Tag / cuttle fish
Those of you who have followed this blog or my Instagram/FB channels for a while know that I’m quite a big fan of Penang Curry Mee, whenever I see any place that claims to offer them, I’ll give it a try.
Curry Mee at Tong Fong restaurant, PJ Seapark
So when Haze pointed out to me that there’s this stall offering Penang Curry Mee at Tong Fong kopitiam at Seapark while we were buying battery for the car, it became the de facto lunch choice for that day.
Tong Fong kopitiam is situated right behind KFC at Seapark, other than the rather popular beef noodle, there weren’t many hawker stalls worth mentioning, until this one.
coagulated pork blood and raw cockles, the most important ingredients
To be perfectly honest, this stall does not offer 100% pure Penang Curry Mee. While having coagulated pork blood, cockles (two of the most important ingredients), cuttlefish, tofupok, and mint leaves, it lacks prawns, and comes with a few pieces of shredded chicken as well as some green beans. So in terms of ingredients, it was about 80% Penang, 20% KL, a bit of a mixed marriage.
there’s no prawns in this curry mee, but I’m not complaining
The good thing though is that it works, the broth was rather fragrant, and the sambal, while a tad on the oilier side, provided a pretty good kick. I can excuse the lack of prawn in this case.
If you can wake up before 9 am, Restaurant Okay’s version may still be a bit better, but this place serves till lunch, and I sure hope the stall stays.
Tong Fong restaurant
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.110142, 101.621673
Hours: breakfast and lunch
Every once in a while, the bunch of jokers at work would organize a fun “eating out” session, usually when one of us has something to celebrate and belanja the team.
A few weeks ago, we ended up at Jalan Bellamy for some good old fashion ikan bakar on one of such occasions.
Gerai Mak Alang Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy
Tucked behind Agong’s old palace between Jalan Syed Putra & Jalan Istana is a small hill that is very different from most part of KL. There’s virtually no development, you can’t find any big commercial buildings or high rise offices. A place so close to the hustle & bustle of the likes of Puduraya and yet immune to the change of time.
It is here that you find some half a dozen ikan bakar places, all packed with hungry lunch crowds any given afternoon.
Gerai Mak Alang was the restaurant of choice for our excursion.
tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places
Gerai Mak Alang offers quite a good selection of grilled fish and other dishes. You have the standard ikan pari (sting ray), kembung, tilapia, and even terubok (toli shad, full of annoying tiny bones but with the softest meat ever). There’s also a selection of sambal to complete the dishes, including my all time favorite – tempoyak!
prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too
In addition to fish, they also offer prawns, cuttle fish, and cockles. I expected the cockles to be of the Nong & Jimmy bakar method, but it came coated with curry powder/sauce instead, which turned out to be quite ok nonetheless, but I would still prefer it grilled tho.
The cuttle fish was superb though, soft, succulent, and tasted supremely fresh. The prawn seemed to be prepared similar to nyonya asam prawn style, which was mighty fine by me.
food is always best when enjoyed with great company
Food quality is more than decent, and we certainly had a great time at Jalan Bellamy. There are a few other stalls still yet to be explored for me, and judging by the amount of crowd, I believe they are all worth trying out.
Gerai Mak Alang
GPS: 3.130557, 101.694670
It is very common for a dish famous in one area to be offered in another part of the country with slightly altered ingredients. This is usually done due to availability, or sometimes just to better suit the local taste.
For Penang hawker dishes in Klang Valley, curry mee is perhaps the one dish that is affected the most. The ingredients used is sometimes so different from the version up North you wonder why they still share the same name.
Anyway, for the true Penang curry mee lovers, here are four places where Penang curry mee is offered with one crucial ingredient (to me, the most important ingredient) to unite them all – coagulated pork blood.
Penang curry mee at Restaurant Okay, PJ SS2
The father and son stall at Restaurant Okay, SS2 operates from about 7:30am and usually sells out in a little over two hours. There’s prawn, blood, cockles, cuttle fish, and very fragrant sambal paste. There’s always a couple tables filled with Penangites seated right next to the stall on weekday mornings, I join them from time to time.
2, Jalan SS2/10,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
(at the other end of the same row of shop houses comprising KAYU)
GPS: 3.115084, 101.616390
Hours: 7:30 am to 9:30 am, off Mondays
Curry mee at Sun Sea kopitiam, OUG
Closer to KL, the version of Penang curry mee at Sun Sea kopitiam in OUG is also legit. It comes with all the essential ingredients with those slightly charred chilli paste. I also love the way they leave the cockles just ever slightly cooked.
Restaurant Sun Sea
Jalan Hujan Rahmat,
Overseas Union Garden,
58200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.073945, 101.673234
Hours: daily till around noon+
curry mee from Penang One, Puchong
For those who are willing to pay a bit more for air conditioned dining environment, Penang One offers curry mee all the way from Pulau Tikus Keong’s curry mee stall in Penang. The cuttle fish used here is the darker version closer to one you find in mee goreng mamak, and there’s long bean, mint leaves, and even bunga kantan thrown in. Definitely worth the extra RM 2-3 they charge over kopitiam versions.
Penang One at Puchong
G2, Jalan Puteri 2/6,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
GPS: 3.023883, 101.617950
Tel: 03-8052 0181
Hours: 9.30am – 9.30pm daily
Penang One at Kota Damansara
16-1, Jalan PJU5/7,
47810 Kota Damansara, PJ
GPS: 3.152335, 101.594404
Tel: 03-6151 1083
Hours: 10.30am – 10.30pm daily
Penang white curry mee at Mayiang Jaya cafe, PJ
The Penang white curry mee stall at Mayiang Jaya Cafe is one of my latest discovery in this category. All the essential ingredients is presence except prawns. Mint leaves and long beans sort of make up for it I guess, I always ask for more pork blood here. It is perhaps the weaker version among the four, but still one that manage to satisfy my cravings.
Mayiang Jaya cafe
28, Jalan SS26/4,
Taman Mayang Jaya,
Petaling Jaya 47301 Selangor
GPS: 3.116374, 101.604224
Hours: breakfast and lunch
I don’t often venture out to Jinjang, in fact, Jinjang is sort of a place we always joked about as a “kampung” within KL. Whenever we see a particularly badly dressed young female, we’d say that she must be from Jinjang.
But like many older part of the Klang Valley settlements, Jinjang, and the whole Kpong area, spots some pretty good old school eateries, and Restoran Seafood Ho Kee is one of them.
Restoran Seafood Ho Kee, Jinjang
We were brought here by Haze’s aunt, a lady who is well versed with good old fashion Chinese food around the city, often with very reasonable pricing too. She was also the one who introduced us the equally good Zhen Liew Siang restaurant at Sentul.
Ho Kee is located at a row of shop lot on Jalan 1/32 at Jinjang, which is just off Jalan Kepong. The restaurant has a pretty simple set up, with plastic chairs, wooden tables, and plastic liners. Surprisingly, it is also air conditioned and smoke free.
sambal fish, kulou yok (pork)
One of the speciality dishes here is their sambal fish, with tilapia coated in generous amount of sambal all wrapped up in aluminium foil. The whole concoction is then lit up with a bit of alcohol when serving, probably a bit gimmicky and unnecessary. That doesn’t matter tho, cos the fish was very delicious with the potent sambal, and goes superbly with steamed rice.
The kulou yok (sweet and sour pork) here is definitely one of the bests I’ve had anywhere, we ended up ordering an extra serving. Crispy yet juicy pork with those savoury tomato sauce, yummy!
steamed ginger chicken, Japanese tofu with egg, pork belly with salted fish
Another dish on my must-order list would be their steamed kampung chicken with ginger. This version is as good as the one we had at Bukit Tinggi’s Loong Sing restaurant, the minced ginger will surely open up your sinus, in a good way.
Pork belly with salted fish is worthy worthy dish, but one that is perhaps not the best I had, for a better version, try Lucky Loke at PJ SS3.
The Japanese tofu with egg provided a welcoming change in taste, a more moderate note to balance out the stronger tasting dishes.
fried cuttle fish with dried red chilli
Ho Kee also offers one of the rarer dishes out there – fried cuttle fish with dried chili (in Cantonese “si jiu chau yau”, also means getting fired from work). The cuttle fish perfectly cooked, fresh tasting and crunchy while not being rubbery, the flavour of dried chilli and ginger permeated in the seafood, making a uber delicious choice.
If you want a good old fashion Chinese cuisine and don’t mind a bit of a wait (It was some 45 minutes for us), give Ho Kee a try. The owner/operator/chef cooks every dish, ensuring quality though sacrificing time. Pricing is rather reasonable as well, I believe it was less than RM 20 per pax.
Hoi Kee Seafood Restaurant
Jalan 1/32, Taman Jinjang Baru,
Jinjang, 52000, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.20814, 101.65765
The PJ SS2 mamak square is a pretty popular and cheap dinner/supper place, with a mixture of Chinese (all pork free) and Malay/Mamak offerings. There’s good chicken rice, fried rice, tomyam, and more, but what most people don’t realise is that there’s a pretty awesome nasi lemak half-stall as well.
Nasi Lemak Utara, sharing the same stall with Burger Wan
This is a half-stall because it shares the same spot as the burger stall, with the nasi lemak “desk” facing on the other side. In fact, the nasi lemak guy and the burger guy are related.
Nasi lemak is usually ready by around 7+ in the evening but it often doesn’t last the whole night. There isn’t many dishes to choose from, but the usual suspects of sambal cuttle fish, fried chicken with rempah (my favorite), curry chicken, and cockles are almost always available.
super delicious nasi lemak, at a fair price, check out the rempah too
The rice is fragrant and usually served warm with a sheet of banana leaf, and you get peanuts, fried anchovies, and half a hard boiled egg by default. The sambal is pretty mean and carries quite a kick as well. My go-to order is usually the chicken with rempah (ask for more rempah) and cockles, and that usually comes up to RM 7 or so, pretty reasonable price for what you get.
Next time when you’re there, do give it a try if they are open (there’s no pattern, sometimes the dude takes random holidays it seems).
Nasi Lemak Utara
Jalan SS 2/60,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.117783, 101.622430