergoing renovation when we were there, but it only cost 1 ringgit to enter (about $0.30), and the exhibits that were on display were really interesting. The museum displayed all sorts of great information and artifacts about the history of Penang, with an emphasis on its long British colonial past.

By the time we left the museum, the rain was absolutely chucking it down. In cases like this, there's nothing better to do than run inside the nearest cafe for a bite.

Maxim Cafe Food Court, Penang, Malaysia

Cafes in Penang aren't exactly what you might imagine. Sure, they sell coffee, but in reality they are sort of traditional open-air food courts where hawkers can set up their carts. We found ourselves inside the Maxim Cafe, and opted to order the seafood char koay kak, since both Pinky and I are huge fans of seafood of all sorts!

we bought seafood char koay kak from this hawker cart at the food court

I loved the chewy char koay kak and the smoky chili paste sauce. They weren't stingy with the seafood either, and every mouthful had a shrimp or bit of squid to bite into.

4 ringgit ($0.95) - small
7 ringgit ($1.66) - large
8 ringgit ($1.90) - large with an egg

Maxim Cafe Food Court

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