Yam Rice is something of a specialty that’s often forgotten when it comes to Penang food, for one, it is not exactly a famous dish from the island, but rather on the mainland. Additionally, it is also a little bit difficult to call it a “hawker food” as this is more of a full blown meal best had for lunch or even dinner.
But alas, for those who loves pork, yam, or both, this is definitely a must-try if you find yourself by the lesser known half sister of Penang island – mainland Penang.
Chai Leng Park yam rice at Chip Heng kopitiam
When it comes to yam rice, the go to place is Chai Leng Park at Seberang Jaya, a stone’s throw away from the infamous Penang Megamall, once the biggest shopping complex in Penang, and I believe the first to have had an ice skating rink in Northern area.
In fact, there is more than one shop offering yam rice in Chai Leng Park, each serving its own customer base. My mom’s favorite is the one at Chip Heng kopitiam, so that’s where we went.
My last visit here was over 20 years ago with my late dad, a quick lunch detoured from buying tractor parts at a shop around the area. There’s definitely a sense of nostalgia for me. Things at Sebarang Jaya does seem to change little after all these years.
For mom and I (later joined by an uncle), we ordered a big bowl of mixed pork soup, a side of braised tofu and egg, and a tiny bowl of braised trotter for lunch. These were of course, accompanied by their famous yam rice.
The soup has a sourish undertone brought on by those salted vegetable, with generous amount of perfectly cooked pork parts – including kidney, pork slices, pork ball, liver, and even coagulated blood. A dash of chopped cilantro completes the dish, and it’s as wholesome and would only be made better with a rainy, cold weather.
price list above
Those braised dishes did not disappoint either, I thought the trotter could be just a tad more tender but perhaps I was too used to the ways Klang bak kut teh is prepared.
Over all it was definitely a lovely lunch, 3 pax, and just a tad under RM 30.00.
My day job brings me to Kota Kinabalu quite often these days, which is a bit of a blessing when it comes to work travel as this North Borneo city does offer a full package of beautiful ocean & beaches, the magnificent mount KK, and a host of rather unique hawker dishes not easily found this side of Klang Valley. I’m also particularly blessed to have friends who would bring me to explore these places.
Kedai Kopi Wah Juan, Kota Kinabalu
During my last visit, I had to go offshore for a short stint. For Sabah, that meant using the old Terminal 2 at BKI airport (who has flown Air Asia flight via this side before?). On my return trip, my friend Yann May picked me up and we decided to stopped by this rather busy looking kopitiam located by Tanjung Aru, between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the airport.
As it turned out, this was the famous Kedai Kopi Wah Juan that offers mixed pork (or pork offal) noodle which if I remember correctly, is an addiction of a friend who claimed to eat clean otherwise.
our lunch spread for two
We ended up ordering a plate of noodle with roast & bbq pork (as the lady doesn’t eat pork offal, WHYY!?), a bowl of beef ball soup, a plate of noodle with pork offal, and an additional small plate of pork offal.
Well, the result? It was awesome!
Can’t say much about those BBQ & roast pork, but the pork offal was on point, soft, flavorful, and properly braised to perfection. In addition, the home made noodle were superb as well, subtle in taste which compliments the other ingredients, and soaks up those sauce just nice. The beef ball soup too did not disappoint, and would be something I order again.
If I had to nitpick, they could do with slightly better chili paste, that’s about it.
Mixed pork soup the lesser favored cousin when it comes to meat soup dishes compared to the likes of bak kut teh, or even beef noodle soup. They’re all made of meat and innards of either pork or cow, hence I think it’s appropriate to have a bit of mixed pork soup appreciation.
herbal pork soup at Wai Sek Kai
For those who aren’t familiar with this dish, mixed pork soup is as what the name suggests – a mixture of various pork parts, 3-layer pork, and coagulated blood bath in salted vegetable soup. The parts usually includes small/big intestine, liver, and stomach, and when you’re lucky, kidney too (not here at Wai Sek Kai).
When it is done right, like this version at Jalan Sayur, the soup carries a subtle porky sweetness with a salty note from the preserved vegetable, and the meat and innards properly cooked to a texture that’s never difficult to chew. Most importantly, the liver is separately blanched to get it just right and not overcooked.
mixed pork soup with a side of rice
The dish can be had as is, or with a bowl of rice if you’re not into the whole low carb/keto thingy. There’s condiment of old school chili sauce to go with the soup if you like it with a slight kick.
Address: Jalan Sayur, Off Jalan Pudu, 55100 Pudu, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.135208, 101.713051 Hours: dinner & supper