Timothy Tye
Seng Lee Cafe (Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng)

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Seng Lee Cafe, Pulau Tikus (11 July, 2008)

Seng Lee Cafe (GPS: 5.43143, 100.31224) is a coffee shop located at the junction of Burmah Road and Bangkok Lane. It is famous for the Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng stall that has been operating there for many decades. This is one of Penang's food institutions, a local treasure. The mee goreng stall has been passed down from father to son. I have enjoyed it since small, having been introduced to mee goreng here by my late father. So naturally the vendor knows me well and was always generous with a smile whenever I came. However, on the day I arrived with camera, his face appeared so serious. It makes me laugh on the inside.

The specialty of the mee goreng here is the squid. The management of Seng Lee Cafe has changed hands several time. It still opens every day, catering to a faithful crowd. The coffee shop can get quite crowded during lunch time, the majority of the patrons coming for the mee goreng.

Besides mee goreng and mee rebus, there are other food stalls at Seng Lee Cafe. There is also a nasi kandar stall. The coffee shop is open as early at 8:00am in the morning, and closes at 6:30pm. It is also closed on Mondays.

Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng (1 March, 2009)

Bangkok Lane Mee RebusBangkok Lane Mee Rebus (6 April, 2014)

Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng (1 March, 2009)

Tim's Taste Test

3 August, 2014: I returned to Seng Lee Cafe, and for the first time in years, I was not having Mee Goreng or Mee Rebus. This time around, I came for the Hokkien Mee. This I will describe in detail on a separate page, under Seng Lee Cafe Bangkok Lane Hokkien Mee.

21 June, 2014: It has been two months since I last visited Seng Lee Cafe for the mee rebus and pasembur, so my wife and I decided to go there again. As we have enjoyed the pasembur before, we decided to order it again.

Today the seller wanted to push his RM15 plate on me, but considering we are already ordering the mee goreng, I told him to make us the RM10 plate. It is already twice the price we paid for the pasembur compared to last time, and I was promised that he would include every ingredient.

Well, it was a big plate, but it was a disappointment. None of the ingredients tasted as good as what we had the first time (see April entry below). The cucumber and jicama were soggy. We were given big pieces of rather untasty fish cakes. The fritters were also not as tasty as how it was previously. I believe this is because the ingredients were not as fresh as the first time. That also indicates that the stall hasn't been doing good business. Looking around, we saw only one other table ordering pasembur. So that confirms what I thought.

The mee goreng - one of my favorites in Penang - tasted better than the pasembur. But it was also not as tasty as how I would regularly have it. I would return for the mee goreng in future, but I would stay away from the pasembur for a while.

Later that day, I have a stomach upset. I think it was caused by one of the two items I had, or probably both.

Bangkok Lane PasemburBangkok Lane Pasembur (21 June, 2014)

6 April, 2014: I returned to Seng Lee Cafe to enjoy the mee rebus. It has been a couple of months since I last went there. I usually called the mee goreng, but today decided to have the mee rebus. My wife and I ordered the RM5.00 plate. This is their top range, and in comparison, it is fifty sen cheaper compared to the mee sotong at the Fort Cornwallis Food Court. If you asked me, I like both the mee at Bangkok Lane and at Fort Cornwallis. The cooking style is different, so that gives me a variety what I am looking for.

Today I saw that the coffee shop has a new pasembur stall. I went over to check it out. The hawker told me that this is a branch stall, and that their main stall is further down Burmah Road, opposite the Pulau Tikus Police Station. As I have already ordered a big plate mee rebus, I asked him to prepare for me a small size pasembur. This nonetheless costs RM5.00 too.

Tammin PasemburTammin Pasembur (6 April, 2013)

Both the mee rebus and pasembur arrived in good time. I do not have to wait more than five minutes for both. I am accustomed to the taste of the mee rebus, so I have nothing new to add about it. But about the pasembur, I am pleasantly surprised that it is good. Previously, my favourite pasembur is way up in Balik Pulau. I did not care much for the pasembur at the Esplanade Hawker Centre or Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, and was delighted that I am able to find a good pasembur stall right within George Town. Now I don't have to go all the way to Balik Pulau for pasembur.

The name of this pasembur stall is Tammin Pasembur. Compared to the Balik Pulau stall, the seller here is Indian, so the pasembur is Indian style. The gravy is darker than the one by the Chinese seller in Balik Pulau. I like the crispiness of the fritters. I look forward to having it again when I come to this coffee shop next time.

Tammin PasemburTammin Pasembur (6 April, 2013)

Tim at Seng Lee CafeTimothy Tye enjoying the mee rebus and pasembur at Seng Lee Cafe (6 April, 2013)

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Food Available Here

Getting there

You can take the following Rapid Penang buses to reach Pulau Tikus:
101, 103, 104, 304


Seng Lee Cafe is located in Pulau Tikus, at the busy junction of Bangkok Lane and Burmah Road. There is a bus stop along Burmah Road a short distance from the coffee shop. Get down from the bus either before or after the coffee shop, and walk towards it.

Seng Lee Cafe is on the map of Burmah Road

Seng Lee Cafe is on the map of Timothy Tye's Penang Eating Tips

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