- Nicholas Yong
Penang food in Singapore at Gurney Drive, Northshore Plaza
It’s been a long time since I stepped foot in Penang, definitely long before the pandemic hit. Throughout the lockdown and restrictions, I’ve been craving for some good authentic char kuey teow but there’s only a few places I know in Singapore that can satisfy my hunger pangs for the wok hey dish.
Thankfully, there’s a new place in Northshore Plaza, Punggol that can satisfy my cravings. Gurney Drive is actually an old chain of restaurants that closed down in 2015 when their Penang chef left, but they’ve finally reopened after 7 years. Is it worth the long train ride here? YES.
But before I tried my favourite dish, I had to give the starters a taste. Between the Nyonya Kuih Pie ($4.90), Tahu Goreng Penang Style ($3.90), and the Har Cheong Gai ($5.90), I very much preferred the sinful chicken with dried shrimp flavour. Tastes even better with the sweet chilli sauce.
Here’s the superstar in my eyes – as a self-proclaimed char kuey teow connoisseur (I’ve eaten more than 300 plates in my lifetime), the Gurney Drive Char Kuey Teow ($7.90) is as close as you can get without booking a VTL flight up north. Packed with wok hei and best of all, no lap cheong (true char kuey teow doesn’t need that abomination). I’ll be coming back for more.
The other mains on offer are actually quite good as well. The Penang Prawn Noodles ($6.90) comes with a good mix of prawns, squid, and pork. Mix in the sambal and woah, the soup has a great “kick” to it. We’re told that the prawn soup broth has been simmered over six hours with prawn heads, flower crabs, and chicken bones – no wonder lah it’s so good.
Another Penang icon on the menu is their Assam Laksa ($5.90) - the sweet and sour taste is how I remember it, but those who dislike a fishy taste should choose the prawn noodles instead. As for me, I slurped up every noodle and enjoyed the ikan kembung.
I didn’t expect much from the Penang Sambal Fried Rice ($7.50) but wow, this was actually quite good too. Flavourful and tons of spice. A good dish to share together with a friend.
I tried two of their desserts too – the Bubur Hitam ($2.50) was alright, but the Penang Cendol ($2.50) brought back memories of queuing for the popular cendol stalls in Penang. It is a tad sweet though.
As for drinks, if you can take a sour taste, I’d recommend you order their Ampla Juice ($2.50). The Ampla fruit aka the Indian Gooseberry aka buah long long contains antioxidants and vitamin C.
For now, this is the only Gurney Drive outlet in Singapore so if you’re craving for some Penang food in the northeast, a trip here is worth it.
02-03 Northshore Dr, Singapore 820418
Open daily from 9AM-9PM