For someone who’s from Penang, I guess this blog will never be complete without a mention to the best chee cheong fun on the island, so here I present to you – Genting Cafe Chee Cheong Fun.
Genting kopitiam, Penang
Genting Cafe is a kopitiam completely unrelated to Genting Highlands in Pahang, it is in fact located at Island Glades amongst residential area and next to a school. The good thing is, the area is rather close to Lim Chong Eu highway, making it an easy stop right after you get on the island via Penang bridge. Parking though is a different challenge.
There are many stalls in this kopitiam, with chee cheong fun being the star.
The default order is 2 piecces of chee cheong fun, wrapped, and served with the dark sauce (har kou in Cantonese, heh koh in Hokkien) and chili paste, topped with some sesame seeds.
The chee cheong fun warms you up the moment you have it in your mouth, and you just let that peanut butter infused dark sauce and chili work its magic to tickle all the right senses. It’s a dish so simple yet ultimately so satisfying, it’s a wonder why others fail to recreate it.
I try not to miss this whenever I’m back in Penang.
chee cheong fun kosong, simple as it gets
Char kuih teow, prawn mee, and curry mee are pretty legit here as well if chee cheong fun isn’t enough for you.
Address: Genting Cafe Lorong Delima 3, Taman Island Glades, 11700 Jelutong, Penang GPS: 5.3829822, 100.303885 Hours: 7am to 4pm, closed on Wednesday
On my trip to Ipoh when we were in this period of “Recovery CMO” back in August 2020 (yes, 2020 is a strange year), I was introduced to one of the more famous Ipoh hawker offerings by the name of “liu fun” at Choong Kee, or commonly also known as Big Tree, at Pasir Pinji, Ipoh – 忠记大树头炸料粉.
Choong Kee “Big Tree” at Ipoh
As it turns out, liu fun is almost entirely exactly like yong tau foo – with stuffed tofu, red chili, bitter gourd, long beans, tofu, and so forth. These comes both in deep fried as well as soup version. The only difference here is that instead of serving with chee cheong fun or rice like most yong tau foo places, in Ipoh, you get to choose your choice of noodle (meehun, yellow noodle, kuih teow etc) instead.
The ingredients (or yong tau foo in this case) = liu 料, noodle = fun 粉. Hence, liu fun 料粉.
Choong Kee is located under a big tree, and hence the name. While there maybe others that claim to be of same origin, this is apparently the one and only Choong Kee in the whole of Ipoh or anywhere else.
do you call it yong tau foo or liu fun?
There’s close to a dozen different ingredients to choose from, with the price clearly stated on the billboard atop the stall. The SOP is simple, take your pick and place them in a basket, and the operators will re-fry or put them in hot soup prior to serving.
The must-order here is their excellent fried turnip. Imagine a very good, crunchy & sweet version of fried radish, but better.
Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun, tapao only
To kick it up a notch, instead of their “noodle”, we actually stopped by the famous Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun and tapao a couple packs of these delicious carbs to go with the liu fun.
The chee cheong fun is super soft and carries an excellent texture that is just right, they also come with pickled green chili and a chili sauce that’s spicy and slightly sweetish. It is a must-try if you’re into chee cheong fun.
chee cheong fun, liu fun, and roast pork
Pairing the yong tau foo/liu fun with the chee cheong fun proved to be an excellent combination, and if you’re a fan of siu yok (roast pork), there’s a stall at Choong Kee offering that as well, get some!
Chee Cheong Fun is a dish that’s found in many places in Klang Valley. However, most versions here are of central region, where the sweet sauce is watery, or that they are served with curry, and most of the time, together with yong tau foo, which admittedly I’m also a fan of.
chee cheong fun stall at Restoran O&S
However, being from Penang, my favorite version of chee cheong fun is still the version served up north on the Pearl of the Orient – a version that’s ultra simple – just the rice noodle roll with sweet, thick, dark sauce that’s not entirely unlike rojak sauce, and then topped with sesame and fried shallots with a side of sambal. (edit: of course it’s also with prawn paste, this was something I failed to mention)
I also like mine still rolled instead of unwrapped (the usual way of serving)
While you get them readily on Penang island, my go to in Klang Valley is the little stall at Restoran O&S at Taman Paramount in Petaling Jaya.
For RM 2.60, I get my serving of proper chee cheong fun that hits all the spots. The sauce is thick & flavorful with a hint of peanut butter (perhaps?) and not overly sweet at the same time. The chee cheong fun itself too is soft and smooth as it should.
The restaurant gets busy over weekends, be prepared to share tables.
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
While Klang is famous for bak kut teh, there are other options for food just in case the pork laden goodness is not exactly your most favorite thing ever (like it should). Today, let’s look at the pretty awesome chee cheong fun and yong tau foo stall that is Long Kei at Taman Eng Ann.
there’s always a queue in front of Long Kei
We actually stumbled upon this shop while looking for parking to get to the Eng Ann morning market. There always seems to be a healthy queue in front of the shop, a surefire indication that the food must be at least decent.
The selection of yong tau foo here is among the biggest I’ve seen anywhere. There’s green chili, brinjal, bitter gourd, fuchok, pork skin, various types of fishball/meatball, deep fried stuff, tofu, cuttle fish, and even kangkung, spoilt for choices really.
If you want to try one of each, you better come prepared with really big appetite.
two satisfied customers
We chose about 8-10 items to go with chee cheong fun. The sauce here isn’t overly complex but they seemed to get it just right, not overly sweet nor too thick. With the homemade chili sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, it made for a more than decent meal for two under RM 20 (including drinks).
I think this could be one of our regular places whenever dimsum/yong tau foo cravings come calling.
Address: Long Kei Yong Tau Foo Jalan Kawasari 4b, Taman Eng Ann, 41150 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.057452, 101.459852