Friday, December 22, 2006

Goo Bak Koay Teow (Beef Noodle Soup)

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

Yesterday, my dad, the bf and I went to have my beloved Goo Bak Koay Teow for lunch. I have been craving this dish for some time but have usually managed to "trick my stomach and taste buds" by eating Vietnamese Pho. This dish is quite similar to pho but the soup is slightly thicker in consistency and there is a slight variation in the seasoning. The noodles served with this dish is called koay teow (lit. cake strips) made with rice flour, tapioca starch and water. The consistency of the noodles is similar to that of pho rice noodles but it is cut into wider strips and has a "springier" bite to it.

This stall sells the best Goo Bak Koay Teow on Penang Island (my opinion and the bf's actually coincide) and we have been eating there for years. The stall is located at the junction of Beach Street and Chulia Street, opposite the Fire Station. I was surprised that the lady operating the stall still recognized me and she called out the Hokkien equivalent of, "Long time no see" as we arrived. We also met a family friend who happened to stroll into the shop for a nice bowl of noodles and we all ordered 3 small portions (RM6 each) and 1 large portion (RM8) with extra liao (ingredients).

The small portion came with koay teow, bean sprouts, tripe, slices of rare beef, tendons and one beef ball (the bak wan kind, not bull testicles....pheew). Also floating in the soup was crouton-like, deep fried chunks of pork fat ( bak ew phok). This probably contributed to the overall deliciousness of the dish. Kicked it up a notch, so to speak.

The slick, chewy noodles were swimming in a flavorful beef broth ( I tasted coriander, star anise, cinnamon and spring onions), surrounded by savory morsels of beef (from all different parts of the cow). Not a dish for the weak but utterly heavenly.

The Goo Bak Koay Teow was everything that I dreamt of and more. How not to be happy in Penang? How? How? How?

Beef Soup Koay Teow or Goo Bak Koay Teow
Located at the junction of Beach Street and Chulia Street, opposite the Fire Station.

1 comment:

kooi said...

Ohh... this is my fav beef noodles stall too! :) Too bad they close on Sundays.