While having one of my favorite wantan mee at Lucky Garden a couple weeks back, a slightly older Sikh gentleman politely asked to share the table, which of course I agreed. As usual, my breakfast was then accompanied by a single serving side dish of stranger conversation.
Pudu wet market, KL
It was during this exchange that the I was told about his favorite curry chee cheong fun place at Pudu wet market, and how all his decade old ex-classmates drools over the pictures on WhatsApp group chat whenever he posts them. So naturally, I decide to pay a visit to see what this is all about on the very next day.
It was actually my first time to the Pudu wet market, and to be honest I wasn’t really prepared by how big, busy, noisy, wet, and smelly this place is. This may turn off quite a few people, but I thought it brought a sense of nostalgia and live to the city. I kinda liked it, but if you drive there, do try to park some distance away instead of barging through the super congested streets surrounding the market.
curry chee cheong fun stall, Pudu Market
The curry chee cheong fun stall is right next to the Northern part of the wet market building and manned by a lady. You can ask for pure curry chee cheong fun (RM 2 for small portion, as in pic), or if you so fancy, add some yong tau foo pieces.
And yes, the curry chee cheong fun was on a league of its own, the curry has a bit of that kurma aroma to it which is rather distinctive, while also being a lot thicker than most. On top of that, there’s these little crunchy bits they put on top of those perfectly soft & smooth chee cheong fun. It was all well balanced and very, very satisfying.
curry chee cheong fun goes great with yau char kuai
My experience that morning was made more memorable by yet another stranger who came and shared table, this time another single serving conversation which ended up with the kind stranger offering me half a yau char kuai to go with my leftover curry sauce. Match made in heaven.
Address: Curry Chee Cheong Fun Pudu Market Jalan Pasar Baharu Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.134275, 101.715213
One of the best things to have on a breezy night is a good bowl of herbal soup, and for that, the number one trusted place to be has got to be Keong Kee Herbal Soup in Pudu. In fact, I had an ex-housemate that would bug her boy friend to drive her all the way from PJ to the heart of KL whenever she had the craving for these home-made soup.
Keong Kee Herbal Soup, Pudu
The restaurant, or stall I should say, is located on a semi open air area under a zinc roof that has rudimentary weather protection, there are no walls or air conditioning, but it is well lit and has ceiling fans serving the customers to counter the tropical heat.
The menu at Keong Kee is not a large one, and resides only in the memory of the waiters. For the two of us over dinner, we ordered a portion of stewed lamb, a plate of “oily vegetable”, ginseng chicken soup, and a bowl of terrapin soup. Yes, terrapin, or freshwater turtle.
2 soup, vege, stewed lamb
Service was rather prompt, and quality of these soup were really as good as their reputation, the herbal taste were strong, with the meat in both soup dishes as well as the stew cooked to a very soft, tender texture. We really enjoyed it. (the vegetable wasn’t overly “refined” though..).
Dinner came to RM 35 for two pax, pretty cheap for what you get. So if you’re up for some good old fashion double boiled soup in the city, this is surely a place to check out.
Kuih Teow Soup is one of those Penang hawker food that receive very little attention in Klang Valley, and I believe this is mostly due to the fact that pork noodle and the KL style fishball noodle (very subtle differences) serves most of the same demographic that gravitates towards this type of dishes.
Here’s the subtle differences in these three types of noodle soup, even though their broth are all clear and choice of noodle is usually kuih teow (flat rice noodle):
pork noodle – major ingredients of pork slices, innards, and even pork balls, sometimes you get to add poached egg, no bean sprouts
KL style fish ball noodle – fish ball, fish cake, bean sprout, mustard green
Penang kuih teow soup – fish ball, fish cake, chicken/pork/duck meat slices, bean sprouts, sometimes with coagulated duck/chicken blood, spring onion
So in essence, kuih teow soup has a more complex taste when compared to plain old fish ball noodle, while being not as savory and heavy as pork noodle.
For a proper bowl of Penang kuih teow soup in Klang Valley, my favorite at the moment is the hawker stall at Do Re Mi kopitiam at Ara Damansara. It is one of the very few places in town that serves kuih teow soup with duck meat. Duck meat is an ingredient that you don’t often find in hawker dishes in KL, I suppose mostly due to cost, and perhaps lesser appreciation from the public.
kuih teow th’ng, with duck meat
If you’re a fan of kuih teow soup in it’s proper form, this is surely a place to check out. Let me know if you have other favorites of yours to share.
Address: Restaurant DoReMi 123 Jalan PJU 1a/20b Ara Damansara Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.119897, 101.579194
Klang is known for bak kut teh, hong ba, and maybe to a lesser extend, those Klang style red wine mee suah that I love so much. However, being a huge district that is home to over a million people, there are certainly some outliers when it comes to food offering that are favorites among the locals – enter Roti Canai Pandamaran, also known as Restoran I.V.
IV Restaurant, Pandamaran, Klang
As the name suggests, this is a place best known for it’s roti canai. The restaurant is located rather deep within Pandamaran, and certainly quite a distance away from KL itself, but for those who loves roti canai, I think this place may just worth a visit.
We were there only weekend around brunch hours, and the place was packed full house with customers. Along the left wall there are three roti canai making stations with five guys concentrating on nothing but preparing and cooking roti canai. I’ve never seen such an operation dedicated to roti canai, it was actually quite impressive.
roti kosong, roti telur, or roti planta?
We tried their roti telur with and without bawang, roti kosong, and roti planta. I’m happy to report that the roti were really top notch, with just the proper amount of crispiness and flavor, and served with rather good curry as well, though I’ve had better dal & sambal option elsewhere. That being said, it is still one of the best roti canai I’ve tried from anywhere.
mee and meehun goreng, nasi lemak
I.V Restaurant also offers some non-roti options such as meehun goreng and nasi lemak. While these dishes are competent, they aren’t anything to really shout about, I’d order another roti instead!
Address: I.V. Restaurant 117, Jalan Pandamaran Jaya 62, Kawasan 10, 42000 Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.005069, 101.425004 Tel: 03-3167 0943 Hours: 5:30 am to 5 pm
RM460++A few weeks ago I was invited to one of the more unique wine pairing dinners in town – Salon & Delamotte Champange Tasting Dinner at Nadodi KL. Being just a stone’s throw away from my office, the location was perfect, and with proper champagne & wine from Salon & Delamotte? I couldn’t say no.
Salmon and Delamotte Champange tasting dinner at Nadodi KL
Interestingly, Nadodi also offers something I have yet to try in so many years of writing about food – fine dining Indian cuisine. More specifically, southern Indian cuisine in a fine dining setting.
The dinner was a bespoke 11-course menu called 11-mile journey priced at RM460++ by Nadodi, they also offer the 13-mile journey dinner at RM 490++.
As for our drinks for the night. We have Salon – creation of Aime Salon, from the region of Côte des Blancs. The wine from Salon is always of a single harvest, single cru, single grape variety and of the best vintages. Hence the resulting champagne is perfectly balanced and among the most sought after.
A neighbour of Salon, Delamotte too is from Côte des Blancs and sources its grapes from the same region. Delamotte produces non-vintage Brut, Blanc de Blancs and Rosé.
In attendance at the dinner was Didier Depond, president of Champagne Salon and Champagne Delamotte.
Cone, Manga, and Pillow
Three exquisitely prepared starters to kick off the night. Cone was sambar & onion chutney, Manga made from mango patchadi & pistachios, while Pillow consists of beetroot and cheese.
While presentation is rather modern, there’s undeniable underlying tone of Indian cuisine, Cone had a spicy note to it, Manga balances sweetness of mango with pistachios, and Pillow the richness of cheese often found in Indian dishes.
We had Delamotte Blanc de Blancs non vintage with these, an delicate wine with subtle fruitiness and floral character.
Shell Shock was Hokkaido scallop with sodhi (coconut milk curry), an unfamiliar mix of taste to the usual scallop preparation, but one that worked out well.
We had Tiano & Noreno Malbec 2010 Magnum, with less than 800 bottles left in the world, a gracious gift from the President himself in this session. The wine is powerful, full-bodied, and has a delicate acidity with a touch of French elegance. It was one of our favorites of the night for sure.
Go Bananas, Salon Le Mesni 2006
Go Bananas is one of the iconic dishes at Nadodi, the dish is made with the stem, fruit and flower of a banana tree. We had Salon Le Mesni 2006, a champagne with a finish that is clear, aromatic, round and well balanced.
Heads Up, Delamotte Blanc de Blancs
Heads Up, a seafood dish with coral trout, head curry espuma, and lemon flat rice. The trick to eating this to stir it up and scoop up the mix, the contrasting texture of creamy curry and those crunchy rice was quite an experience.
Crabs Day Out
Crab’s Day Out is Nadodi’s play with Alaskan crab meat with rasam (you should be familiar with this at banana leaf rice places). Not quite as exquisite as I thought it’d be, but something with a little bit of acidity was welcoming after mostly creamy dishes.
Sorbet & Peek-A-Boo – lobster ishtu, dry coconut
We had a sorbet made from Delamotte Rose NV as palette cleanser, can’t get more luxurious than that.
Then came Peek-A-Boo, our lobster dish of the night. Lobster ishtu (Kerala style potato with coconut milk) with dry coconut. I liked the way they prepare the lobsters by cooking it only just very so slightly, retaining the natural taste of the crustacean. The whole thing too is wrapped by very thinly sliced scallop skin, my favorite dish of the night.
Billy – pepper crusted lamb, drumstick curry
Billy – our red meat of the night, consists of pepper crusted lamb with drumstick (moringa, not chicken drumstick…) curry. The lamb was perfectly cooked too, with the peppery crust seasoned how it should be. I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
Nomads Globe – country chicken biriyani, egg plants
Nomads Globe, our main for the day consists of country chicken briyani and egg plants in peanut masala gravy. A competent dish in its own, but I thought one that perhaps sit a bit lower than the two dishes preceding it.
Nomads Globe – country chicken biriyani, egg plants
Overall the experience was certainly positive, with good food, great wine & champagne, and certainly excellent company with Paco Galdeano, Hiroki Kuwabara san, and Xing Yi.
Check out diineout.com for more of exclusive champagne and wine pairing such as these. Thanks Wei Zhi for introducing me to this event!