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REVIEW: Good Chai tow kway/Radish Cake in Penang: Sister Yao's Char Koay Kak in Penang, Malaysia

While exploring good Char Kway Teow (CKT) options in Penang, we stumbled upon Sister Yao's Char Koay Kak. Initially, we mistook it for CKT, only to discover that it's actually Carrot Cake, also known as Chai tow kway. The three sisters inherited their father's culinary legacy, initiated in 1963, focusing on char koay kak—a delicacy from their Teochew ancestral roots. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak is also listed in the Michelin Guide.

Address: 96, Lorong Macalister, George Town, 11400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 7am - 12pm

Closed on Weds and Thurs

Opting for both the classic version and one with egg, we observed an uncanny resemblance to CKT at first glance. The carrot cake is stir-fried with thick black soy sauce, accompanied by essential ingredients such as chye poh (preserved radish), bean sprouts, and eggs. The radish cake itself possesses a smooth and soft texture. The dish strikes a delightful balance, mildly sweet with the perfect infusion of wok hei.

I found myself gravitating toward the version with egg. The addition of egg elevated the dish, contributing a layer of richness and a subtle, creamy quality. This nuanced twist brought an additional dimension to the already well-balanced ensemble, making it a clear favorite for me.