Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / charcoal fire

Last November I made my second trip to the gambling capital of the world – Macao. My previous trip was all the way back in 2014 so I guess it’s about time to revisit one of the most walk-able cities in the world.

While Macau is famous for their casinos and many churches, what interests in, as usual, is the local food. Today we’re going to talk about one of the more popular night hawker spots on the peninsular – Keong Kei Lamb Stew.

Keong Kei Lamb Stew, Macau
Keong Kei Lamb Stew, Macau

Keong Kei (強記秘製羊腩煲) is located just a few minutes’ walk from the famous Ruins of St. Paul, the tourist attraction that almost everyone will certainly visit while at Macau. Operating from 6:30pm to midnight, the stall has tables set up by the “Y” intersection of the road, just like how a proper “tai pai tong” should be.

On a chilly night in autumn, the place does get quite packed and you often may need to wait for a bit for an empty table. Once seated, you can then make your order of lamb stew (usually comes with tripe, ribs, and so forth) that comes in a clay pot sitting atop a portable clay stove fueled by charcoal, which also serves as your hand warmer.

would you love to have some lamb tripe?
would you love to have some lamb tripe?

Additionally, you can also order fresh romaine lettuce and tofu skin. The operator pretty much assumed everyone will know what they have and not have, if you’re new, do ask, they may not be the friendliest business owners in typical Macau fashion, but they don’t bite.

clay pot on charcoal fire on every table
clay pot on charcoal fire on every table

I personally do enjoy the lamb stew soup and the vegetable, and thought that the meat was a little too tough for my liking, despite having it stewed on top of charcoal fire for quite a while. Perhaps this is how the locals like it. The condiment of chili paste with fermented tofu, however, was quite lovely.

usually a good idea to add some greens to the mix too
usually a good idea to add some greens to the mix too

If you find yourself in Macau, this is definitely one of the more authentic spots to have your supper. A small pot is priced at 130 MOP and bigger ones’ at 230 MOP (exchange rate was at around 1 MYR = 2 MOP), while seems expensive in Malaysian standard, this isn’t any more expensive than other similar hawker fair in Macau.

Happy hunting and happy 2019!

Keong Kei lamb stew map, Macao

Edificio Ngai In Kuok,
Tv. das Janelas Verdes, Macau
GPS22.196024, 113.539918
Hours: 6:30 pm to midnight

After attending the Time Out Food Awards at KLPAC (a couple weeks ago), a few of us decided to have supper (or actually, dinner, since we didn’t really have a meal at the event). Boo of masak-masak suggested Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien mee, which was a great location since we were already at Sentul, and Hokkien mee for late night?

Awesome choice if you ask me, nothing beats some starch, pork, seafood, and lard near midnight.

restuarant Ah Yap Hokkien mee at Sentul
restuarant Ah Yap Hokkien mee at Sentul, Jon & Isadora

While the premise of Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien mee is now a pretty nice corner shop lot with air conditioned as well as al fresco style dining areas, every plate of Hokkien mee is still prepared with good old charcoal fire, exactly the same as when it was just a stall in the nearby kopitiam. (there are even other branches now).

Many believes that Hokkien Mee is best fried using charcoal fire, and that there is a distinctive difference in taste when preapred with gas vs charcoal. For me though, I’m not quire sure, I like it when it tastes good, and frankly doesn’t care too much about the romantic idea of having it old school or modern. If it tastes good, it’s fine by me if it was gas, coal, charcoal, or wood fire.

the old school hokkien mee, made with charcoal fire
the old school hokkien mee, made with charcoal fire

Our Hokkien mee  (RM 12) was quite awesome, there were no surprises – big fat noodle, meehun (we asked for it), prawns, slices of fish cake, pork slices, vegetable, and of course, pork lard.

It really did taste as good as it looks, and made better when Isadora asked for extra lard for us. 😀

butter chicken, marmaid pork ribs, extra pork lard, and tapioka hokkien mee
butter chicken, marmaid pork ribs, extra pork lard, and tapioka hokkien mee

Other than the Hokkien Mee, we also ordered marmite pork ribs, butter chicken, bitter gourd with salted egg yolk, and another plate of special Hokkien mee made with tapioka noodle.

The marmite ribs (RM 23) were frankly speaking, way too skinny. It would probably be a dream come true for those who loves lean meat, but we weren’t really impressed.

Butter chicken (RM 23) was a pretty decent dish though, flavorful with pretty nice texture to go with. The bitter gourd with salted egg yolk (RM 20) though, was my favorite for the night. The combination of the bitterness and the richness of salted egg yolk, in a weird sort of cosmic logic, worked well for our palates. This is a dish that needs to be tasted to be impressed.

As for the tapioka noodle Hokkien Mee (RM 16), well, imagine the texture of bubble tea pearls, except flattened and served in a plate of Hokkien mee ingredients. I wouldn’t say it was bad, bit it was a bit too chewy for my liking. A novelty perhaps, but not something I would order again.

Ah Yap Sentul Hokkien Mee map

The Hokkien mee at Ah Yap is certainly worth eating, the other dishes however, was a bit of a hit and miss, and does not really offer very good value for money either. I’d stick with having the original Hokkien mee and that sinful bitter gourd with salted egg yolk here.

Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien Mee
744, Jalan Sentul,
51000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.178117, 101.692436
Tel : 012-3036800, 012-2816862
opening hours are from 5 p.m – 1 a.m

Olympus E-PL3