Last weekend when we went back to Penang for a friend’s wedding & Haze‘s art exhibition finale, we took the opportunity to meet up with mom for good old fashion street hawker food. The destination of choice was mom’s new favorite char kuih teow place – No. 5 Char Koay Teow at Macalister Road, Penang.
no 5 char kuih teow at Macalister Road
No. 5 char kuih teow shares the same premise with a mixed rice place right at the corner of Macalister Road and Lorong Kinta. It is a perfectly walk-able distance from Komtar, and just a stone’s throw away from the famous New Lane street hawker center.
There are two versions of char kuih teow here, normal for RM 5.50, and big prawn + mantis prawn version for RM 9.50. You can’t go wrong with either version, both comes with cockles, Chinese sausage, bean sprout, chives, egg, and served on a sheet of banana leaf.
wet & packed with goodness, check out the prawns too
The ckt has plenty good wok hei with prawns & kuih teow just ever so slightly charred to perfection, the egg is purposely prepared to a slightly runny consistency giving it that moist and flavorful finish that we really love. This is really becoming my favorite ckt in Penang right now.
normal vs big prawn and mantis prawn version
The normal version is served with plenty decent size prawns, with the RM 9.50 version really push it up a notch with huge tiger prawn & bits of mantis prawn throw in the mix. You can’t go wrong with either one.
If you’re a ckt fan, you owe it to yourself to give this a try. Waiting time can be a bit long even when customer volume isn’t particularly high.
Address: No. 5 Char Kuih Teow 104 E, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang GPS: 5.415535, 100.325867 Hours: 930 am to 730 pm
When I was sharing the news of Ah Tao’s demise (RIP) with Zess over Chinese New Year, our Klang ahbeng who’s well versed with everything bak kut teh then mentioned that perhaps I should check out Hon Ki, a bak kut teh outlet that also makes a habit of adding seafood to the old fashion Klang dish, as his sister had good experience with it. So I did.
Hon Ki Seafood Bak Kut Teh, YY is pleased
Hon Ki is a second generation bak kut teh eatery that has been in operation for over two decades, according to the proprietor, they have been serving seafood bak kut teh even during his dad’s time, so this is definitely not one of those “me too” sort of place that tries to jump on any bandwagon.
Situated at Persiaran Pulau Pinang (what a coincident for a Penangite) just opposite Klang Parade across Jalan Meru, the restaurant is converted from a corner lot terrace house with zinc roof, a basic set up that is sufficient and rather typical of Klang BKT scene.
flower crab simmering together with your favorite pork cut in BKT soup
The bak kut teh here comes in clay pots, choose the meat of your choice and you can have it dry, with soup, and of course, with a number of different seafood options to add on, such as fish fillets, prawns, abalone slices, or flower crab. Unfortunately, lala or kappa isn’t an option here.
prawn? crab? pork? why not all?
Like other bak kut teh with seafood, the soup at Hon Ki very spicy as well, and this is done with loads of red chili padi, which I found slightly more convenient not accidentally chew one down, it also has a slightly different aroma and hotter compared to the green type. The additional complexity from seafood does give the bak kut teh an extra dimension, I love it.
Kerol was quite satisfied with the bkt lunch
Expect to pay about RM 40+ for two person if you have 1.5 portion of pork with seafood in it, flower crab gives the soup a stronger taste, while prawns were much less messy to eat. Try it!
Of the 400 some bak kut teh places in Klang, one of the most unique offerings of them all has got to be Ah Tao Seafood Bak Kut Teh at Teluk Pulai, for this is the very place that the whole idea of having seafood in bak kut teh came into fruition… I think.
Updates 20/2/2017: Ah Tao has passed away and hence the place is temporarily closed until they figure out the way forward
Ah Tao bak kut teh is located at Beng Heong restoran, at the corner
If you’re looking for a sign that says “Ah Tao BKT”, you won’t find it. The stall is located within Restoran Beng Heong, on the same row of shop houses also include the original Teluk Pulai BKT situated in a stone’s throw away. Parking is usually not a very challenging task, but they do sell out by 10am or so on weekends, so getting there early is a must if you want to avoid disappointment.
glorious seafood bak kut teh, proper tea is a must
While they also serve “normal” bak kut teh in clay pots, the unique selling point here is their seafood infused BKT. If you simply go with seafood, they’ll include big prawns, lala, sea cucumber, fish fillet, and perhaps squid together with your choice of pork meat (I usually go for “tua kut” aka big bone, or “kahwan”).
Alternatively, you can also opt for crab, or just lala, just prawn, and so forth. I tend to think anything involving shells work best, such as lala, crab, or prawns.
prawns, fish fillet, and lala are among the extra ingredients
To make the herbal soup “compatible” with seafood and partly to avoid unwanted seafood smell, the soup is made spicy with quite a fair chunk of chili padi, so what you have then is a very unique taste of spicy bak kut teh. I love it, it was like BKT on steroid.
KY, Kelly, Haze
I’ve only been to Ah Tao a couple times since, but I figure there’ll be quite a few more future visits.
If you’re from the other side of Klang/Shah Alam or prefer to have this for dinner, Klang Coast at Bukit Tinggi serves a pretty decent version of seafood bak kut teh as well, supposedly manned by the apprentice of Ah Tao.
Seafood in Sabah is like char kuih teow in Penang or Tomyam in Bangkok, if you find yourself in Kota Kinabalu, it is pretty much compulsory to get yourself to one of the many seafood restaurants and have a meal.
Salut Seafood, located within a prawn farm
On our Mt. Kinabalu trip (more on that soon), we met up with one of my old friends Ben for dinner. On our previous trip we went to New Gaya, so this time around Ben suggested that we head to Salut Seafood, the restaurant located within a prawn farm.
It took us quite a while to get there due to the (un)expectedly rush hour traffic, but alas, we got there in time before sunset. The restaurant is located by the sea and accessible via cars, but if you’re on a tour bus, you’ll be out of luck. This place is built for the locals.
live seafood to choose from, including quite a variety of shellfish
Like most seafood restaurants worth its salt in South East Asia, there’s a good selection of live seafood to choose from. Crabs, prawns, fish, and quite a few types of shellfish can be chose from the live tank to be cooked in the method of the customer’s liking. There’s also a big price list plastered on the wall to remove too many surprises.
haven’t had this type of shellfish since Vietnam
For the three of us, we ordered some live prawns, crabs, shell fish, and sabah vegetable to go with rice.
The prawns and shellfish were steamed, the simplest possible cooking method, this was to preserve the natural sweetness of the seafood. The quality were apparent as the prawn were quite a lot more difficult to peel than the usual “already dead for a couple days” variety.
butter crab, fresh prawns, and “sabah vegetable”
This was also the first time I had the same snail since New Gaya & Hong Hai in Ho Chi Minh City, tasted a bit like a cross between lala & balitong, if you enjoy those, you will enjoy this.
The crab, while properly seasoned and prepared, was not as firm and “full” as I had hoped for, though it was nonetheless an acceptable dish.
great first meal at KK and to catch up with old friend
Then there’s the unique “Sabah vegetable” that you can’t get in Peninsular Malaysia, with its slightly crunchy stem and soft leaves, I always make it a point to order this whenever I’m at KK.
Dinner came to about RM 50+ per person, right around the average for a good seafood meal at KK. We could have kept it a bit cheaper if not for the over ordering, but diet goes to hell when you’re traveling, right?
Address: Salut Seafood Jalan Sulaman, Kampung Salut, 89200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 6.103970, 116.160311 Tel: 019-881 8515 Hours: 11:30 am to 9:30 pm
Several weeks ago I was invited to a soft launch of Little Mums, the restaurant that was run by the same people that brought us Mum’s Place at Damansara Perdana, a restaurant that I’ve reviewed almost ten years ago, with shitty camera phone then. As the name suggests, this offshoot is run by the second generation, offering many of the best selling dishes from the parent restaurant.
Update 29/6/2017: This restaurant is closed, rumor has it that the owners moved out of the country.
Little Mums at Damansara Uptown
Located at the back row of Damansara Uptown, Little Mum spots a modern yet simple interior, and while parking isn’t the most ideal this part of PJ, it is not exactly an exercise of patient either. Little Mum serves both lunch and dinner, and offers several individual plates in addition to the usual “tai chao” style dishes.
On our visit, we started off with an appetizer with the crab cheese sticks (RM 16.80), a dish that would really go well with some cold beer, which sadly they do not offer.
Our main meal was served with steamed rice, and we had prawn with sambal petai (RM 31.80), fried cencaru with cili padi paste and petai (RM 26), soft shell crab with butter cheese sauce (RM 10.20/100g), daun keledek with lime juice (RM 15), and brinjal with black pepper (RM 15).
daun keledek, terung black pepper
These dishes were as good as I remembered them. The cencaru and soft shell crab stood out as the two must-order dishes were strong tasting in a good way, especially for those who like their food spicy. While daun keledek is one of their classics, I found myself really enjoying the black pepper brinjal even though as with the other previously mentioned dishes, it was really spicy as well.
crab cheese stick, sago gula melaka, cendol, pulut tekan
For dessert, sago gula melaka (RM 6.30) was really well executed, and pulut tekan (RM 7.30), served with homemade kaya, is another must-try. This version is like hot KFC vs stale fried chicken from the roadside, you gotta try it.
I did find the cendol with red bean (RM 6.30) a little underwhelming though, and perhaps being from Penang has something to do with that judgement.
KY, Horng, Yuki, Haze
Little Mums serves Halal food and the prices are nett. While it is slightly on the high side when it comes to pricing, they do deliver rather well in terms of quality of food. Would certainly visit again.