On our way to a morning meeting, passing through Cintra Street, our brisk walk came to a halt at the smell of bread sizzling in oil. You Char Koay (crispy dough fritters) was my favorite snack when I was a kid. My dad would buy it, along with fresh soya milk that I would dip the bread into - a Malaysian style breakfast cereal.
Before we ordered, we stared at the hypnotic boiling pot, as members of the Chew family worked together to cut the dough, stretch it, combine it into pairs, and finally, dunk it in the oil to soak up all that goodness. The family did not exchange a word - concentrating solely on the routine they have carried through the generations for 80 years.
The pair of bread sticks represent the couple, and symbolize punishment as Chinese fry and eat them. Basically, the Chinese version of voodoo dolls.
Unknown to many Penangites, they continue the torture of the legendary couple as they first dunk them head-first into scalding hot Kopi-O (local black coffee), then bite their heads off (or is it their feet?).
|Statues of Lady Wang and Qin Hui in Hangzhou|
Cintra Street You Char Koay 日本街
76, Cintra Street, Penang
Business hours: 12pm to 7pm daily