When I was growing up in Penang, I remember there was a period of time where we’d head go grandm’s over the weekends and more often than not, having Hokkien Char for breakfast at the old shack right outside Weld Quay. That was how I developed a taste for this particular dish.
Ai Jiak Penang Food, PJ Seapark
Hokkien Char (福建炒) simply meant Hokkien style fried noodle in Penang. While sharing almost similar name as Hokkien Mee in KL, the two dishes are quite different from each other.
While KL’s favorite comes with thick, fat noodle drench in very dark sauce, Penang’s style is quite a lot lighter and usually done with yellow noodle and meehun. Additionally, the Hokkien Char sambal is often a lot hotter and less mushy.
Back to Ai Jiak Penang Food restaurant.
I’ve actually heard about this place when it was situated in the old location at the Chung Ling Alumni Association in Jalan Utara, KL (fun fact, I am from the same school), the restaurant has since moved to Seapark, directly opposite Public Bank.
The restaurant offers a few Penang classic dishes to go with rice, such as asam fish head, curry chicken, pineapple curry prawns, pork trotter vinegar, sambal petai prawns, and so forth.
Additionally, they also offer single serving dishes such as asam laksa, chee cheong fun, herbal chicken meesuah, and what I came here for – Hokkien char!
Penang style “Hokkien Char”
So is their Hokkien Char any good?
The answer is a resounding yes! To be perfectly honest, if you didn’t grow up having Hokkien Char, it may not be a dish that speaks to you, but if you love spicy sambal and a dish of fried noodle that’s not overly strong or starchy, you may want to give this a try.
Address: Ai Jiak Penang Food 9, Jalan 21/12, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: Tel: +6 011 2778 8428
Those who’s been following this space for a while should know that I’m a huge fan of curry mee, but usually for me though, curry mee is the Penang version that comes with pork blood, prawns, santan broth, and those sambal with a charred note.
Curry Mee stall at Sun Fatt Kee, Seapark
However, being a food enthusiast with an open mind, I am always up to trying anything that is good, even tho certain dish may share the same name and hence, somehow has an unfair prejudice attached to it, from a cultural-location superiority complex basis.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is, there’s also awesome non-Penang curry mee. Especially this version at Sun Fatt Kee kopitiam, PJ Seapark.
The curry mee stall at this kopitiam has been serving up (according to many) the best curry mee this side of KL.
A bowl of this curry mee comes with your choice of noodle, perfectly prepared shredded chicken, tofu pok, long beans, bean sprouts, sambal, lime, and possibly the best cockles in any curry mee you’d find, from anywhere, and I don’t use the word “best” lightly.
curry mee with perfect cockles
Yes, a bowl cost RM 7, and yes, the portion isn’t big at all, but I’ll be damned if I don’t go over and order me another one pretty soon.
And this time I’ll make sure I get them with extra cockles!
I usually favors Penang style curry mee, but can’t say no to this one
One of the earliest food post that I wrote on this site was about a certain laksa Sarawak in Bangsar way back in 2006, introduced to me then by my friend Lorna who hailed from East Malaysia.
Well, Lorna is still from East Malaysia, but t he very same stall – Aunty Christina’s laksa Sarawak, has now moved to its very own shop lot in Seapark, Petaling Jaya. I had the chance to stop by and grab a bowl for lunch a some weeks ago.
Aunty Christina’s Laksa Sarawak, PJ Seapark
The restaurant is now located along the same row of shops with KFC in PJ Sea Park, which means parking during busy periods can be a bit of a challenge to those who are impatience. However, the restaurant itself is cleaner and much more comfortable than the kopitiam it came from.
The menu too has been bumped up a bit. There’s now laksa with 2 king size prawns that goes for RM 20, there’s Hakka abacus seeds, kacangma (some sort of wine chicken), kolo mee, and even black pepper pork/chicken soup.
For the die-hards though, you can always opt for the old regular Laksa Sarawak at RM 9, with a choice of meehun, mee, or both.
original laksa sarawak, just like how they are supposed to be
I’m happy to report that while there’s been an upgrade to the price and ambiance, Aunty Christina’s laksa still remains true to it’s origin and tastes exactly the same as it did when I first tried it over ten years ago. There’s still the prawn, strips of chicken, shredded egg, bean sprout, and some greens as garnish. Still lovely as ever.
For the faithful, this is where you should go.
For everyone else, there’s also quite a few other laksa Sarawak places especially in PJ area to check out these days. The more the merrier.
I love myself a good afternoon snack, and when it comes to that, sometimes the options can be quite limited. There’s always the rojak, hipster cafe, and mamak, but if you want good old fashion Chinese snacks, well, they aren’t just as common. So it was quite refreshing to see that a such a place sprung up at Seapark recently by the name of Restoran Yuen Ting.
Restoran Yuen Ting, PJ Seapark
Yuen Ting is a bit of a throw back when it comes to a new restaurant, they offer old fashion deep fried Chinese pastry such as yutiao, ham chim peng, and a couple different soya bean products like soya bean drink and tofufar.
a selection of deep fried goodness & soya bean products
While the selection isn’t particularly extensive, the quality of product and value offered was more than decent. I liked that the soya bean drink has a bit of a gingery tint in the syrup supplied, which gives it a bit of extra complexity.
The taufoofar here is has a really smooth texture, a hallmark of any good taufoofar. Like the soya bean drinks, you can choose to have it with dark or normal sugar syrup, I almost always go for the dark version and did not make it an exception this time.
ham chim peng, soya drink, tofufar
Overall, I’d not hesitant to return for a good & comfortable afternoon snack. While there’s no air conditioning, fancy decoration, or even IKEA sofa, this place hold its own among the newer establishments in PJ, and it is one that I believe will stand up to the test of time better than others.
Address: Yuen Ting Restaurant
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS：3.109909, 101.621816
Not too many days ago I found myself at Seapark looking to go for some chicken rice at Hoe Fong, and sure enough it wasn’t open, so we headed for 2nd option – Tong Fong kopitiam at around the corner just behind KFC.
“James Bond” char kuih teow at Restaurant Tong Fong, Seapark
The kopitiam serves pretty good curry mee and beef noodle, but the bright yellow banner that says “James Bond Fried Kuey Teow” caught my attention. Another peek revealed that this self-proclaimed James Bond is at about Sean Connery’s age, so I ordered a plate for myself using my trusted Penang Hokkien, which he understood – litmus test passed!
decent prawn, big cockles, good “wok hei”, not a bad plate of char kuih teow
The ensuing plate of char kuih teow turned out to be more than decent. Good size prawn, juicy cockles, and kuih teow fried with some decent fire, it was pretty good. I only wished there’s a duck egg option and that maybe I should have ordered it a bit more spicy. But it did satisfy my cravings and more than made my stomach happy.
Address: Tong Fong restaurant
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.110142, 101.621673 Hours: breakfast and lunch