Tag / cockles
Every once in a while, the bunch of jokers at work would organize a fun “eating out” session, usually when one of us has something to celebrate and belanja the team.
A few weeks ago, we ended up at Jalan Bellamy for some good old fashion ikan bakar on one of such occasions.
Gerai Mak Alang Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy
Tucked behind Agong’s old palace between Jalan Syed Putra & Jalan Istana is a small hill that is very different from most part of KL. There’s virtually no development, you can’t find any big commercial buildings or high rise offices. A place so close to the hustle & bustle of the likes of Puduraya and yet immune to the change of time.
It is here that you find some half a dozen ikan bakar places, all packed with hungry lunch crowds any given afternoon.
Gerai Mak Alang was the restaurant of choice for our excursion.
tempoyak is always a plus at ikan bakar places
Gerai Mak Alang offers quite a good selection of grilled fish and other dishes. You have the standard ikan pari (sting ray), kembung, tilapia, and even terubok (toli shad, full of annoying tiny bones but with the softest meat ever). There’s also a selection of sambal to complete the dishes, including my all time favorite – tempoyak!
prawns, cuttlefish, and cockles are available too
In addition to fish, they also offer prawns, cuttle fish, and cockles. I expected the cockles to be of the Nong & Jimmy bakar method, but it came coated with curry powder/sauce instead, which turned out to be quite ok nonetheless, but I would still prefer it grilled tho.
The cuttle fish was superb though, soft, succulent, and tasted supremely fresh. The prawn seemed to be prepared similar to nyonya asam prawn style, which was mighty fine by me.
food is always best when enjoyed with great company
Food quality is more than decent, and we certainly had a great time at Jalan Bellamy. There are a few other stalls still yet to be explored for me, and judging by the amount of crowd, I believe they are all worth trying out.
Gerai Mak Alang
GPS: 3.130557, 101.694670
It is very common for a dish famous in one area to be offered in another part of the country with slightly altered ingredients. This is usually done due to availability, or sometimes just to better suit the local taste.
For Penang hawker dishes in Klang Valley, curry mee is perhaps the one dish that is affected the most. The ingredients used is sometimes so different from the version up North you wonder why they still share the same name.
Anyway, for the true Penang curry mee lovers, here are four places where Penang curry mee is offered with one crucial ingredient (to me, the most important ingredient) to unite them all – coagulated pork blood.
Penang curry mee at Restaurant Okay, PJ SS2
The father and son stall at Restaurant Okay, SS2 operates from about 7:30am and usually sells out in a little over two hours. There’s prawn, blood, cockles, cuttle fish, and very fragrant sambal paste. There’s always a couple tables filled with Penangites seated right next to the stall on weekday mornings, I join them from time to time.
2, Jalan SS2/10,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
(at the other end of the same row of shop houses comprising KAYU)
GPS: 3.115084, 101.616390
Hours: 7:30 am to 9:30 am, off Mondays
Curry mee at Sun Sea kopitiam, OUG
Closer to KL, the version of Penang curry mee at Sun Sea kopitiam in OUG is also legit. It comes with all the essential ingredients with those slightly charred chilli paste. I also love the way they leave the cockles just ever slightly cooked.
Restaurant Sun Sea
Jalan Hujan Rahmat,
Overseas Union Garden,
58200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.073945, 101.673234
Hours: daily till around noon+
curry mee from Penang One, Puchong
For those who are willing to pay a bit more for air conditioned dining environment, Penang One offers curry mee all the way from Pulau Tikus Keong’s curry mee stall in Penang. The cuttle fish used here is the darker version closer to one you find in mee goreng mamak, and there’s long bean, mint leaves, and even bunga kantan thrown in. Definitely worth the extra RM 2-3 they charge over kopitiam versions.
Penang One at Puchong
G2, Jalan Puteri 2/6,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
GPS: 3.023883, 101.617950
Tel: 03-8052 0181
Hours: 9.30am – 9.30pm daily
Penang One at Kota Damansara
16-1, Jalan PJU5/7,
47810 Kota Damansara, PJ
GPS: 3.152335, 101.594404
Tel: 03-6151 1083
Hours: 10.30am – 10.30pm daily
Penang white curry mee at Mayiang Jaya cafe, PJ
The Penang white curry mee stall at Mayiang Jaya Cafe is one of my latest discovery in this category. All the essential ingredients is presence except prawns. Mint leaves and long beans sort of make up for it I guess, I always ask for more pork blood here. It is perhaps the weaker version among the four, but still one that manage to satisfy my cravings.
Mayiang Jaya cafe
28, Jalan SS26/4,
Taman Mayang Jaya,
Petaling Jaya 47301 Selangor
GPS: 3.116374, 101.604224
Hours: breakfast and lunch
The pasar malam at Taman Megah operates every Sunday evening from about 6pm to almost midnight and conveniently located only about one kilometer away from where I stay, hence eliminating the pesky problem of having to find a parking spot when one goes to pasar malam.
Even then, it is not a pasar malam I often go due to the relatively lack of good food.. or so I thought.
Evidently, things have changed for the better, and here are the three stalls we found from the visit last Sunday that I thought worth a try for any foodie.
char kuih kak at Taman Megah Pasar Malam – legit!
First and foremost, there’s char kuih kak!
Char Kuih Kak is one of the Penang dishes that aren’t easily found in Klang Valley. There isn’t many stalls out there, and prior to this, my only go-to char kuih kak stall would be the one at Jalan Sayur in Pudu. So when I saw the stall here, I had to give it a try.
finally I found a good version of char kuih kak outside Penang
The RM 3.50 worth of char kuih kak turned out to be rather good, perhaps the best version I’ve tried in Klang Valley. The radish cake is chopped to tiny pieces with the two metal spatulas so that it’s well coated with oil and dark soya sauce. There’s also plenty of “choi pou” and chili, I love it.
The fact that the operator spoke perfect Penang Hokkien definitely help too, I think. 😀
BBQ oysters and seahum? yeap!
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw there’s oysters at pasar malam, so obviously we had to give it a try.
A set of 3 oysters go for RM 10 here, and you can choose from any combination of three flavors – spicy, cheese, and garlic. The oysters took some 10-15 minutes before they were ready, and tasted more than decent.
RM 10 for three oysters, RM 6 for those juicy cockles
Of the three, I prefer the garlic version, and will probably avoid the cheese next time around unless I bring my own cheese.
The BBQ cockles go for RM 6 per portion. They were rather juicy and certainly went well with the accompanying homemade chilli sauce.
steamed chicken with chrysanthemum, pretty satisfying
Last but not least, there’s the steamed chicken with chrysanthemum. Since it was something I’ve never even heard about before, we gave it a try.
The steamed quarter chicken (RM 8) came with plenty of mashed garlic, ginger, and chrysanthemum flower. The skin smooth and chicken meat was well salted. The flower certainly gave it a unique taste but not something that is overpowering, worth a try, and certainly fills the stomach.
Taman Megah Pasar Malam
Jalan SS 24/8
Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.113745, 101.611061
Hours: 6-11pm every Sunday
It’s been a while since I last went to the SS2 Pasar Malam (every Monday night), so I thought it’ll be good to check it out again and grab dinner while we’re at it.
The SS2 Pasar Malam is one of the biggest night markets in the country, and almost the same size as the Connaught version (every Wednesday). Parking is usually a tricky affair, but if you’re willing to walk for a few minutes, there are ample parking at the residential area surrounding the SS2 square, where the pasar malam is held.
Taiping char kuih teow at SS2 pasar malam
After walking about a bit, I spotted this Taiping char kuih teow stall situated just opposite McDonald’s restaurant. Seeing that business is pretty brisk, I decided to give it a try.
Of course, I had to order with Hokkien as a standard litmus test to any hawker who claims to be offering Northern food, this one passed.
the char kuih teow stall, opposite McDonald’s at SS2
The plate of char kuih teow (I had kuih teow + mee) that came was quite a good looking one. With an extra egg prepared over-easy that had some sweet soya sauce sprinkled on top, a little bit like the fried egg we had Restaurant Muar at Tengkat Tong Shin, which was a good thing.
it was delicious, did not disappoint at all
There were no prawns in this version of CKT, but luckily plenty of fresh cockles to go around. Execution was great and there was definitely plenty of “wok hei” in this dish. I would not hesitant to order this again. If you’re a char kuih teow lover, check out this version.
At RM 6 a plate with that extra egg, it is a little bit on the expensive side, but I thought it was worth it nonetheless.
tofu bakar as snack, very appropriate
After the char kuih teow, we met Edvin, our dive master, by coincidence, and he introduced us this tofu bakar for dessert.
At RM 4.50 a box, you get crispy tofu bakar with prawn crackers, a layer of sweet prawn sauce, chili paste, chicken floss, and some fresh cucumber. It claimed to be from Penang but I’ve never seen anything like this back home. Very tasty nonetheless.
salt baked chicken, I had it for breakfast the next day
Lastly, we also ordered some salt baked chicken to go. The drumstick + thigh version cost RM 7 a piece and made for awesome breakfast the next day, though I imagine it’d be even better if I had some porridge to go with as that’d tone down the saltiness just a bit.
I need to go to the Pasar Malam again!
SS2 Pasar Malam
GPS: 3.117366, 101.621668
The PJ SS2 mamak square is a pretty popular and cheap dinner/supper place, with a mixture of Chinese (all pork free) and Malay/Mamak offerings. There’s good chicken rice, fried rice, tomyam, and more, but what most people don’t realise is that there’s a pretty awesome nasi lemak half-stall as well.
Nasi Lemak Utara, sharing the same stall with Burger Wan
This is a half-stall because it shares the same spot as the burger stall, with the nasi lemak “desk” facing on the other side. In fact, the nasi lemak guy and the burger guy are related.
Nasi lemak is usually ready by around 7+ in the evening but it often doesn’t last the whole night. There isn’t many dishes to choose from, but the usual suspects of sambal cuttle fish, fried chicken with rempah (my favorite), curry chicken, and cockles are almost always available.
super delicious nasi lemak, at a fair price, check out the rempah too
The rice is fragrant and usually served warm with a sheet of banana leaf, and you get peanuts, fried anchovies, and half a hard boiled egg by default. The sambal is pretty mean and carries quite a kick as well. My go-to order is usually the chicken with rempah (ask for more rempah) and cockles, and that usually comes up to RM 7 or so, pretty reasonable price for what you get.
Next time when you’re there, do give it a try if they are open (there’s no pattern, sometimes the dude takes random holidays it seems).
Nasi Lemak Utara
Jalan SS 2/60,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.117783, 101.622430