Chowrasta market to get a makeover


The MPPP is embarking on a RM10-12m project to upgrade the heritage Chowrasta market – its first makeover since 1961.

The old Chowrasta - Photograph:

The new-look Chowrasta market along Penang Road

The project will be awarded by open tender, said CM Guan Eng.

As the building is deemed to be part of the heritage of the state’s heritage, it will be overseen by heritage architect Laurence Loh.

Meanwhile, the Penang Heritage Trust is alarmed by what appears to be the demolition of another old bungalow along Macalister Road (opposite the new wing of the Loh Guan Lye Hospital).

Another one bites the dust - Photograph: Penang Heritage Trust


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Honestly the design looks like simply removing some of the walls and plant some greens on it… No part of it looks the part of heritage at all….

ong eu soon

The makeover involve the dismantling of 1/3 of back portion to build a 5 storey car park and a rooftop organic farm. How is this in line with heritage preservation?


it’s called heritage makeover, don’t you read it ????


I like the roof top organic farm idea. It can help ‘cool down’ our over heated atmosphere due to global warming and increased motorized vehicles. Also a great way to use empty spaces for some economic gains and promote healthy diet of organic food.
In fact with the many high rise coming up, this organic farm pursuit can be practical and efficiently managed by a specialist farm group or by the collective residents.


If they could keep all the unique businesses that line the market including the 2nd hand bookstalls, add some innovative new ones, and turn the interior into something like KL’s Central Market – it would really be good for all – both businesses and customers and Penang too! I’m hoping it comes off!


Yes, love it !!! Time to renovate and make it clean so as to encourage more tourists !!!


Ah Beng Kor should open a MakanSutra restaurant cum cafe for the earthly pleasures of Tham Chiak Kuis! And can demo / advise us ‘live’ on how to derive maximum makan-makan pleasures with his makansutra guide. Sure laku everyday and night!

Ah Beng Kor

The cucur udang stall (Tamil Street next to Chowrasta market) is recommended by TV3 program recently. Check that out. it may be better than MPPP Gurney Pasembur. It’s not slippery clean but should be heaven for you. Let us know you rating after you have tasted it.


I have been there many,many times for this inconspicuous street hawker stall. I can say one thing for sure: This is the best cucur udang stall in the whole of Malaysia! The taukua is crispy on the skin, but whitish tender and warm inside. Dip it into kacang gravy and slow munch and you will sure to ask for a 2nd round. The best of the best ingredient / liao is the fried prawn fritters. I always ask for this tambah knowing that it is still affordable without worrying – all for less than RM4.00. Also, the fish cake is… Read more »

Ah Beng Kor

Anil and tunglang wanna join me to savour the Cucur Udang before they “migrated” out of the area after the Chowrasta makeover ? 🙂
RM4 per dish better deal than the Laksa you recommended nearby at Keng Kwee @RM3.50 (add on with Chendul will become RM5 plus).

I am doing/compiling local makansutra guide called “Jejak Tham Chiak Kui Pulau Mutiara”. Watch out for the book at Borders or MPH or


sounds interesting.

Pasembur and Cucur Udang are kind of under-rated in Penang.

Now I know where to look for.


Actually, eating Penang street hawker cuisine is like or as good as having sex!
With those heavenly pleasures engaging your dancing & twisting taste buds, drawing overflow of hunger saliva and carousing tongues, what earthly pleasures can match up to this great pastime of Penang Makan-Makan. And you can go on for hours with different food pleasures if you have great appetite and money!
So, the next dining time you overheard the “Ooooh, Aaaah” at the next table, pretend that you never seen or heard anything!
The more reasons why I bring along the “Good Morning” mini China towel!


Sharing Info :
Popular Mee Goreng in Penang & Alor Star :

Mee Goreng
Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng
270, Jln Burmah. Tel: 016-485 7859.
Open 8am to 6.30pm.
Closed Mondays.

Mee Abu
Kedai Kopi Hin & Abu
1225 C Jln Teluk Wanjah, Alor Setar
Open 10.30am to 9pm.
Closed on Fridays.


Mee Abu will soon be the gathering of ABU fans !

check out this dish …..

Ah Beng Kor

Ong Eu Soon now is the opportunity for you and your buddies to buy / open tender those dilapidated shophouses flanking Chowrasta Market.
Don’t rant & grouse when they are sold at prices you can stomach claiming this and that.
The shophouses there will be 3x current appraisal in 3 years time, don’t play play.


Why change the look of the 50’s building into 21 century? The money is better spend to for more durable and non-corroding fittings and accessibility into the building. Some of the left overs can be using to improve other markets facilities.

Infact, Penang Markets can be a tourist trail and with breakfast or lunch throw in.


kingkong: Infact, Penang Markets can be a tourist trail and with breakfast or lunch throw in.
Yeah, why not maintain the wet market section (not make it overtly dry and slippery cleanliness obsessed but dangerous) where one can buy fresh prawns / cockles and proceed to have them fried by Char Koay Teow hawker there. At least one can enjoy more keh-liao at cost.


The design of the makeover is good. And it is about time chowrasta is renovated. It will make it more comfortable for shoppers.

One thing that has to be asked is whether lawrence loh is designing the building on a voluntary basis for the sake of heritage conservation or is he being paid for the job. If he is being paid then there should also be an open tender for the designing job. I am sure there are many others who would like to participate.


It is a normal practice, especially in the private sector, that the professional consultancy work which is a fraction (5~10%) of the total job is not tendered out. Only the contract work is tendered.

However, if you are soliciting for ideas, then you request for an architectural competition where the successful architect may be awarded the project or given a prize money.


You are right that that is practiced in the private sector, however, chowrasta market is a project of public interest using public funds. Therefore, the public should be given a chance to participate in the design. Maybe there are other architects out there who could just as well have creative and innovative ideas. We wouldn’t know unless an RFP or tender was called for the design as well. Even better, it could have been opened for direct public participation just like the revitalisation of Komtar project a few months back.

Ong Ong

They cannot demolised the bungalow!!!!

By the way, Chowrasta’s upgrade looks good. Will attract more people to buy thing at the market. Good.