CNY is over, well at least for the school going children and for us, business as usual, waking up early and driving our lovelies to school. After dropping them off, wifey and I did some rounding around town and were lucky to stumble upon this makeshift stall just behind the busy Jalan Maharajalela, Choo Cheng Kay. This area has a dark past as it was well known among the hamsap-lou (randy men) as a red light district. Many of the apartments here were Kuala Lumpur’s top brothels. But that is a thing of the past as frequent crackdowns by the authorities have driven vice activities away from this neighbourhood.
Back to this makan place, it is a very typical Chinese hawker food stall which sells the usual kinda food one finds in abundance around KL and PJ, usually in Chinese coffee shops. However, common and typical isn’t synonymous with delicious. Despite being overshadowed by the city’s development, this stall is still intact after being in operation for decades and is currently manned a young chap (cooking decked with a pair of sunglasses in the afternoons) with his mom (pic) helping out. The stall was actually started by his father (checked shirt), who later passed it on to him and I feel that this humble stall is not getting enough exposure and popularity it deserves.
Wonton noodle @ RM 4.50 ~ 1st up was this local favorite wonton mee. The noodles texture was nice, eggy and al dente with a dash of pepper and a splash of thick soy sauce ala Malaysia style. The sauce had that extra something in it that made the difference between great and eye-opening. Char Siew on the other hand was a little dry. I reckoned that the main stumbling block for most wonton noodle sellers must be the char siew because unless you are able to chargrill your own char siew, it is difficult to procure one that is really good. I have gotten used to tastier and thicker caramelized char siew slices. The noodles were good that I am willing to overlook the mediocre char siew!
Wonton noodle won’t be complete without the wontons. Pretty similar to the sui gao but wonton are normally 2 times smaller with less fillings. Here, prepared with a mixture of pork and prawn wrapped in a thick wonton skin to give us that solid and crunchy bite when we sank our teeth into it, but the sad thing was, they are pathetically anorexic where there was more skin than meat. By far, I still haven’t been able to find one that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Curry Laksa @ RM 5.00 ~ The broth was good, redolent with spices, not overly thick nor watery, just nice, not overly rich, but rather oily, with strong hints of “santan” (coconut milk). Served with rat tail noodles (wifey’s choice), chicken, bean curd puffs and potatoes.. yes, potatoes! (How often do you find potatoes in your bowl of curry laksa?) Just so you know, you won’t find any cockles nor bean sprouts found in any typical bowl of curry laksa here. The CL served here is somehow different and tasted pretty good. Had the broth been less oily, the bowl of laksa would’ve scored higher marks in my book, but honestly, there’s nothing more satisfying than a bowl of luscious, filling bowl of curry laksa for breakfast on a chilly morning.
Fried rice @ RM 6.00 ~ I know some must have thought that I’ve gone bonkers to have ordered a plate of fried rice in the early hours of the morning, yea? Let me tell you, the aroma emitting from the plate next to your table from this simple wonder is enough to whet your appetite thus, making it irresistible! It’s one of those dishes that just hit your palate receptors with a flavour symphony. Sinful but shiok! Using the extremely high temperature multi-concentric-ringed gas stove (commercial stove), the rice grain wasn’t at all sticky but with really good mouthfeel and imparted with strong wok hei. With additional sambal on side for spicy lover, it indeed made it more delicious. Lest we forget, we were delighted that they tinged the dish with pieces of aromatic char siew and chopped scallion. Can it get any better than that? We certainly think so. The two titular ingredients complement each other perfectly giving this simple plate of fried rice an unexpected complexity.
Apart from what I’ve mentioned, this stall offers other varieties of delights such as fried dumplings, curry chicken, fish head noodle, fish maw (daily), mushroom chicken feet (mon & weds), dry curry chicken (tues & thurs) and even the Chinese wine chicken which is available only on Saturdays.
The stall opens from early morning to afternoon (0630-1500) or until they run out of their stock, whichever comes first. Locating this stall shouldn’t be a problem for those who know where the famous Mun Wah Hokkien Mee is. Follow the lane down the slope before MW and this stall is on your left. Well, If you happen to be around this area, it would not hurt you one bit to check out this hidden gem.
- Street Food @ Choo Cheng Kay
- Jalan Choo Cheng Kay
- Business Hours – 0630-1500
- Closed – Sundays
- Mobile – 012-653 1533 (Ah Ching)
- GPS Coordinates
- N03°08.154 E101°98.720