“My collegue said it’s somewhere along Penang Road”
“No unit number?”
“No. It’s not a shop… It’s a pushcart”
I seriously thought we weren’t going to find the place.
Well we did eventually find the place, and it looked like we weren’t the only ones in the know. This pushcart selling chendol (or cendol) is actually located at Lebuh Keng Kwee, a small lane that branches out from the bustling Penang road. If you are lost, just ask any local and they’ll point you towards the right direction.
The crowd, clamouring for attention whilst trying to maintain some sort of queue
Guess which local celebrity came to visit?
The uncle (I think he’s the boss) dilligently scooping up the ingredients into the plastic bowls
The mess that no one seemed to care about
The other special thing about this place that I haven’t mentioned is that there are no seats and neither is there a proper place to stand. The heat was quite unforgiving, so everyone was scrambling for more comfortable conditions (aka some shade) to consume their icy dessert.
I admit I was quite concerned about hygiene at first. But the turnover for the stall is so high that I’m quite sure it’s not much of an issue. Plus, I didn’t suffer from any stomach upset after that (neither did the parents) so no worries :D
Despite the scorching heat, the dilapidated surroundings and all the dust from the occasional vehicle that valiantly tries to pass through this narrow lane, the cendol was probably one of the best I’ve had by far. The green “noodles” were soft and tender, the red beans also soft and minimally sweetened, the coconut milk so light (tasted like skimmed milk with wafts of coconutty aroma) and the crushed ice soaked with gula melaka (gosh this was the best bit)that was not tooth-achingly sweet. Slurping everything up is the best way to consume it.
You have to try this for yourself when you are in Penang. I heard that the same stall has opened a branch in some shopping centre but locals say it just doesn’t taste the same without the heat and the dust ;)