Robert’s Penang char kway teow comes highly recommended

Robert’s Penang char kway teow comes highly recommended

Everyone has their own take on where to fine the best Penang char kway teow in the Klang Valley. But when an 84-year-old restaurant owner and chef gives you his recommendation, you better believe it!

Especially when he has been a regular at the same stall for the past 31 years, frequently bringing friends and relatives to savour a plate of Robert Khoo’s char kway teow at Damansara Kim.

Whenever this octogenarian, James Kuok of Sri Nyonya Restaurant fame visits the coffee shop with his friends, he only orders food from Robert’s stall and nothing else.

That shows how much he still enjoys nice and simple street food that you cannot find in five star hotels or other posh restaurants.

When Kuok first told me about it, I agreed to check it out. So, off we went to Damansara Kim one morning, where Robert has been operating his char kway teow stall at Restoran Golden Kim Wah for the past decade.

He moved here after operating his stall in SS2 Petaling Jaya for 25 years.

“When the coffee shop was closed down, I moved to Damansara Kim. My relatives are also operating other stalls in Section 17, Kota Damansara, Taman Megah and Damansara Perdana.”

In fact, Robert has been whipping up one plate of char kway teow after another for the past 40 years. Assuming he sells a 100 plates a day, and works 300 days a year, that comes up to a mind-boggling 1.2 million plates!

I agree with Kuok that Robert’s char kway teow is not just better than anything I have tasted in the Klang Valley, but also Penang.

The RM7 price tag for a big plate (RM6.50 for a small plate) is worth every sen. He doesn’t skimp on the cockles, prawns, lap cheong, bean sprouts, lard, Chinese chives and finely-beaten egg omelette, and not to forget some aromatic garlic bits.

You can pay an additional RM1 for more cockles and, if you wish, Robert can also regulate the amount of chili to suit your taste.

The prices are kept to a comfortable level, as he still has a lot of faithful followers who have been his regular customers for many years.

I particularly like the slightly sweet and umami taste of the char kway teow, which is hard to find elsewhere. Robert is not giving up his trade secret, but he does tell me that one way this is achieved is by controlling the intensity of the fire.

So, Penangites who are living in the Klang Valley never have to miss home again, at least not when it comes to char kway teow.

For other Penang delicacies over here, they can also look for Joo Tiang’s Penang curry mee in Sri Bintang, and for those more familiar with Desa Aman Puri, there is Tong Siang’s version. Not to forget Sri Nyonya, one of the best northern Peranakan restaurants around.

To me, there’s no such thing as objectively the ‘best’ char kway teow, and I also disagree that it can only be found in Penang. Even my Penangite friends cannot agree on which stall serves the best version of the dish. It does, after all, depend on individual taste buds.

But according to Kuok, Roberts’ char kway teow has been consistently good for the decades he’s been going there, even following the chef when he made his switch to Damansara Kim.

Who am I to argue with that?

Robert’s Penang char kway teow stall is located in Restoran Golden Kim Wah, at No 1 Jalan SS20/11 Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya. His stall is open from 7am to 3pm seven days a week.

Waze: Click here if you want to use Waze

Tel: 016-3096797

Business Hours: 7am – 3pm

Joo Tiang’s Penang curry mee has no right to be this good

Joo Tiang’s Penang curry mee has no right to be this good

Fancy this: a bowl of Penang curry mee for just RM4 – and not in a small town, but in the Klang Valley!

There’s only one catch. Because it’s so good, you have to get to the Lim Sisters coffee shop before 10.30am, or all of Khaw Joo Tiang’s Penang prawn mee and curry mee may be sold out.

Khaw, who goes by the nickname “Leng Ma” (pretty mother), serves the Penang curry mee with a spoonful of chilli sambal mixed into white coconut broth. It also comes with brown squid, blood cubes and cockles.

Portions aren’t the biggest, but it’s enough to give most people a hearty breakfast. Or if you’re craving for more, you could opt to add additional noodles, only for an additional 50 sen.

According to Khaw’s son, Vincent Ng, they have maintained the low prices for a long time.

“The stall has been operating even before I was born. We have tried to maintain the prices for some time now. It is the volume that helps to sustain the business.”

Even better is the fact that unlike some hawkers, Khaw still does the cooking herself, waking up at 4am in the morning to prepare the special broth.

Hailing from Butterworth, Khaw and her husband started selling Penang curry mee in the 1970s. They made the trip to Petaling Jaya in the 1980s, selling only prawn mee, before setting up shop in Subang Jaya.

Now, her stall is located in Lim Sisters, Taman Sri Bintang, right next to SJK (C) Kepong 3. But have your GPS at the ready, because finding the shop would be difficult otherwise.

Ng, who also goes by “Ah Hong,” helps his mother at the stall six days a week. And it looks like the help is appreciated, because the stall appears to be the busiest in Lim Sisters, with waiting times of up to 20 minutes on busier days.

“Despite the prices, my Mom still tries to maintain the quality of the curry mee to satisfy the taste buds of her regular customers.”

Some may be put off by the general ambience of Lim Sisters, which tends to become as crowded as any other famous coffee shop in the Klang Valley. But just one taste of the curry mee will drown out the din of the crowd.

Besides curry mee and prawn mee, Khaw’s stall also serves Penang loh mee.

Lim Sisters coffee shop is located at 1 & 3, Jalan 3/36, Taman Sri Bintang, 52100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: +6012-663 1319
Business hours: 7am – 5pm (every day except Mondays)
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/GYTupVhhrro
Waze location: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.18869&lon=101.64125

Simply irresistible green curry at Yum Yum Thai

Simply irresistible green curry at Yum Yum Thai

Thai green curry to me is what Penang curry mee or beef rendang are to some people. I need not say anything else – I simply love it!

And as it is not too spicy, even children get to enjoy it. I almost regret not listening to a piece of advice I received long ago: when you find something delicious, tell no one about it, so you can quietly enjoy it yourself!

I recalled these words as my nine-year-old son and I had to compete for the bowl of green curry the moment it was served in Yum Yum Thai, as if we had starved for weeks, if not months. We are both in love with the taste of the green curry they serve in this restaurant, which is located in Casa Tropicana, Petaling Jaya.

My romance with green curry goes back a long way. I always order it anytime I walk into a Thai restaurant; therefore, when restaurant owner, Marcia Lau Saunders suggested that I gave it a try, I was delighted.

Even when we were living in Maputo, Mozambique, the green curry we found there was something that brought us some sanity, being among only a handful of Asians in a country where almost everyone speaks Portuguese.

When we were there, green curry was always something we looked forward to, being the closest thing we could get to satisfy our Asian taste buds.

And so, after a lifetime of eating green curry, I have to admit that to date, I haven’t tasted anything better than Yum Yum Thai’s irresistible green curry.

The ingredients, according to Lau, are all imported from Thailand. Even the chefs, Ying and Mee, are from Chiang Rai.

“We import basil leaves, aubergines and coconut milk from Thailand. This may bring up the cost a bit, but for the authentic Thai taste, it is worth it.”

“The style of cooking is Northern Thai. The food we serve here is therefore authentic Northern Thai cuisine.”

As soon as you walk in, you’ll be greeted by the waitress Mila, who will greet you with the customary “Sawasdee Kap” (for men) and “Sawasdee kah” (if you are a woman).

Besides the green curry, I also recommend to try their signature dish, moo ping (grilled pork skewers) and pineapple fried rice. Both aren’t very spicy, and are very suitable for children.

My only regret is that we came with only one adult and two children, meaning that we could hardly run down Yum Yum Thai’s menu.

If you are planning to go Thai this weekend, try Yum Yum Thai where you can also enjoy the soothing Thai music playing in the background.

Restoran YumYum Real Thai Food is located at B-0-3A, Block B, Casa Tropicana, No. 5, Jalan Persiaran Tropicana, PJU 3, 47410 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 011-3386 9417
Business hours: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM (Mon and Wed)
11am – 10pm (Thurs-Sun)
Closed: Tuesdays
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yumyumrealthai/
Video: https://www.facebook.com/yumyumrealthai/videos/533961483619397/

No hiding from Yi Yan if you’re seeking chee chap chuk

No hiding from Yi Yan if you’re seeking chee chap chuk

When a customer called up to ask for the direction to Restoran Yi Yan, 61-year-old Fan Kin Lin responded in Cantonese that his restaurant is Chuk Yi Yan.

The customer answered, “No, I am bringing my wife to try out your porridge, not to play hide-and-seek.”

The customer had a good laugh when he and his family finally arrived at the restaurant and learned how the name “Chuk Yi Yan” came about from Fan.

“In Chinese, Chuk Yi Yan means playing Hide and Seek, and the name Yi Yan was picked because Chuk is the closest sound to the word, ‘porridge’ in Cantonese. Apart from that, there is no other special meaning to it. It was meant to help customers remember our name better.”

The restaurant has been in business since 2010. In the past eight years, we have eaten in the restaurant on numerous occasions, as we find it is convenient for the children to spend their time reading books in the Mini Oasis library located just above the restaurant.

Kin Lin, or “Auntie” as we are fond of calling her, is friendly enough to have a good chat with occasionally. This is something to which a friend of mine, James Pang can also testify, having travelled all the way from Petaling Jaya to taste the food here.

Although she wakes up as early as 4am to prepare the porridge, Kin Lin is still energetic even by 9pm at night. When James flatters her by saying that she still looks young for her age, Kin Lin smiles sheepishly.

On top of her friendliness, James also agrees with me that Yi Yan’s minced pork porridge “stands out from the rest.”

“Although it is common, I strongly recommend it. Really sedap!”

Kin Lin, who hails from Rahang, Negeri Sembilan, has a long history in the food business, having sold noodles from as young as 12 years old.

Their specialty here is a wide variety of porridges, with the chee chap chuk being a bestseller.

According to James, the porridge is neither too watery nor too thick. “It’s just nice and really silky smooth,” he said, adding that these days, there are not many people who can still cook such good porridge anymore.

James, who hardly eats duck meat anywhere else, even recommends Yi Yan’s smoked duck, calling it exceptional.

His wife Priscilla Lee also enjoyed all the food she was served. Besides the chee chap chuk and the smoked duck, she listed her third favourite dish as the lor pan mee.

I couldn’t agree more. The lor pan mee is a unique dish that would be hard to seek anywhere else.

We’ve all heard of Ulu Yam lor mee, but this one uses pan mee, which gets my thumbs-up. It tastes even better when you add in some vinegar.

Their kids, Jayden and Jonathan, also fell in love with the fried pan mee, and the many kinds of porridge on offer.

Yi Yan also makes lovely vinegar pork trotters, which has a little taste of Bentong ginger.

Restoran Yi Yan is located at Jalan Medan Putra 1, Bandar Sri Menjalara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6279 0186
Business hours: 9am – 10.30pm
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4iTaVwzLug32
Waze location: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.19376&lon=101.62571

Mixing and matching with Ten Noodles

Mixing and matching with Ten Noodles

Variety seems to be the way how restaurant operator YY Wong models her noodle shop in Dataran Sunway.

Ten Noodles Restaurant’s business model is interesting. Instead of the standard “eat-or-leave-it” dishes, Ten Noodles’ kitchen is set up to tailor noodles based on individual preferences.

This restaurant in Kota Damansara is well-known for its pork noodles, but the difference between its many other competitors is that her clients get to mix and match what they want for their meals.

With seven different types of noodles to choose from, the kitchen hands can prepare noodles either in soup or dry, accompanied by a variety of condiments.

Though only operating from September last year, Ten Noodles has received quite a positive response. Even on a working day, there is a steady flow of customers. We arrived at the restaurant for dinner at 7pm, and nearly every table was occupied.

“We have young and old people as well as people from different races, who love our pork noodles.”

“They have become our regular customers. The prices are based on what is being picked. Most of them who have been eating here know exactly what they are looking for.”

Most of the customers are office staff working in Dataran Sunway, but university students are also making this their favourite eatery, despite the numerous restaurants in the commercial square.

The friends who recommended Ten Noodles to me – who are now regulars – asked me to check out their pork noodles. According to Wong, the pork noodles are now starting to attract non-Chinese customers.

Besides the usual condiments, Wong said customers can also choose from a range of internal organs to go with their noodles. I have been reluctant to ingest organs since my youth, but I’ll take Wong’s word on many of her customers loving what has become their speciality.

“We allow the customers to tell us what exactly they would like to eat. In that way, there is little wastage.”

Wong’s love for pork went back as early as her 80s, when she was growing up on a pig farm in Negeri Sembilan.

“My family was involved in pig farming. From young, we had had a lot to do with pigs. I am familiar with the pork business; that’s why I decided to start a restaurant that sells pork noodles.”

It doesn’t just look like she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to pork; it tastes that way as well.

Restoran Ten Noodles is located at No. 25-1, Ground Floor, Jalan PJU 5/10, Dataran Sunway Kota Damansara.

Tel: 03-6143 9585
Business hours: 11 am – 9 pm (closed on Fridays)
Google Map: Search for Ten Noodle Restaurant
Waze location: Waze for Ten Noodle Restaurant

Is Mookata set to boss the competition?

Is Mookata set to boss the competition?

Mookata or mu kratha comes from mu (Thai for “pork”) and kratha (“pan”), which is where Boss Mookata gets its name from. The restaurant is located at a corner of Taman Perindustrian KIP, the growing commercial area in Kepong.

But mookata isn’t your standard Thai fare; it manages to fuse the styles of Korean BBQ and Chinese steamboat.

I like the way it uses the same source of heat (the traditional charcoal style) to create two different versions of cooking: one which is air-fried and the other in a soup stock.

Although it is believed that it came from Korean BBQ grills, the idea has already caught on in Thailand and Singapore. In Malaysia, a number of these restaurants have already started to appear, but whether this will be the next big trendsetter depends on local foodies.

According to restaurant proprietor Jason Tan, a small dinner set includes two packs of white marinated pork slices and a pack of black pepper marinated slice, Japanese tofu, crab sticks and fish balls.

“This costs RM38 for the dinner set, enough for two adults. The bigger set costs an additional RM10, but it has four packs of white marinated pork slices, one pack of black pepper marinated slices, Japanese tofu, crab sticks, fish balls and an unlimited supply of glass noodles, kangkung and Chinese cabbage (or pak choi).”

The ingredients can be cooked either on the air fryer pot, or in the soup, and for those who like it spicy, Boss Mookata prepares its own Thai style chili paste.

Another of its signature dishes is the snowflake steamed fish (雪山飞狐) that is stuffed with lemon grass and rock salt to preserve the moisture inside the fish so that the fish is juicy at all times.

Their lemongrass chicken wings is separate dish by itself, but they have green chilli that goes with

For now until February 3, Boss Mookata is hosting a competition to win an iPhone 8. All you need to do is to take a photograph and post it on your Facebook.

Restoran Boss Mookata is located at No 1 (Ground Floor), Persiaran KIP 3, Taman Perindustrian KIP, 52200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 014-3420 300
Business hours: 5:30pm – 12.00 midnight
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bossmookata/
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/BNmSNtDqQH22
Waze location: https://www.waze.com/location?h=w2860pkfj

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