We are looking for a pair of new lanterns to be hung in our house and since it’s a yearly practice, be it the Year of the Dragon or not,”I decided to start out with THE place everyone will go to do their Chinese New Year shopping, i.e. Petaling Street or Chinatown. (茨厂街/糖人街)
The place is congested with people who are out doing last-minute shopping for the CNY celebration. Petaling Street comes alive with shoppers scouting for CNY must haves, i.e. decorations, dried meat and prayer items. Catchy CNY tunes could be heard at every corner of the bustling streets, spreading the infectious festive joy.
Many stores were brimming with red lanterns, artificial flowers and assorted decorative items bearing the image of the auspicious dragons. You will note that everything related to CNY has it’s significance that is said to bring prosperity and good luck which every Chinese desires.
In the hustle and bustle of Petaling Street, amongst the various peddlers and small stalls, Madras Lane is one of the many interesting eatery lanes in the Petaling Street area. Cutting through the huge parking lot we landed ourselves here before starting to scout for our CNY deco’s, to try out some of the famous Yong Tau Foo and other delights.
As we stepped into this busy lane, we’ve kinda anticipate to queue for a table especially on a Sunday morning but were rather surprise to find free tables in a nook. We knew we won’t have chance to try the famous “Madras Lane curry chee cheong fun” (中華巷猪肠粉) and the “yong tau foo” (中華巷釀豆腐) by sitting at where we were as the hawkers here are rather petty and notoriously territorial. “You order there, you NO sit here” kinda attitude! The stalls have allocated their patrons special seating, differentiate by the colors of the plastic stools, i.e. blue and red. Do make sure you asked before ordering, otherwise you’ll end up enduring something like this.. !@#*&@!! Parking is abundant however, as there is a large parking lot right behind the stalls, but prepare to pay RM2.50-3.00 per half hour for a parking spot.
Curry Laksa (咖喱叻沙) @ RM 4.50 (s) ~ We ordered our food from this 章记 since we were seated here knowing that this is less popular than the Madras Lane curry chee cheong fun and yong tau foo. In fact, they sell almost identical stuffs next to each other! It didn’t bother us as we weren’t here for this purpose anyway.
First up was this bowl of curry which was thick and nutty, and I liked the fact that the curry came with plenty of long beans and bean curd puffs, upping the veggie content from just the customary toss of bean sprouts. Chewy pig skin and raw cockles came with the serving. Broth wasn’t of the creamy kind. Fragrant but also slightly watery. I like my curry broth thick, spicy and creamy. So so only!
Assam laksa (亚参叻沙) @ RM 4.50 (s) ~ This serving includes the usual garnishes (fresh mint leaves, shredded cucumber and pineapple, sliced shallot) as well as a whole chunk of mackarel. The profoundly piscine mackarel marries wonderfully with the soup’s forceful spicy sourness.
Yong Tau Foo (酿豆腐) @ RM 1.00/pc ~ The star of this area has got to be the Madras Lane YTF. The stall was completely inundated by patrons forming a beeline, who were jostling and pushing for the attention of the lady boss, a shrewd looking, sharp-mouthed woman presiding over yet another impressive production line responding swiftly to the mounting orders. The yong tau foo didn’t impress. It was soggy rather than crispy, weren’t too fantastic and hardly worth the rave it has gotten from people. Seriously not worth the time and get can much better ones elsewhere, without attitude, anytime!
Pork ball noodle (猪肉丸粉) @ RM 4.50 (s) ~ The pork ball noodle comes in soup or dry version, and you get to choose from kuih teow, mee hun, yellow noodle, loh she fun, and the combination of them as stomach filler.While the stall get very busy, it usually doesn’t take very long for your order to be served. The pork balls are well, not exactly the round shaped ball that you would imagine. Rather, it is flat and rectangular shaped and come in a strip which the cook can break easily. Hand-shaped, each piece of pork ball tasted fine but not springy enough. A few pieces of dried tofu skin and a sprinkle of scallion came with it. Mediocre at best.
All in, the food has nothing to shout about and certainly not worth the trouble to come all the way where one can find better ones elsewhere with better and courteous service, but if I happen to be nearby, I MIGHT give it a thought.
- Madras Lane/Penjaja Gallery (中华巷/李霖泰菜市场) @ Tun H.S.Lee
- Lorong Bandar 20
- 50000 Kuala Lumpur.
- Business Hours – 0830-1500/Tues-Sun
- GPS Coordinates
- N03°08.619 E101°41.830