Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / imbi

Ask anyone from Penang, and chances are char kuih teow is in the list of their favorite hawker dishes. So for those Penangites living in Klang Valley, there’s always a constant urge to find a good plate of char kuih teow.

So when a colleague who was also from Penang talked about this CKT place at Imbi, I knew that we will surely have to try this over lunch time, even thought it meant a good 1km+ walk under the sun.

Mei Sin kopitiam Char Kueh Teow stall
Mei Sin kopitiam Char Kueh Teow stall

Mei Sin eating shop is a kopitiam just off Jalan Imbi, and just like another famous kopitiam nearby – Win Heng Seng, this one is usually packed with white, blue, and no collar workers during lunch hours.

glorious char kuih teow, just need bigger prawns actually
glorious char kuih teow, just need even bigger prawns actually

We went there by around 12 p.m. and the crowd was just building up. The char kuih teow we ordered (of course I ordered in Penang Hokkien, always as a litmus test) took just 15 minutes or so to arrive.

The plate of RM 4.50 goodness came with lightly cooked cockles, prawns (medium size), egg, kuih teow, bean sprouts, and of course, chives. It was lovely, spicy, full of “wok hei”, and positively delicious.

I would rate this place a little better than the CKT stall at Win Heng Seng a stone’s throw away.

Sheng loves the CKT, and do try the fresh yao char kuai too
Sheng loves the CKT, and do try the fresh yao char kuai too

When you are at Mei Sin kopitiam, don’t miss out on the yao char kuai too. The freshly deep fried yao char kuai I had was very crispy and had just the right amount of saltiness with it. I wished there were some bak kut teh soup to go with, but I guess kopi-o wouldn’t be a bad substitute either. The yao char kuai place seems to be off on Thursdays.

Mei Sin kopitiam at Jalan Melati, Imbi

Restaurant Mei Sin
No. 16, Jalan Melati
Off Jalan Imbi,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14396, 101.714768

Every once in a while, usually on Fridays, we drive out from the enclave of Bukit Bintang to eat at a land far away. For example, Ah Koong Eating House (亚坤纯正西刀鱼丸) at a grand total of 2 kilometers away from the office.

Ah Koong Eating House, Imbi
Ah Koong Eating House, Imbi, plenty to choose from

Ah Koong Eating House has quite an extensive menu of various fishball noodle with different choices of fish, oyster, fish cake, yong tau foo, and more. It is in essence, similar to the likes of B & Best Seafood Noodle and 60s Teow Chew Fishball Noodle, but with even more varieties on offer.

The good thing about Ah Koong though, is that the shop is airconditioned too.

some deep fried goodness as side dishes
some deep fried goodness as side dishes

Ordering at Ah Koong is simple, you proceed to the front of the “stall” pick your choice of noodle/rice/porridge/kuih teow etc to go with your choice of different fish meat, fishball, oyster, and more. There’s also a choice of different soup to go with – dry, tomyam, curry, and clear soup.

curry mee, dried noodle, soup noodle, and oyster
curry mee, dried noodle, soup noodle, and oysters

We ordered some deep fried fish cake and yong tau foo items to share, and I had the fishball kuih teow soup with oysters (RM 14 + YTF price per item), and it was actually quite delightful. A colleague had their curry mee, and another elected to go with dried lou she fun, and each gave pretty decent feedbacks to their dishes.

While the place might have a reputation of being expensive, I found that the price is pretty much in line with other shops that serves similar type of food. Parking at Imbi area can be a drag, but if you’re looking for a bowl of good fishball soup with choices of other goodies to add in, this would be a place to go in KL.

p/s: if you want those with pork lard, head to B & Best instead.

map to Ah Koong Eating Place

Ah Koong Eating Place
Ground Floor No.172,
Jln Changkat Tambi Dollah,
Off Jalan Pudu,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.140039,101.712858
Tel: 03-2143 3477

From afar, Pau Kee is just another one of the many unsuspecting kopitiam by Imbi area. And by from afar, I meant from Win Heng Seng kopitiam, a place that I frequent quite a bit for lunch for it’s char kueh teow and pork noodle.

Eventually curiosity got the better of me (and I do get bored of same dishes very fast), so I decided to give it a try several weeks ago.

Pau Kee - Ipoh Hor Fun
Pau Kee – Ipoh Hor Fun

Pau Kee’s main dish is Ipoh hor fun, steamed chicken, and prawn wantan, much like the excellent Soo Kee at Paramount Garden, but in addition to that, they also have wantan mee, and Ipoh style curry mee (with curry chicken).

The one benefit of them serving all these different dishes is that you can let your imagination run wild and have combos such as wantan mee with curry soup, or dried “wantan mee” but with hor fun instead.

Ipoh horfun that looks and tasted like the real deal
Ipoh horfun that looks and tasted like the real deal

Their ipoh horfun though, is a thing of beauty. Look at the photo above, the prawns at center on a bed of shredded steamed chicken on top of the horfun (kuih teow) and bean sprouts, accompanied by spring onions that is precariously cut. Then there’s the soup with a ring of floating chili oil, I mean, it’s beautiful isn’t it?

Fortunately, this thing tastes as good as well.

steamed chicken, soup wantan mee, dry wantan mee, curry mee
steamed chicken, soup wantan mee, dry wantan mee, curry mee

I’ve been there a handful of times since, and tried their curry mee (another excellent dish with pretty thick curry broth and fragrant sambal), dried wantan mee (prawn wantan and shredded chicken was good, but the sauce was a bit lacking), steamed chicken (smooth! I’d rate this just below Soo Kee), and sui kao soup (just above average).

The dishes are around RM 5 and up, the portion of steamed chicken above costs RM 8, so prices are really very reasonable. Oh, there’s air conditioning too.

map to restaurant Pau Kee

Restaurant Pau Kee
No 10, Jalan Utara (next to Honda showroom)
off Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.145417, 101.715629
Tel : 016-375 1360

For tourists, Bukit Bintang area is all glitz and glamour, with many shopping malls and world class hotels.

In those malls and hotels there are secret walkways to transport goods and workers hidden from customers. On a bigger scale, Bukit Bintang itself too have hidden back roads and walk ways that are not readily visible to tourists. This post is sourced from one such places.

stall Adik Tomyam at medan selera behind Fahrenheit 88
stall Adik Tomyam at medan selera behind Fahrenheit 88

Sandwiched between Jalan Imbi and Jalan Bukit Bintang just behind Fahrenheit 88 (previously known as KL Plaza), there is an old, beat up medan selera that have definitely seen better days. Most tables and chairs are in the state of disrepair, the place is not properly lit, and half the stalls aren’t even in operation. Nevertheless, there are usually groups of mostly Malay working class people lunching there.

I wandered into the food court on one hot afternoon. Most of the stalls offer nasi kandar, which I wasn’t particularly interested at the time, until I walked to the last stall – Adik Tomyam. The only stall that prepares food on order.

nasi paprik ayam - check out the ingredients
nasi paprik ayam – check out the ingredients

The menu are quite standard, there’s Malay style tomyam, beef, chicken, or seafood cook in paprik (spicy), merah (red sauce), halia (ginger), kunyit (turmeric) etc, and several types of fried rice and noodle too.

My first try was sotong halia (ginger squid) and a telur dadar (omelet with onion) to go with rice, and then I return a couple days later for ayam paprik (chicken with spicy sauce).

sotong halia and telur dadar
sotong halia and telur dadar

It was out of my expectation, and easily the best looking made-to-order Malay food from any medan selera I’ve had. There’s a host of ingredients in each dish. The sotong halia had squid, chili padi, cauliflower, fried onion, ginger, garlic, parsley, and more. Paprid ayam came with chicken, ginger, spring onion, onion, long bean, lime leaf, carrot, cauliflower, garlic, and more…

So you can imagine that even though they are a single dish, there’s a lot of variety in them, and the sauce tastes damn good too! Oh, best of all, with the telur dadar and rice, the meal was still only RM 5.50.

I’m gonna order their tomyam next time.

map to Medan Selera behind Fahrenheit 88

Adik Tomyam,
Medan Selera at Jalan Padang, Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.145101, 101.713108
Tel: 012-3538 440

Good char kuih teow is harder to come by in KL than honest salesmen, but as with them salesmen, every once in a while you do find one that aren’t part of the rule.

I’m still looking for that elusive salesman, but for char kuih teow, there is the stall at Win Heng Seng kopitiam at Jalan Imbi.

Win Heng Seng kopitiam also have a good dry yong tau foo
Win Heng Seng kopitiam also have a good dry yong tau foo

If you recall from earlier post, this Win Heng Seng kopitiam is the very same one that also has the really awesome pork noodle.

So anyway, I had 3 pieces of yong tau foo (RM 2.40) as appetizer while waiting for the char kuih teow (which tends to be a bit busy). The yong tau foo actually turned out pretty good. It was the type without soup, but soaked in chili and sweet sauce and topped with sesame. Delightful.

the char kuih teow, was really awesome except for the smallish prawns
the char kuih teow, was really awesome except for the smallish prawns

Then of course, came the char kuih teow. The fatter type of flat noodle is used here, it had a good dose of “wok hei” going on. There were the usual beans spouts, blood cockles, those bits of “choi pou” (salted vege), and a couple smallish prawns you can’t exactly see.

While the prawns certainly did not impress, the taste of this char kuih teow was very good. So good that I don’t mind the lack of giant shrimps. It was a tad oily, a tad sinful, a tad salty, but exactly what a good plate char kuih teow should tastes like.

I am missing it already.

map to restaurant Win Heng Seng

Other good char kuih teow in Klang Valley includes Robert’s at Seksyen 17,  Lau Wan (halal) and Aunty Gemuk (halal) at Kelana Jaya

Restaurant Win Heng Seng
Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.145479, 101.715087

my Giant mountain bike
my little Giant mt. bike – Terrago Team

In another news, I recently bought a mountain bike in order to burn all those foods that try to find their way to stay around my waist. It’s a Taiwanese bicycle with Japanese parts built in Malaysia.

Got the bike off a nice Malay chap from Shah Alam who was kind enough to transport it all the way to my house. I’m now waiting for a phone mount so that I can record some rides with Endomondo. Cycled to futsal last week and well, I survived. 😀

In case you haven’t read about it, here’s a story of how I hit a car’s side view mirror with a bicycle back in my high school days