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Keng Kwee Street, George Town, Penang

Keng Kwee Street, George Town is where two of Penang's most famous chendul stalls are located.

Keng Kwee Street, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, is well-known for two of the most famous chendul (Peranakan dessert) stalls on Penang Island. It runs from northwest to southeast between Penang Road and Kuala Kangsar Road.

Keng Kwee Street sign, George Town, Penang

Old and new bilingual Keng Kwee Street signs

The relatively short street was laid out in the late 19th. century. Previously, the land on which Keng Kwee Street is situated belonged to Chung Keng Kwee, the richest man in Penang at the time and one of the more prominent Kapitan Cina (leader of the Chinese community) in British Malaya. Hence, the street was named after him.

Today, Keng Kwee Street is abuzz with tourists and locals alike queueing up daily to sample chendul from both stalls. In addition, both stalls make ais kacang, another icy Peranakan dessert popular in both Malaysia and Singapore.

Etymology

Keng Kwee Street is also known as Keng1 Kui1 Kay1 in Hokkien and Keng Kwai Kai in the Cantonese.

History

The land on which Keng Kwee Street is situated once belonged to Chung Keng Kwee, the richest man in Penang in the late 19th. century and one of the most famous Kapitan China in British Malaya. He donated the land for the construction of the street in the late 19th. century, hence the street was named after him. It is also one of the two streets in George Town named after Keng Kwee; the other being Ah Quee Street.

Chendul

Penang chendul

A bowl of chendul at Keng Kwee Street

Chendul is an icy Peranakan dessert consisting of a sweet coconut milk broth. Two of Penang's most famous chendul stalls are located just opposite each other near the junction between Keng Kwee Street and Penang Road.

Penang Famous Teochew Chendul, Keng Kwee Street, George Town, Penang

The Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul stall at the south side of Keng Kwee Street is arguably the most famous chendul stall in Malaysia.

  • Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul is the more popular stall among the two. It has attracted several celebrities such as the current Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Singaporean actor, Gurmit Singh. The stall is owned by Tan Chong Kim, who took over the business from his father in 1936. The business has also expanded, with franchises in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
  • Penang Road Famous Chendol, just opposite the above-mentioned stall, is owned by Loh Ewe Seng, who took over the business from his mother in the 1970s. To this day, he and his wife along with a few assistants manage the stall. Like its rival stall, it has franchises outside Penang Island, namely in Butterworth and Singapore.

If you are entering Keng Kwee Street from Penang Road, the stall to the right is the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul, while the one to the left is the Penang Road Famous Chendol.

Both stalls also make ais kacang, another icy Peranakan dessert consisting of several toppings added onto a chunk of shaved ice.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.28 Komtar State Assemblyman : Teh Lai Heng (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/keng-kwee-street.htm
  2. http://www.chendul.my/index.html
  3. http://www.thestar.com.my/story/?file=%2F2010%2F9%2F18%2Fnorth%2F7058481&sec=North

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