113 Years Old Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪) With Popular Ais Kacang (ABC) @ Penang Island


My must eat in Penang is Ais Kacang (Mixed Blended Bean Ice) or ABC (as local Malaysians call it). And of course, Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪) will always come to my mind with all the nostalgic memories. Situated in Penang Road, this cafe or rather coffee shop has been in the same place for over a century! Kek Seng is one of the very first restaurant to serve Ais Kacang with lots of variety of ingredients! 


Penang Island
Do you know that Penang Island was a Free Port since it was founded? Ya, a tax free island where all things are duty free. There are immigration check points at ferry terminals at that time as this is only way to go to Penang, that is by the ferry. Penang then was like what Pulau Langkawi (a duty free island) is now at this moment. Sadly, this status was revoked in 1969. (Wikipedia: Port of Penang) Being a mainland Penangite, I always love going to Penang Island since young, enjoying the unique ferry ride and of course, we would never miss Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪) for this special Ais Kacang.


Ais Kacang or ABC dessert in Penang
Ais Kacang, is a Malay word which literally means "bean ice". This Malaysian dessert is also known as ABC which is from the Malay word "Ais Batu Campur" meaning 'mixed ice stones' or rather mixed shaved ice. Traditionally, the shaved ice is cranked out or shaved from a big block of ice using a hand operated simple mechanical machine. Ais Kacang consist of a mixture of red beans (the main ingredient), creamed sweet corn, grass jelly cut into cubes, cendol, 'attap chee' (nipah palm seed or Nypa fruticans), roasted peanuts. The shaved ice is shaped into a cone shape with rose syrup, coconut palm syrup and coconut milk poured over, then sprinkled with pounded peanuts. 


Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪) is the very first cafe to serve Ais Kacang or ABC in creative way and innovative way. Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪) is one of the very first to add lots of other ingredients which other cafes later followed. During my latest trip to Penang Island, I took a trip down memory lane and enjoyed a delicious bowl of Ais Kacang or ABC.

There are generous amount of red beans, grass jelly, cream corn, lychee, two scoops of ice cream and colourful jelly topped with rose syrup, palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. Hmm.... heavenly! Oh yes they are also homemade durian ice cream available! For Ais Kacang or ABC, we can also specify what type of ingredients we want to add or some others that we don't want. So don't be shy to ask and tell them your preference.  A bowl of normal  Ais Kacang shown below is RM5.20

Ais Kacang or 'Ang Tau Seing' (in Hokkien) - Rm5.20


Other than Ais Kacang or ABC, other popular Penang hawker food sold here at Kek Seng Cafe are Char Koay Teow, Poh Piah (spring rolls), Penang Hokkien Mee, Lobak Bak, Laksa, mixed fruits jelly dessert, Fried Rice and others.  

Char Koay Teow - RM6.00
Char Koay Teow
This plate is very yummy, with good wok hei (wok heat), tasty and with cockles! Cockles definitely add flavor and aroma to a plate of Char Koay Teow.


Lok Bak
Penang Lok Bak is a famous Penang Hawker food and a must have snack on most table irrespective of the time of the day. The beauty of this fried dish is because there are different varieties to choose from. Moreover we can order whichever we want and the number of pieces according to our liking. Normal choices from a Loh Bak stall are mostly fried tau hu, fried prawn fritters, fried 'wu chuk' or crispy bean curd sheets, fish balls. But the star of it is of course the Loh Bak itself. Loh Bak is a type of spring roll that consist of pork seasoned with five spice powder rolled up and deep fried till golden brown. There are other ingredients added before rolling up such as carrot, turnips, spring onions according to the individu chef who made it to enhance more flavor.  

My choice of one piece fried tauhu, one piece prawn fritters and two pieces of lok bak, cost RM5.20


Situated in Penang Road, we can easily walk to this  Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪) from Penang Komtar. I take about 6 minutes to walk from Penang Komtar. 


Address: 
Kek Seng Cafe 格 成 (红豆 雪)
382 & 384, Jalan Penang, 
10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Tel: 016-412 1300
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm daily (closed on Monday)

Related Penang blogpost on Penang Food:
1. Genting Cafe 

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