My day job brings me to Kota Kinabalu quite often these days, which is a bit of a blessing when it comes to work travel as this North Borneo city does offer a full package of beautiful ocean & beaches, the magnificent mount KK, and a host of rather unique hawker dishes not easily found this side of Klang Valley. I’m also particularly blessed to have friends who would bring me to explore these places.
Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu
During my last visit, I had to go offshore for a short stint. For Sabah, that meant using the old Terminal 2 at BKI airport (who has flown Air Asia flight via this side before?). On my return trip, my friend Yann May picked me up and we decided to stopped by this rather busy looking kopitiam located by Tanjung Aru, between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the airport.
As it turned out, this was the famous Kedai Kopi Wah Juan that offers mixed pork (or pork offal) noodle which if I remember correctly, is an addiction of a friend who claimed to eat clean otherwise.
our lunch spread for two
We ended up ordering a plate of noodle with roast & bbq pork (as the lady doesn’t eat pork offal, WHYY!?), a bowl of beef ball soup, a plate of noodle with pork offal, and an additional small plate of pork offal.
Well, the result? It was awesome!
Can’t say much about those BBQ & roast pork, but the pork offal was on point, soft, flavorful, and properly braised to perfection. In addition, the home made noodle were superb as well, subtle in taste which compliments the other ingredients, and soaks up those sauce just nice. The beef ball soup too did not disappoint, and would be something I order again.
If I had to nitpick, they could do with slightly better chili paste, that’s about it.
When it comes to food in Klang, one would usually point to bak kut teh, but if you dig in a little bit deeper, there are other gems hidden in this older part of the valley which you may not find in other places – one of such treasure is mee hoon kuih, or Klang’s own interpretation of pan mee.
Kah Ping hawker stall at Jalan Gelegor food court
The most well known of such dish this part of town has got to be Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih located at Taman Berkeley, a shop that’s almost always packed, hot, and requires a long wait time.
However, if you ask some of the locals, the best Mee Hoon Kuih is arguably the version served at Jalan Gelegor’s food court by a stall with the name of Kah Ping.
You may have recognized this particular food court for it’s famous Jalan Batai char kuih teow which I’ve penned on this space some time ago, yeap, you can have them both at the same place!
Klang style mee hoon kuih (or pan mee)
My mee hoon kuih took a little over 10 minutes to arrive (much faster than Fatty’s). The bowl of goodness comes with hand pinched dough, pork slices, liver, an egg (optional), vege, spring onion, dried anchovies, and curiously, some small shrimps.
pork, veggie, and even prawns
The dough was as solf and silky as it comes, and I thought the soup base was even sweeter than Fatty’s version, most likely due to the addition of those shrimps (much like the OUG pork noodle). I find myself enjoying this version quite a bit. As per usual Klang style, there’s only chili padi & soya sauce as condiment instead of those home made chili sauce you find at KL’s pan mee, but they do compliment the dish well if you like to add some kick.
A worthy mee hoon kuih to try, I’ll bring mom next since she loves a good bowl of mee hoon kuih!
Penangites always love a proper plate of char kuih teow and would usually regards CKT prepared by non Penang Hokkien as a bit of suspect. So naturally, most of us probably won’t sample char kuih teow manned by a Malay operator, since it’s .. well, usually not at all similar to the “original” version in which we’re familiar with.
It’s a game of fire and showmanship
However, being a food writer, it is also very important to be open and be willing to try all sorts of food and dishes, including those that may looked to be going against my “cultural heritage”, a decision which brought me to many wonderful surprises and great experience, including this kuih teow basah stall at SS15 that I tried a short while ago.
The stall operates out of a van usually parked just outside the SS15 wet market on Jalan SS15/8a. There’ll be a few ad hoc tables set up right next it, comfort isn’t of any particular emphasis.
The cooking though, was a bit of a show, with flames threatening to blow up the entire operations, though any experienced hawker adventurer would find this a welcoming sight. And indeed it was!
simple looking kuih teow basah, but oh so delicious
The resulting plate of kuih teow was nothing like the type I’m familiar with, it came with kuih teow (of course), egg, bean sprout, cockles, and a couple prawns with shells still on. It was also really wet, and spicy in a way that’s different from what I’m used to, yet it was very delicious in its own way, with the sauce packing a strong sweet seafood flavor and the dish having its own “wok hei” if you will.
If you’re a fan of kuih teow, give this a try as well, you may be surprised.
Address: Kuih Teow Basah Food Truck Jalan SS15/8a (outside wet market) Subang Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.074237, 101.587796 Hours: night
Part of the charm of visiting a new city is to try some of the local dishes, and when it comes to Hanoi, there are plenty to choose from, with one of them being Bun Oc, or snail soup.
bun oc hawker by the streets of Hanoi
While this dish may sound a little weird at first, do remember that most of us readily eats all sorts of shellfish, clams, and even escargot, which isn’t at all too different from this Vietnamese offering.
We chanced upon this Bun Oc place by the streets at Old Quarter in Hanoi (you can find quite a number of these stalls) and decided to give it a try.
The snails are cooked and extracted out from its shells before being served in a sweetish soup base that’s packed with fresh vegetable and a hint of fish sauce (what else doesn’t have fish sauce in Vietnam?)
a warm bowl of snail soup, anyone?
The dish usually comes with vermicelli to make it a meal, we opted out of the carbs since we had just completed a full meal prior. The snail has a subtle taste with texture that isn’t unlike topshell or well cooked shellfish, which was quite pleasant. I
It was back in 2014 or 15 that I first heard about this Fushou Lou Nyonya Curry Mee in USJ, and as a major curry mee fan (of any variety), I paid obviously paid a visit and wrote about it.
Hai Keng kopitiam Fushou Lou Nyonya Curry Mee
However, USJ wasn’t known for the best traffic situation and thus I was more than happy to find out that there’s now a branch at Hai Keng kopitiam in Petaling Jaya, situated just a stone’s throw away from Digital Mall.
Nyonya Curry Mee with extras
Just like the USJ counterpart, the stall here offers a variety of different add-ons to the standard bowl of Nyonya Curry Mee, among the choices are curry chicken, lala, roast pork, squid, and even stingray.
A standard version starts at RM 6, but you can definitely make it a bit more lux by adding multiple ingredients.
roast pork? stingray? why not both?
I had mine with both roast pork and stingray (RM 9). The base was quite flavorful in itself, with the sambal adding a decent dose of hotness with a strong hint of sour note from lime which I really enjoy. Roast pork was competent, but what I really love was the stingray, though eating that with a pair of chopsticks require some skill set I did not originally have.
Give it a try if you’re tech-shopping at Digital Mall.
For night time, the Hunan Cuisine at Chu Cha Dan Fan nearby is a worthy choice.
Address: Hai Keng Restaurant 24, Jalan 14/20, Seksyen 14 Petaling Jaya Selangor GPS: 3.110338, 101.635315