Pulau Tikus Market: Penang kopitiam serves Hokkien prawn noodles & ais kacang topped with grass jelly & sea coconut

I first caught wind of Pulau Tikus Market through social media, where the newly-opened eatery was marketed as a Penang kopitiam. Curious, I went to Google, but the only thing that came up at the time was the town in Penang that this kopitiam is named after. Due to the lack of information, I forgot about it— that was until I visited Megah Rise Mall in Petaling Jaya and saw how packed the restaurant was.

Pulau Tikus Market - Storefront

At the entrance, there was a sign saying that those who order in Hokkien are eligible for a Penang kia discount. Unfortunately, the cashier at the time didn’t understand Hokkien, so our first mission was already a flop.

Pulau Tikus Market - Entrance decoration

Our second mission, which was to order their assam laksa, was also a complete failure. If you think about Penang, your mind will automatically go to char kuey teow and assam laksa. In an interesting turn of events, they didn’t offer the former in their menu and had already run out of the latter.

What I tried at Pulau Tikus Market

First to arrive was their Ice Kacang Original (RM7.80). The bowl was humongous. It was filled to the brim with shaved ice and topped with corn, sea coconut, grass jelly, kidney beans, and crushed peanuts. I think that its size in conjunction with the generous amount of toppings, the price is justified.

Pulau Tikus Market - Ice kacang original

This ais kacang was a rollercoaster. The shaved ice that was drenched in rose syrup didn’t taste like the typical ones you’d find at roadside stalls. Instead, as one of my companions pointed out, it had a slight medicinal touch to it (almost like cough syrup). 

If you’re picky with the ingredients that go into your ais kacang, this would be a textural nightmare for you. Pulau Tikus Market’s Ice Kacang Original isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it for solo diners; this is something to be shared among 4 or more people. 

Pulau Tikus Market - Spoonful of ais kacang

While I enjoyed the bits of grass jelly, sea coconut, and corn, I found that the crushed peanuts turned soggy after a while. I wasn’t even aware  that was possible.

Pulau Tikus Market - Hokkein Prawn Mee

The main dish, which had a thumbs up next to it in the menu, was their Hokkien Prawn Mee (RM18.80). The big bowl of noodles came with half a boiled egg, some greens, prawns, shredded chicken, fried shallots, and some chilli oil. Judging solely by its appearance, I thought this dish would hit the spot. 

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Sadly, by the time I was done taking pictures, the kuey teow had absorbed a lot of the broth, leaving us with an unbalanced noodle to soup ratio. However, this was probably the smallest issue I faced with this prawn mee.

Pulau Tikus Market - Prawn noodles

The first wave of disappointment came when I saw the prawns. Not only were they tiny, they were also sliced in half to give the appearance of many prawns (which was not the case).

My biggest gripe with this dish was the absence of the umami prawn flavour one would expect when ordering something that’s literally named prawn mee. The broth simply wasn’t kaw enough. Here’s the thing: this dish isn’t bad at all. In fact, the soup was quite delicious. Despite that, it did not taste like prawn mee. I was expecting a full-bodied, savoury soup that would send my taste buds into overdrive, but it did none of that.

Pulau Tikus Market - Making of noodle

As another one of my companions said “If you blindfolded me and fed me this, I wouldn’t have guessed that this is prawn mee”, and I wholeheartedly agree. The flavours were similar to kuey teow th’ng, mild, wholesome, and comforting. If someone had told me that this was the aforementioned dish and not prawn mee, I would’ve been very satisfied.

On the bright side, the chicken was extremely tender, and watching the chef prepare this dish at the retro food cart was pretty fun.

Final thoughts

To reiterate, the food we had wasn’t bad at all. The ais kacang and Hokkien prawn mee were on par with mall food (specifically local) quality. I was expecting better flavours for the price and for the fact that the restaurant markets themselves as a Penang kopitiam. Penang is well-known for being the birthplace of some of Malaysia’s best cuisine, and Pulau Tikus Market didn’t deliver.

This place is decent if you’re already in the mall and  in the mood for Penang food, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone going out of their way just to dine there. You can easily find better ais kacang and noodles from other spots for much lower prices.

Expected damage: RM8 – RM31.60 per pax

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Our Rating: 3 / 5

Pulau Tikus Market

G-12, Megah Rise Mall, Jalan SS 24/9, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 47301

Our Rating 3/5

Pulau Tikus Market

G-12, Megah Rise Mall, Jalan SS 24/9, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 47301

Telephone: +60164220012
Operating Hours: 10.30am - 10pm (Mon), 10am - 10pm (Tue to Sun)
Telephone: +60164220012

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 10pm (Mon), 10am - 10pm (Tue to Sun)