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Penang - Gaik Ten Eating House - Strangest Seating Arrangement Ever

klyeoh Nov 16, 2008 07:52 PM

I visited the old quarter of Georgetown in food haven Penang over the weekend & chanced upon this 60-year-old eatery on Magazine Road (opposite Traders' Hotel). It serves a paraphernalia of Teochew/Chiuchow dishes: braised pork, soy-flavored tofu, pickled mustard, salted ducks' eggs, omelettes filled with chopped salted radishes, sweet-sour fish fillets - all served with Chinese rice porridge/congee.

But what caught my eye was the seating arrangements upfront of the serving counter: long benches, topped with tiny stools. Apparently, these type of eateries were common in Southern China (where Penang-Chinese immigrants originally came from centuries ago) in the old days - the diners back in the 19th-century (many of whom were coolies or rickshaw-pullers) liked to squat atop the benches while seated on the tiny stools. Amazing to see such "traditional" seating arrangements still exist in Penang!

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  1. s
    shengtang RE: klyeoh Nov 17, 2008 06:32 PM

    I am not sure if this was the old Hokkien way, but my late uncle also like to "squat" when eat. Well, at least one leg would be on the bench. People make fund of Ah-Ben but food taste good when eaten Ah-Ben style ... :-)

    1. k
      klyeoh RE: klyeoh Oct 21, 2013 06:56 PM

      Still there, and I still can't get over this seating arrangement :-D

      1. l
        Lau RE: klyeoh Oct 25, 2013 06:45 AM

        haha that looks uncomfortable

        1. p
          penang_rojak RE: klyeoh Oct 28, 2013 12:44 AM

          Must come here quick as there is a BIG new hotel that's to be built at this spot!!! Georgetown is all construction sites these days as more and more boutique hotels and cafes are built to cater to the influx of tourists from all over the world.

          2 Replies
          1. re: penang_rojak
            M_Gomez RE: penang_rojak Oct 29, 2013 12:17 AM

            Hurry there, penang-rojak? I think the seating arrangement there pretty much rules out the likes of me.

            1. re: penang_rojak
              fragolino RE: penang_rojak Oct 29, 2013 07:06 AM

              Sad to hear, I hope there are no other culinary casualties due to the hotel being built!

              I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for other places where there is this type of seating just to try it out unless this place will still exist in February (fingers crossed).

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