Truth be told, beef isn’t exactly a staple in Chinese cuisine in the Northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Growing up in Penang I could probably count with one hand the number of beef serving hawker stalls there operating on the island at the time.
Luckily, when they do serve beef, it is often not disappointing. Case in point – the old beef noodle stall at Taxi Station in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
old taxi stand beef noodle, Sungai Petani, Kedah
From what I can gather, this beef specialty stall is manned by Mr Tan, who is now over 80 years old. The stall was originally started by his father in 1950, with the current location now manned by him & the brother since 1974. Chances are most of the customers were not even alive yet when the first cow is scarified for this stall.
mixed beef soup with rice, or you can have it with noodle
There main offering is beef slice, tripe, brisket, tendon, and beef ball (most often called mixed beef soup) to go with with noodle or if you’re hungry – rice. We opted for the latter when my brother brought me there for lunch some weeks back.
The old master definitely got everything all figured out, the soup is flavorful but not over powering, with the beef cooked just so and not overly done, the tendon was soft, and the garnish supporting the dish perfectly. I also enjoy their unique sambal condiment. Overall this was just a very pleasant dish to have, doubly so on a rainy day.
old school lunch, just what the doctor ordered
I recommend anyone who find themselves at Sungai Petani to give this a try, unless you don’t eat beef.
Address: Beef Noodle at Taxi Station Bangunan PKNK, 12 A, Jalan Petri, Taman Pekan Baru, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah GPS: 5.639290, 100.487675 Hours: 10 am to 4 pm
Bak Kut Teh infused with seafood is not exactly a recent invention in the land where this uniquely Chinese-Malaysian dish originated, and of the various different variants of bak kut teh, it is probably the most rare, hence it is no surprise that many bak kut teh fans does not know about the existence of seafood BKT.
Yun Heng kopitiam, at Klang Utama
My love for seafood bak kut teh started with Ah Tao at Teluk Pulai, a place where I’ve returned multiple times. Sadly, Ah Tao returned to the maker this past CNY period and the place has been closed down (or on haitus) since.
This prompted me to start looking for another good spot to satisfy that cravings.
After a few attempts with limited success, I think I finally found one that’s worthy to be Ah Tao’s replacement in my book – the unassuming BKT stall at the corner of Restoran Yun Heng at Klang Utama (not far from another one of my go-to Hong Ba + BKT place – Swee Xiang)
fish head, and that glorious bak kut teh with lala
We went there last weekend when my brother was in town, and for the three of us, we had 1.5 portion of bak kut teh with lala, and another portion of fish head.
The bak kut teh soup really did hit the spot for all of us, it was a perfect balance of hotness, herbal note, and really strong seafood sweetness from the lala. They may not have the variety of seafood available as with Ah Tao, but lala is all you need, especially if it’s done as well as they did here.
fish head also had chicken feet in it
We didn’t plan to order the stewed fish head dish, but since they were a bit low on pork (we got there past 1:30 pm) and the owner suggested it, I thought why not?
The dish turned out to be pretty good in itself, it was another spicy dish but one with much thicker soup and slightly sweeter in taste. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, the chicken feet in the stew was very good too.
Overall damage was just under RM 20 per person, and I’m 100% sure I’ll be heading back there again for some lala BKT goodness.
While up at Sungai Petani a couple months ago, we took the opportunity to get my brother to introduce some of the more unique dishes the biggest city in Kedah has got to offer. Since we already had those awesome curry mee at Eupe food court, it was time for laksa fish at Restoran Piao Siang.
Restoran Piao Xiang at Sungai Petain, Haze & Win Sern
Restoran Piao Xiang, or Sin Piao Xiang, is located just a stone’s throw away from the Sungai Petani Utara toll plaza, and like most places in Sungai Petani, you won’t have too much of a problem trying to get a parking spot.
The restaurant opens for both lunch and dinner, and is considered one of the bigger eateries in the area, well, big enough to hosts wedding functions every now and then.
the famous laksa fish, with fish, and some laksa noodle too
For the three of us on a very hungry afternoon, we ordered four dishes to go with steamed rice.
The claim of fame here is the laksa fish (RM 26), a dish that is so simple in its ingredients you wonder why we don’t see it anywhere else. You make some awesome laksa broth, throw in steamed fish, mint leaves, and some laksa noodle for good measures.
I think having this dish as is as a whole meal is certainly viable, especially for laksa fans.
eggplant with sambal, stuffed chicken skin, seafood tofu
The eggplant with sambal (RM 7) is a musts order for those who like northern style sambal that comes with a kick. Seafood tofu (RM 9) is pretty decent as snacks, but the stuffed chicken skin (RM 17) actually surprised me, chicken skin stuffed with minced pork, reminds me of the first time I had something like that from Elegant Inn (stuffed with prawn meat tho).
Over all it was certainly a satisfying lunch, and one that is pretty reasonably priced too. If you’re up North, this is certainly not a bad place to check out.
Over the CNY break and in conjunction to having my whole family staying over, we decided to bring mom to Khunthai for dinner, since Thai food is one of mom’s favorite cuisines aside from traditional Chinese fair. It turned out to be a pretty good decision.
Khunthai at Klang with my family
Khunthai is located at a rather remote area in Klang via KESAS highway, but fortunately it is rather simple to navigate to since it is just one straight long ghetto farming road to the rather lavishly built restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Forget about going there if a low-riding sports car is your only mode of transportation, but otherwise you’ll get there just fine after cursing at how bumpy the road is for about 5 minutes.
The menu is pretty extensive and covers all bases when it comes to Southern style Thai food. The restaurant is also pork free.
For the 5 of us, we ordered miang kham, chicken feet salad, and raw prawn salad to open up our appetite.
For those who’re not familiar, miang kham is a type of traditional Thai appetizer where you wrap a bunch of ingredients such as crushed peanut, shallot, ginger, lime, and so on with a Piper sarmentosum leaf. If you haven’t had this before, it is definitely something to try.
Raw prawn salad and chicken feet salad were both pretty spot on as well.
raw prawn salad, lala, kangkung belacan
To go with rice, we also had Thai style lala, kang kung belacan, and seafood tomyam. While the kangkung belacan was perhaps a little too oily for my liking, lala & tomyam did not disappoint. One thing to note though – have your lips prepared for how hot the food can get.
safe to say we enjoyed ourself really well at Khunthai
To be fair, there are other comparable Thai restaurants in the city with better access and similar pricing, but there’s always a bit of fun to travel to a god forsaken place from time to time for a dining experience that is just slightly different from the ordinary.
Last weekends I went back up north for cheng beng (Hokkien for prayers to ancestors & grave cleaning), and this time around instead of heading back to Penang, we slept over at my brother’s new house at Sungai Petani instead.
More reason to try some of the local hawker fair my brother talked about.
Curry Mee is the busiest stall at Eupe food court, sungai petani
We went to the (I think) the number one hawker attraction in Sungai Petani – the curry mee stall at Eupe food court.
The food court itself is converted by stripping off the walls and ceiling of 28 shop lots to create a giant dining area under one roof, there are dozens of stalls offering various types of food, with the curry mee stall being the one that’s easiest to spot – the one with a long queue.
slices of fresh mackerel is what made this awesome
The ingredients for this curry mee is very different from the ones in Penang or KL. Instead of pork blood, prawns, and cockles, what we have here is a couple slices of fresh mackerel, lady’s fingers, tomato, potato, and half an egg. Of course, there’s the curry broth and sambal. You can also ask for pork ribs as additional topping.
The mixture worked pretty good, felt unusual at first but it proved to be really worth the wait. The best part about this curry mee is the freshness of the fish. According to my brother, if the market doesn’t have fresh fish for the day, the stall isn’t opened.
me & my younger brother, who’s a doctor at Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim
If you’re at SP, get on the queue and spend the RM 6 for this, you’ll not regret.
Address: Eupe Food Court Jalan Gamelan 5, Taman Ria Jaya, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah GPS: 5.652733,100.517535 Hours: 9 am till around lunch time