Famous ice kacang stall in Penang to close

Famous ice kacang stall in Penang to close
Popular demand: Customers buying ice kacang from the Swatow Lane stall.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN - There is still time to savour the century-old Swatow Lane ice kacang.

Yesterday was supposed to be its last day but proprietor Lee Eng Huat, 61, decided to defer its departure to the end of this month.

Lee , who is the third generation co-owner of the shaved ice dessert outlet along with his older brother, said they came to an agreement with the New World Park food court management, where they are situated, to stay until May 31.

"Mention Sin Seh Kai (the Penang Hokkien name of the locale) ice kacang and most folk will know it is here," he said yesterday.

"We have not decided where we will go."

The trade, he said, was started by his grandfather in the 1920s on a pushcart just outside this food court.

They moved here in 2007.

It has been a labour of love for the family for four generations, including his nephews, said Lee, adding that there had been many faithful customers.

"My own school friends kept coming back during my father's time. They would even hold their reunion gatherings here. Later, they would bring their children and grandchildren to eat the ice kacang when it was my turn with my brother to run it," he said.

Lee said the future of Swatow Lane's ice kacang was in his nephews' hands.

Lee's nephew Bernard, 34, said they are the master tenant of the food court, which comprises 28 stalls.

"We don't want to continue because we have to be the master tenant here. We have not decided what to do after closing," he said.

Frequent customer Wee Han Hian, 64, had his first taste of their ice kacang in 1985.

"I had it since Bernard's father was selling it by the roadside. It is the number one ice kacang to me," said the retiree.

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