Timothy Tye
Kedai Kopi Lam Ah

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah, Beach Street, Penang (1 September, 2008)

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah is a coffee shop at the junction of Beach Street and Chulia Street, across the road from the Beach Street Fire Station, in George Town, Penang. It is distinctive in being probably the only structure in the entire stretch of Beach Street that is one storey tall.

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah is famous for the Beach Street Gu Bak Koay Teow. This Gu3 Bak1 Koay1 Teow2 stall is one of the most popular in Penang. It also has a stall selling crispy Oh2 Cien1 , similar to the one at Maga Restaurant in Perak Road.

Apart from gu bak koay teow, Kedai Kopi Lam Ah also has a fried oyster stall. The coffee shop itself has a popular nutmeg drink. On the whole I find the drinks here to be quite pricey which is another reason I eat here less often now.

Tim's Taste Test

12 November, 2016

Gu Bak Koay Teow, by new hawker

My wife and I revisited Kedai Kopi Lam Ah, to check out the Gu Bak Koay Teow Stall under a different hawker (as the previous one has relocated her stall to Carnarvon Street. Click thumbnail to read our review.


20 September, 2014

We returned to Kedai Kopi Lam Ah specifically to taste test its Gu Bak Koay Teow and Oh Cien. We arrived when the coffee shop was not full. Lucky for us that we were slightly early, because a short while afterwards more and more customers arrive, and soon people were waiting to be seated.

Although we arrived before the coffee shop was full, we nonetheless had to wait about 20 minutes before getting our bowls of gu bak koay teow. The oh cien arrived slightly sooner, but not much sooner.

The Gu Bak Koay Teow

As far as the taste is concerned, I would say that this is still one of the best. And compared to my review last time, where I mentioned that it is now lacking in stuff (or, boh3 ho1liau33 ), I can say that this time around, the gu bak koay teow is "not boh3 ho1 liau3" but also "not ho1 liau3". In other words, the amount of stuff in it this time around is "moderate".

There are ingredients which I used to enjoy here that have gone forever, and these have not made their reappearance, in particular the "white intestine". Maybe it was removed because too many found it to be an acquired taste, which is a shame, as that is what made this gu bak koay teow so special.

All that said, we also discovered that the gu bak koay teow has risen in price again. In my previous taste test of 2013, I mentioned that the large bowl was priced at RM8. Well, now it's at RM10. So, a 20% increase. Ah, if only my bank can offer the same rate for my savings!

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah fried oysterKedai Kopi Lam Ah fried oyster (6 June, 2011)

The Oh Cien

Between "sooner" and "later", I'd say the oh cien came later. Yes, it still has the wonderful crispiness that makes it such an outstanding difference from "regular" oh cien. I think it looks even better than the previous plate that I had here. That said, I have also noticed that the parts where there are oysters, don't taste as special, or rather, are perhaps more plain than other oh cien. Also, the size of the oysters here is pretty small and quite few. If you want to enjoy oh cien with big, succulent oysters, this is not the place to go. In fact, you can take away the oysters and sell this as crispy egg omelette.

With the above said, and with my new food rating system, I am ready to offer the two stalls at Kedai Kopi Lam Ah their ratings, and here they are, as of 20 September, 2014:

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah Gu Bak Koay Teow Rating (20 Sept, 2014): A-
Kedai Kopi Lam Ah Oh Cien Rating (20 Sept, 2014): B

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah Oh CienKedai Kopi Lam Ah Oh Cien (20 September, 2014)

Kedai Kopi Lam Ah Gu Bak Koay TeowKedai Kopi Lam Ah Gu Bak Koay Teow (20 September, 2014)

22 July, 2013:

On this visit, we ordered the small bowl, at RM7 (compared to the large bowl at RM8). I find that the small bowl has quite a lot of meat to it, compared to the large bowl, where you get more koay teow but the same amount of meat. I suppose the difference of RM1 is for extra koay teow, not the meat. My wife still felt that this gu bak koay teow is not worth the price, though I myself feel that despite it being the more expensive gu bak koay teow in Penang, it is also among the tastier ones.

6 June, 2011

On this day we tried both the Gu3 Bak1 Koay1 Teow2 (flat noodle beef soup) and Or3 Cien2 (fried oyster). The or cien is very different from those I get elsewhere. The batter is deep fried until very crispy. We were sitting next to the table, and I saw the amount of oil used to produce the fried oyster omelette.

The Gu Bak Koay Teow at Kedai Kopi Lam Ah (1 September, 2008)

Getting there

The nearest bus stop is along Chulia Street. Most of the buses from Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal stops at this bus stop, among them Rapid Penang bus 10, 11, 101, 104, 201, 202, 203, 206, 301, 302, 401 and 401E.

Timothy Tye's Penang Eating Tips

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