HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Char Kway Teow anywhere?

I got into this Malaysian dish living elsewhere. Is there anywhere in the Boston area serving it? It's a rice-noodle based wok-fried dish that contains mixed seafood, a fair amount of dark soy sauce, and traditionally it seems it's done with fresh beansprouts and chopped chives.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
  1. penang and pearl villa. both in chinatown

    5 Replies
    1. re: galangatron

      Thanks! I will report back.

      While I'm here, do you (or anyone else) happen to know where in Boston to get the right noodles for cooking char kway teow? I have a recipe from the internet and am reasonably happy with the results, but at the Allston Super 88 I couldn't find the precise noodles that the recipe calls for ("kway teow") so settled for Vietnamese-branded flat rice noodles which seemed OK for the purpose.

      1. re: chickendhansak

        I looked up the dish, and they look like ho fun (rice noodles) to me. You can usually find them in most Chinese markets in the refrigerated section, as they are sold fresh. They are normally sold in bigger "sheets" (folded) and you slice them into the size you want.

        1. re: kobuta

          I needed to look back at this thread and noticed I didn't "report back", so ...

          It was probably Pearl Villa (certainly not Penang) that we eventually tried. I remember it being less spicy and more greasy than I was expecting.

          1. re: chickendhansak

            Pearl Villa does a decent version of Char Kway Teow. The version at home (aka Singapore) was slightly sweeter due to the specific dark soy sauce used. The dish has a tendency to be pretty oily, but I do not recall Pearl Villa making it spicy. I have to admit I haven' had the Pearl Villa version in a number of years, so they could have changed their recipe. Thanks for reminding me. I should try to get my 'fix'.

          2. re: kobuta

            Chinatown also sells the ho fun sliced thin.

      2. You can also order the noodle dish at Island Hopper in back bay.

        Island Hopper
        91 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

        1. Let me know if you try the version at Bubor Cha Cha in Chinatown.


          Bubor Cha Cha
          45 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

          7 Replies
          1. re: Nab

            Checked out the CKT at Bubor Cha Cha yesterday. I'm no expert on this dish, but I thought it was fabulous. Not greasy in the least, with an abundance of noodles and bean sprouts. Noodles were thin, not the thicker (papardelle width) variant you might see. And this is a very "light" version, not dark with soy or other sauces. Good golly, it was good. My only minor quibble was the shrimp, which had that sterile antiseptic processed flavor you get so often with cheap imported scrimps. Not inedible, just not good.

            Also had the chicken wings again, this time wrapped in pandan leaves, which you don't eat but which impart a lovely smoky flavor. These are my favorite wings in town. They are SRSLY good.

            Would love to hear of other versions of char kway teow around town to try for comparison.

            Bubor Cha Cha
            45 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

            1. re: yumyum

              Thanks for the report & photos. do you know if Bubor Cha Cha serves the Char Kway Teow with other meats, eg, chicken? I'm allergic to shrimp so I'd like an alternative!

              Bubor Cha Cha
              45 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

              1. re: yumyum

                If you like something, YY, it's gotta be tasty. But, pardon the totally naive question since I've never had it, how is it different from a good lo mein (which it looks like in the photo)? Must be something with the spicing?

                1. re: digga

                  The requisite characteristic of a good char kway teow is the wok hei ie. it's gotta have that slight charred flavor on the noodles. It shouldn't feel heavy or greasy too. Since they add the shrimp to the noodles and stir fry, i don't see why they could not easily substitute the shrimp with some other protein. But the best versions i've had have one or two of the following - shrimp, cockle, chinese sausage, crabmeat.

                  1. re: nasilemak

                    The above pictured version did indeed have a nice touch of wok hei (not visible). At first glance, I thought it looked too healthy, too light. I personally think there should be a slight slick to the dish. Some of the best renditions achieve that impossible texture of saucy noodles that are light to the extent they can almost be described as fluffy, despite having a good char on em. Despite all the other variations (wet & dark, light & bright, thin noodle, wide noodle, etc etc), I think this aspect is integral to a good CKT.

                    1. re: nasilemak

                      So it's more kinda sorta like a seafood version of dry-fried chow foon? This sounds yummy. It's way past time to check out Bubor Cha Cha, I think.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        if you go, try the dim sum. it's about 50 cents cheaper than others in Ctown and the quality is good.