Best of Penang Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Roll)
BY CK Lam
Chee Cheong Fun is a dish of hand cut steamed flat rice noodle rolls without any filling. This little bites is a popular snack in Penang as it is simply tasty, filling and the price is reasonably cheap. The taste suits both the old and the young.
There are many Chee Cheong Fun stalls around town, the taste and texture may vary from each outlet. The rice noodles are mostly sourced from the supplier, some with springy texture while others slightly chewy. It all comes drizzled with the three basic sauces – sweet sauce (tee cheou), shrimp paste (hae ko) and chili sauce along with a dash of oil and toasted sesame seeds.
Having it drenched in the shrimp paste is Penang’s specialty. You can choose to have all the sauces or request for less sauce depending on your preference. I tend to enjoy mine with all the sauces except the sweet sauce.
The Chee Cheong Fun can be easily enjoyed throughout the day with its plenty of stalls around town. There are a few crowd pleasers. Among them is the stall in Genting Café in Island Glades. Located near to SMK Hamid Khan the stall is very popular for its Chee Cheong Fun and its shrimp sauce, with good depth of flavor. A small serving cost RM1.70 and a big serving at RM2.50. It is available for breakfast till lunch. Click here for the Map Location.
One of the Chee Cheong Fun stalls that I’m used to going back to is located in front of Seow Fong Lye coffee shop in Macalister Lane. Each morning, many people are seen waiting for the Chee Cheong Fun. It is the top favorite amongst Penangites. The Chee Cheong Fun has a much firmer texture. It is finished off with the common three sauces and plenty of sesame seeds. The shrimp sauce is thick and gooey, with a strong savory flavor.
Stall outside Seow Fong Lye Cafe
94C Macallister Lane
Business Hour: 7.30am – 12.30pm
GPS Coordinates : N05.41680 E100.32894
Another worth mention is the stall beside the coffeeshop at the junction of Jalan Kuala Kangsar/Lebuh Kimberley. The bite-sized rice rolls were topped with a spoonful of the sweet sauce, hae koe and chili sauce. The flavor of the shrimp sauce is a bit bland compared to the stall in Seow Fong Lye.
Instead of having it with the heavy sauce, we ordered another plate of rice rolls that is totally different. The rice rolls were served with just a dash of oil, aromatic soy sauce and sesame seed. For those who are not aware of this version, do give it a try! The regulars find it simply delicious! It cost RM1.50 for two rolls and RM2.20 for three rolls. Click here for the Map Location.
Stall at the junction of Jalan Kuala Kangsar/Lebuh Kimberley
Business Hour: 7.30am – 11.30am
GPS Coordinates : N05.416896 E100.331761
The unique Chee Cheong Fun with Soy Sauce and Oil!
Another must-visit Chee Cheong Fun stall for me is at Kedai Kopi Sin Guat Keong. A small serving is available at Rm1.40 and the larger serving at RM2. The owner will serve the rice rolls doused with a balanced combination of sweet sauce, hae koe and chili sauce. The shrimp sauce is rich and flavorful although slightly watery. Not to be missed is the aromatic chili sauce with an appealing thick texture and nice taste.
Kedai Kopi Sin Guat Keong
Corner of Lebuh Cintra/Lebuh Kimberley
Business Hour : Early evening till night
GPS Coordinates : N05.416457 E100.332732
Nowadays, the Chee Cheong Fun is being offered in many different versions. It is served as Chicken Curry Chee Cheong Fun, Curry Chee Cheong Fun and deep-fried Chee Cheong Fun.
The Curry Chee Cheong Fun can be found in a stall opposite Traders Hotel (formerly Shangri-La Hotel) in Magazine Road. A bowl of flat rice noodle rolls comes in a well-balanced flavorful curry soup with cubes of pig blood, cuttlefish, taufoo bok, cockles and garnished with mint leaves. It sure is awesome Chee Cheong Fun all the way. Click here for the Map Location.
Business Hour : Lunch till evening
GPS Coordinates : N05.413708 E100.329266
The Chee Cheong Fun has since been given a unique twist, being served deep-fried with fillings of crab stick and served with a dipping mayonnaise sauce. This version which is fairly new in Penang makes a surprisingly good snack for some. Personally though, it is not quite how I like my rice roll prepared.
Kuta Bali Cafe
Desa Permata Sport Complex
Lintang Paya Terubong 1
Business Hour : Evening till late at night
GPS Coordinates : N05 23.460 E100 16.569
Last but not least, the Chicken Curry Chee Cheong Fun at Cintra Street comes with tender pieces of chicken drumstick and soft potato for RM3.50. The spicy flavor and the strong hint of coconut milk of the gravy makes this a very delicious dish. The stall is located opposite the Sin Sun Vood Coffeeshop and Sun Yoon Kee Seafood Restaurant. Click here for the Map Location.
Business Hour : Afternoon till early evening
GPS Coordinates : N05.418247 E100.333649
* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times