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
One of my weekday breakfast spots is this little old food court by the intersection of Jalan Loke Yew and Lorong Loke Yew by the name of Restoran Red Leaf, or also called Restoran Shoong City (confusing, I know..), and truth be told, I’ve always gone there for their Penang prawn mee, which was as good as any you can find in Klang Valley.
While paying another visit a week ago, the prawn mee stall was on leave, which led me to look for alternative, and that’s how I ended up trying the Penang char kuih teow here.
char kuih teow stall at Restoran Red Leaf, Lorong Loke Yew
As usual, whenever ordering a dish claimed to be from Penang, I always “test water” by doing it in Penang Hokkien, and happy to report that the proprietor had no problem verifying that he is indeed from the dish is claimed to be.
I then ordered myself and Rich both a plate of duck egg CKT for breakfast.
The char kuih teow came with almost all the essential ingredients – there’re three pretty good size prawns, cockles, bean sprouts, chives, kuih teow, but instead of lap cheong (Chinese sausage), we have sliced fish cake, which is not uncommon in some versions of Penang CKT, tho I always prefer the former.
Additionally, the dish is also served on a sheet of banana leaf, which is always a good thing.
char kuih teow with duck egg
The CKT indeed tasted like it was one from up North, plenty of “wok hei”, and in fact, perhaps slightly overly so. I thought overall it was pretty good, with the exception that it was just a tad overcooked, especially with the egg being a bit too done to my liking (then again I love the runnier version of CKT like the one at no. 5 in Macalister).
Overall though, I thought this was a more than competent enough version of Penang CKT and for sure I’d be happy to return (and with the instruction of having it less cooked).
prawns and cockles are of good more than decent size
Addresss: Restoran Red Leaf No 61 & 63, Ground Floor Jalan Loke Yew, 55200 KL GPS: 3.129614, 101.711412 Hours: 7am – 12pm
For those who loved the old first generation Jalan Batai char kuih teow (Damansara Height’s Seng Lee kopitiam) back in the days, you’re in luck! You can now find the original uncle manning the stall at Sen Kee White Coffee kopitiam at Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.
Sen Kee White Coffee at Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam
I was first informed about this place by another ckt seeking friend who originated from Penang. Naturally, I decided to check it out the very next day.
According to the operator, he’s been operating at this location for about two months now, while his daughter is still running the show at the previous place.
char kuih teow with duck egg
Like any proper char kuih teow places, they serve only char kuih teow and nothing else, but you do get a choice between normal chicken egg, or my usual choice when available – duck egg.
The CKT was just as I remembered, plenty of wok hei, with pretty decent size prawns for Klang Valley standard, and all the necessary ingredients such as bean sprouts, cockles, and chives. However, in replacement of lap cheong, you get fish cakes, which is something that’s not 100% ideal but acceptable in my book.
So for those of you who used to love a proper plate of char kuih teow from the uncle who used to operate at Jalan Batai, this is a place to go. There’s also a second generation Batai CKT now at Klang for anyone who’s curious.
While Penang and Ipoh hawker food has been quite a staple in Klang Valley, what Sarawak has to offer has just recently enter a lot of street food lover’s radar. And when it comes to Sarawakian simple eats, none is more popular than a good old fashion bowl of Sarawak Laksa.
Update 2/4/2019: Moved to the shop opposite called I-Tea House
Restaurant NZX Food Court, at Ara Damansara
One of the latest places to offer a good bowl is the newly revived NZX at Ara Damansara. NZX, or Niuzexui, was once the latest and hippest commercial area in PJ when it first opened several years ago. There were Starbucks, Big Apple donuts (when it was at its peak), and many more. I mean, it had semi-outdoor air conditioning, the place was great.
The biggest issue around NZX though, was access roads. You had to go through a dodgy and often congested tunnel under NKVE to get there via Taman Emas in PJ.
The access has been sorted out since, and there’s even the Lembah Subang LRT station just a stone’s throw away, so it was prime that NZX is experiencing a bit of a revival of late.
proper Sarawak Laksa, with decent size prawns too
Anyway, back onto the laksa Sarawak.
I was first notified about this place by one of the people who now manages the area, and after Anna Wong (a proper Sarawakian) gave her approval of this stall, I knew I had to give it a try.
And true to what the Sarawakian girl said, the laksa here was proper (at least to me). The soup was on point, and ingredients were rather generous. I also like the fact that they do not skimp on those prawns. It was quite a treat.
Penang char kuih teow here is decent as well
Oh, there are other stalls at this kopitiam as well. The char kuih teow I had on my first visit when the Sarawak stall sold out was pretty decent as well. I still need to try their kuih chap and other dishes.
On one of the earlier visits back to my beloved hometown, Penang, we chanced upon Ping Hooi kopitiam while in search for a meal between lunch and dinner, this was actually due to the fact that both the Pitt Street kuih teow soup I was trying to have and my favorite oyster omelet were not available.
Tiger Char Kuih Teow at Ping Hooi Kopitiam
Since the busiest corner at the kopitiam seems to be this char kuih teow stall by the name of Tiger CKT, I ordered myself a plate of this favorite Penang hawker dish of mine.
There’s three versions to choose from – without egg (RM 6), with chicken egg (RM 6.50), and with duck egg (RM 7).
Tiger Char Kuih Teow with duck egg
Whenever there’s duck egg available for char kuih teow, I never fail choose it. Duck egg always offer that extra richness & creaminess that chicken egg simply won’t match, and the version at Tiger char kuih teow did not disappoint, it was rich, creamy, spicy, and with cockles that were done just so, and prawns that were fresh. This is one of the best CKT you can get below RM 10.
operator even has a company t-shirt
Next time when you head to Penang, remember that awesome char kuih teow aren’t confined to only Lorong Selamat or Siam Road where you have to wait for over half an hour to get a plate of Penang’s best. I for sure won’t mind heading back to this one again.