If you’ve been following my instagram or facebook page, you’ll know that Imbi morning market is fast becoming one of my favourite breakfast places lately.
Imbi market, while situated just off Jalan Imbi, is actually officially named Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang by DBKL. The place is a patch of land seemingly stuck in a time capsule, oblivious to the surrounding development that makes up the rest of the golden triangle area.
Ah Weng Koh at Imbi market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)
There are quite a few hawker stalls and coffee shops/shacks within Imbi market, almost all operates from as early as seven in the morning till almost noon. It is a breakfast and brunch place, trying to catch lunch by 12:30 pm here and you won’t be terribly lucky, I’ve tried.
The busiest place at the whole market is right at Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea.
one of the best Hainanese tea, Malaysian style breakfast with egg, bread, and coffee/tea
Finding an empty table here can sometimes be quite a challenge, and table sharing is a norm. Once you’re seated, wave frantically and hopefully one of the two or three serves will notice and take your orders.
If it’s your first time, try their signature Hainanese tea, you can have it either hot or cold and neither version would disappoint. The milk tea is well smooth and full of flavor, with a layer of tiny bubbles on top that make it looks as pleasing as it tastes. Those foam doesn’t just belong to cappuccino I guess.
have your bread steamed or toast, and crack the eggs yourself
Other than drinks, they also serve classic Malaysian breakfasts of boiled eggs and bread. The eggs come in a big stainless steel cup with hot water, and if you want it half boiled, fish them out after 5 minutes. Want it a little more cooked? Just wait for an additional 1-2 minutes.
As for bread, you can choose from Bengali bread or normal buns and have them either steamed or toasted. A slice of frozen butter and some kaya accompanies is served as a side for steamed bread, but already applied for toast.
check out my helmet hair, cheers!
With the current development of KL International Financial District, it is unsure that Imbi market will be left untouched in it’s current form. For now, the place is still happily buzzing along in the mornings while construction work is being done a stone’s throw away.
I hope this place stays.
Address: Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang) Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664 Hours: breakfast and brunch
One of the biggest advantage of riding to work is the flexibility in breakfast choices. No longer am I confined to the route of LRT or just the food stalls within walking distance of the office. All I need to do is to leave home half an hour earlier, and so that’s what I often do these days, exploring breakfast places around KL in the wee hours.
old uncle’s been preparing wantan mee for a while now
The area behind Berjaya Times Square is one of my favorite places to explore. Being one older part of town, it’s littered with many old school eateries.
And it was by random choice that I ended up at this nameless kopitiam at Jalan Brunei just behind the Caltex gas station. Business always seems pretty brisk in the morning, so I thought I should give it a try.
There is only a stall operating in the morning, offering wantan mee and sui kao mee.
The wantan mee (a tad under RM 5) comes with everything you’d expect in a plate of wantan mee and some. There’s wantan, minced meat, spring onion, charsiu, pickled chili, and even lard. It can take 10-15 minutes before your plate of wantan mee is served, the noodle is springy, the combination of various pork ingredients work their wonders, and is everything you’d want in a wholesome hearty old school breakfast.
the sui-kao (dumplings) are very yummy as well
Their sui kao too are of top quality, packed with black fungus, minced carrot, pork, and prawns.
If you are a fan of wan tan mee or sui kao mee, this is a place to check out. I’ve been back several times since.
Address: Ban Lee Hin Kee kopitiam Jalan Brunei (behind Caltex) Pudu, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.137286, 101.711544
Hidden at the alley just right behind the Honda Showroom at Jalan Imbi sits a hawker stall that has a sign that says See Kee Curry Puff. The stall is pretty old, and the operator even older. In fact, it’s been over 30 years since the old uncle first sells his curry puff at this area (source.)
see kee curry puffs has been around for more than 30 years
And this was the first time I tried one. After having Ipoh Hor Fun for lunch at Pau Kee just a stone’s throw away, my colleague suggested and bought us some. There’s two types of curry puffs available here, between chicken & mutton, the option was easy. I’ve never tried mutton curry puff.
the mutton curry puff is excellent!
The mutton curry puff (RM 1.50) has chunks of mutton nested in potato & curry gravy encased in the golden crispy pastry shell, it was different yet familiar, and made me wonder why isn’t there more places that sells this? A bit more savory and slightly stronger tasting, I love it. The chicken version is said to be top notch too.
Give me this mutton curry puff anytime over Ikea’s version, thank you very much.
Restaurant Pau Kee (next to Honda showroom) off Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.145658, 101.715414
One of the best things about sharing my food adventures on this site is that I do get a lot of good recommendations from readers. From the previous post on the char kuih teow at Mei Sin kopitiam, missyblurkit commented that I should try their nian gao (kuih bakul, 炸年糕, or fried gold cake), and another reader, May, mentioned that I should try the Ipoh kai si hor fun.
A couple weeks later, I did just that.
fried nian gao at Restaurant Mei Sin
For those who aren’t familiar with nian gao, also known as Chinese New Year cake, it is prepared from glutinous rice and very generous amount of sugar. It is sweet and sticky, and most consumed during Chinese New Year as the name nian gao 年糕 sounds like 年高, which symbolizes a higher (better) next year.
I love it smacked between layers of sweet potato and yam, and deep fried in batter.
nian gao in between yam and sweet potato, superb with coffee
The end result is a lethal dose of calorie that is crispy on the outside, firm in between, and soft in the middle. This delicacy is best consumed piping hot, it is mainly sweet, and I think goes best with coffee (even better with Vietnamese coffee).
The same stall also offers other deep fried goodness such as sesame seed ball and banana.
I remember having this first time when I was a small kid back in Penang, from the then famous (or perhaps still) stall located right in front of Island Plaza (of course back then there was no Island Plaza) in Tanjung Tokong. This is the first time I had a good one in KL, any other places offering the same thing?
kai si hor fun at Mei Sin kopitiam
The nian gao was of course, the dessert. My main meal for the day was the Ipoh kai si hor fun, and as suggested, I tried the dry version.
It was a pretty simple dish, with hor fun (or kuih teow, if you like) served in some combination of dark/light soya sauce with bean sprout, smooth steamed chicken and plenty of fried garlic on top. It actually tasted good, and I bet would be even better if I ask for thigh next time. (mine came with chicken breast, I don’t like chicken breast)
Address: Restaurant Mei Sin No. 16, Jalan Melati Off Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14396, 101.714768
The pork ball noodle comes in soup or dry version, and you get to choose from kuih teow, mee hun, yellow noodle, loh she fun, and the combination of them as stomach filler.
While the stall get get very busy (as with the kopitiam itself over lunch), it usually doesn’t take very long for your bowl of goodness to be served.
dry version is my favorite, with kuih teow or lou she fun
I particularly like the dry version here, there’s the properly flavored minced pork over noodle and black sauce, and the side of homemade pork balls and those super addictive Chinese sausage (lap cheong siu cheong). This is a largely savory, non spicy dish with pickled green chili in soya sauce for those who likes to have that bit of kick to go with.
firm and flavorful pork ball, then there’s the Chinese sausage
I usually devour everything within 10 minutes or so, and maybe next time I should ask for more lapcheong. So irresistible.
The standard bowl goes for RM 5 or RM 5.50 RM 6, a pretty standard price for this area, and you won’t regret it. 😀
Video taken 24th June, 2013:
Address: Restaurant Win Heng Seng Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.145479, 101.715087