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Tag / street food

One of the lesser known dishes in Penang is “hokkein char“, or literally, Hokkien Fried noodle. It is a dish found on most hawker centers and probably most of the bigger kopitiam, but unlike the more glamorous Pennag dishes like char kuih teow, curry mee or prawn mee that is famous everywhere, I’ve yet to find a proper hokkien char stalls in Klang Valley.

Hokkien Char & Char Hor Fun, Anson Road wet market
Hokkien Char & Char Hor Fun, Anson Road wet market

This blog post is about a Hokkien Char stall located at Anson Road wet market in Penang. It is not a particularly well known stall, in fact, it is absolutely average. In fact, I ended up trying this only because I was waiting for the immensely popular kuih teow soup at the same place (a must-try for kuih teow soup fans)

It is presented as how Hokkien Char should be, and tasted how it should taste, just the way I like it.

Penang hokkein char, where can I get one in KL?
Penang hokkein char, where can I get one in KL?

The anatomy of Hokkien Char is simple. There’s yellow noodle and mee hun, prawns, vegetable (choi sam usually), and pork slices fried with some sort of brown sauce, then topped with char siu and fried shallot. Most importantly, it is served with Penang style sambal balacan that’s positively spicy and foul smelling. Sometimes you get an odd fish ball or fish cakes thrown in as well.

The combination just works, and to me, a far superior rendition of fried noodle than KL’s “Hokkien Mee” with it’s overloaded dark soya sauce.

If you’re in Penang, give it a try!

muar chee, this one right outside Ayer Itam wet market
muar chee, this one right outside Ayer Itam wet market

Oh, also, don’t forget to try some Muar Chee as well. They’re absolutely fantastic and usually don’t cost more than RM 2 or so. If you like Kampachi’s signature peanut mochi, you will absolutely enjoy this.

direction to Anson Road market

Address:
Hokkien Char Stall
Anson Road Market
Jalan Anson & Lebuh Melaka
Penang
GPS: 5.415880, 100.320892
Hours: daily breakfasts except Mondays

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m a fan of street foods, and it is not confined to any particular category of street food either. Chinese, Malay, Mamak, I love all of them.

In recent time we have a bit of a food truck movement, but while those are cute and neat, we actually already have food trucks since yonks. The only difference being that food truck 2.0 operates inside the truck, while the original food truck has the operators standing on the road side, eye-to-eye level to diners. I feel that the experience is always a bit more intimate.

Kelana Jaya laksa and ikan bakar stalls
Kelana Jaya laksa and ikan bakar stalls

Anyway, here’s a couple old school food trucks opposite the small Giant hypermarket at Kelana Jaya we discovered a short while ago. I first came to this place back in 2007 with my Malay friend Naida (who has since moved to the States) for nasi lemak kukus. Time flies huh?

love the ikan bakar with sauce plastered all over the stingray
love the ikan bakar with sauce plastered all over the stingray

The first stall is Ikan Bakar Fend, offering a variety of ikan bakar, including pari, talapia, kembong, cincaru, keli, as well as chicken and cockles.

I went with the default choice of ikan pari (stingray) with rice (RM 10) and was delighted by the portion as well as the quality of the dish. The fish was split into halves with the spicy and slightly sweetish sambal plastered all over, it was delicious and went very well with steamed rice. In fact, the accompanying sauces weren’t even really needed. I really want to try their ayam bakar next time.

Laksa de Kelana, Haze approved of the taste
Laksa de Kelana, Haze approved of the taste

Another stall worth trying is Laksa de Kelana that offers laksa, and apparently also Malay char kuih teow basah. Haze tried the laksa and was happy with it. The bowl of laksa and two coconut drinks (in cups) cost us RM 6 and was definitely more than worth it.

Maybe next time I’ll try the kuih teow basah.

Nasi Lemak Kukus at Kelana Jaya

Address:
Laksa de Kelana & Ikan Bakar Fend
Jalan SS 6/3,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.105838, 101.600329
Tel: 012-917 6965

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Transitions lens at Ah Weng Koh

Another demonstration on how Transitions® Signature lens is useful in day-to-day life. Going from brimming bright outdoor where the lens is tinted to under the roof at one of my favorite breakfast places at Ah Weng Koh, and the lens goes completely transparent in an instant. It’s the sort of convenience you don’t realize until you have it.

One of my favorite Penang hawker foods is Kuih Teow Soup, or commonly spelled as Kuih Teow Th’ng in Hokkien. It is one of the few comfort foods you can have at any time of the day, any stomach “health” level since it’s soupy and isn’t spicy.

Anson Road market kuih teow th'ng
Anson Road market kuih teow th’ng

I was first introduced to this Anson Road market kuih teow th’ng by my mom when she ‘tapao’ a packet for us for breakfast. It immediately became one of my favorites, so I made it a mission to have it at the market itself the following trip back.

kuih teow, chicken, fish ball, and the all important coagulated blood
kuih teow, chicken, fish ball, and the all important coagulated blood

On the Sunday morning that I went for this, the stall was predictably very busy. I had to wait for 20+ minutes before being served.

The kuih teow soup here is surprisingly simple, with strips of chicken meat & some skin, fish ball, choi sum (vegetable), silky soft kuih teow, fried garlic oil, and most importantly – coagulated chicken blood. While some places utilizes duck meat for a stronger taste, this stall somehow managed to come up with the chicken based soup that’s very sweet and savory in taste, I love it.

I'm a happy camper, definitely worth waking up for
I’m a happy camper, definitely worth waking up for

If you don’t mind a bit of wait, this place is definitely worth checking out. Get there before 9+ in the morning though cos they usually sold out early.

direction to Anson Road market

Address:
Kuih  Teow Soup stall
Anson Road Market
Jalan Anson & Lebuh Melaka
Penang
GPS: 5.415880, 100.320892
Hours: daily breakfasts except Mondays

A couple weeks ago I was invited to participate in a little promotional shooting for Oriental Daily with Ernest Chong (张顺源) on NTV7 Foodie Blogger (愛食客) TV program. The TV show was actually shot earlier and yours truly was featured in the Klang Valley segment which will be aired in a few weeks time on NTV7 Thursday night 10 pm.

Anyway, that explained why I ended up in Connaught Pasar Malam, a place I don’t often go, but glad that I did cos we got to try this pretty awesome smelly tofu (臭豆腐)!

smelly tofu truck at Taman Connaught Pasar Malam
smelly tofu truck at Taman Connaught Pasar Malam

The smelly tofu truck is usually parked at the end of the long stretch of pasar malam at Taman Connaught closest to McDonald’s, or more specifically, on Jalan Pantas. This is rather convenient since you don’t need to navigate through 5,000 people just to get to it.

we got our hands on preparing the smelly tofu too
we got our hands on preparing the smelly tofu too

The process of making smelly tofu starts with fermentation using tofu, fresh amaranth vegetable(苋菜)and brine (卤水) . The fermented tofu is then cut and deep fried with vegetable oil. If you prefer to have it with more pungent taste, you can request the tofu to be fried as a whole.

smelly tofu with chili sauce and "sauerkraut"
smelly tofu with chili sauce and “sauerkraut”

The smelly tofu is priced at RM 3.30 for four pieces and served with a sort of home made sauerkraut (but fresher) and chilli sauce on top. The flavor isn’t overly intense and I find myself really enjoying it!

The last I had stinky tofu was actually in Hong Kong, and I like this version more. If you happen to be at Taman Connaught Pasar Malam, check it out!

map to Taman Connaught Pasar Malam

Chou Wei Xiang Tou stall is located at Connaught only on Wednesdays, their other location is as follow:

  • Monday – Serdang pasar malam
  • Wednesday – Connaught pasar malam
  • Friday – Leisure Mall (Taman Segar), The USJ 19 City Mall
  • Saturday – Setia Alam, The USJ 19 City Mall, Taman Midah near Shell
  • Sunday – Taman Muda, The USJ 19 City Mall

Address:
Chou Wei Xiang Tou
Taman Connaught Pasar Malam
Connaught Highway & Jalan Pantas
Cheras, Selangor
GPS: 3.081564, 101.734068
Tel: 012-359 2895 (Mr. Koh Lian Ying)
Hours: Every Wednesday Evening

Kuih Teow Soup is one of my favorite hawker dishes whenever I’m in Penang.

That clear soup with home-made fish ball and duck meat is something that you can hardly find in Klang Valley (outside of Penang One), a land where pork noodle rules instead of kuih teow soup, or kuih teow th’ng as we liked to call it in Penang.

old school kuih teow soup, starts at only RM 3
old school kuih teow soup, starts at only RM 3

In the morning, there’s Ah Hai at Kim Lee kopitiam or Restaurant 113; for afternoon, try Pitt Street kuih teow soup at Lebuh Carnavon, but if you’re looking for a good bowl of kuih teow soup at night, Chulia Street is one of the places to check out.

the fish balls were very good, and duck skin, yums!
the fish balls were very good, and pork skin, yums!

This is one of those old school stalls that fortunately, still has the pricing structure of yesteryear. A bowl of kuih teow soup starts from RM 3, and comes with the essential home made fish ball, duck meat, and most importantly, duck skin as well.

The soup is subtle but carry the unmistakeable aroma from boiling duck carcass, the fish ball had a perfect texture and taste, the kuih teow soft but does not break apart, it was an exercise of balance with everything complementing each other.

By the way, you can ask for extra ingredients too. In this case, my choice was some sinful pork skin, oh I miss it.

map to Chulia Street, Penang

Address:
Kuih Teow Soup
(outside Kedai Ubat Yoong Chee Tong)
Chulia Street, 10200 Penang
GPS: 5.416295, 100.338670
Hours: dinner and supper