Recommended Eateries in Kuala Lumpur
(continued from earlier post)Chinese EateriesCheap
The hawker-style places are probably the hardest section to cover, as they are so many all over the different parts of KL. The ones mentioned here are a sampling of the variety of hawker food in the Klang Valley - the list was getting kind of long so I thought I'd better stop!
Pan - do post if there's a particular type of Chinese hawker-style food that you'd like recommendations for and I haven't listed it here.
1) Soo Kee on Jalan Ampang (next to the flyover, near the turn-off to the zoo)
Excellent Char Siew (the dark kind with caramellised bits) and "Kon Chow Har Loke" (prawns fried in dark soya sauce). It's open for lunch and dinner. The prices here may cross over to mid-range depending on what’s ordered.
2) Soo Kee on Jalan Khoo Teik Ee (off Jalan Imbi)
Good fried noodles – “Sang Har Meen” (fried noodles with freshwater prawns in an eggy sauce), "Wat Tan Ngau Hor" (stir-fried flat noodles with beef, ginger and spring onions in an eggy sauce) and "Nam Yue Pai Kuat" (deep-fried pork ribs marinated with preserved tofu). Open for dinner only (I think). The prices here may cross over to mid-range depending on what’s ordered.
3) Steamed Fish at Jalan Tiga off Jalan Chan Sow Lin
Not sure what the name is but it's got really good "wan yue" (grass carp) steamed with crunchy fried garlic, ginger and chillies. The grass carp steamed with "tau cheong" (bean paste) is good too. The "yong tau foo" (literally translated as stuffed tofu, a traditional Hakka specialty where a mixture of fish paste, pork and salted fish stuffed into various kinds of tofu, bitter gourd, aubergines, ladies fingers, chillies) there is mediocre compared to the ones at Ampang New Village - (Open for lunch only, Mon - Sat)
See excerpt from review in the AWSJ last November
Place Under The Big Tree
I've never been a big fan of fish head, nor of eating within sniffing range of a row of auto repair and body shops. But this unlicensed outdoor Hakka restaurant -- which has no name but sits under a magnificent bit of tropical foliage in the front yard of an abandoned, ramshackle Malay-style mansion -- turned my head.
The house specialty at this sprawling establishment isn't merely the head, but the entire top half of a beautifully steamed giant freshwater grass carp. So there's plenty of fine tender meat and soft underbelly flesh without having to poke into the cheeks or eyeballs or gills (areas my Chinese-Malaysian co-devourers probed more invasively). Heads are cooked to your liking: drowned in brown-bean paste, which is a bit gloppy; or so-called "red braised," with hints of anise and curry; or, better yet, piled with nearly burnt garlic bits and ginger in light oil.
In line with the cooks' Hakka origins, Big Tree also provides big flavor in the form of outstanding baked pork ribs doused in five spice on a bed of steamed potatoes, and soft slabs of pork belly served with chunks of yam. Even the freshly flipped egg foo yung, laced with baby shrimp, looked like the ultimate overseas Chinese omelet. Only the tofu topped with dried shrimp verged on the ordinary.
It's perfunctory service -- plates are slapped down and there are no menus. But, after you're done with the fish head, you don't have to go far to get an oil change.
+ Luscious, earthy Hakka faves.
- Smell of rubber, auto paint fumes.
Place Under the Big Tree
In the front yard of the dilapidated house opposite No. 6, Jalan Tiga (Khaseng Corp. building), Sungai Besi.
(Take the Jalan Tun Razak south, heading for the K.L.-Seremban Highway to Jalan Sungai Besi. Go past the Malaysian Tobacco Co., and between Jalan Istana and Jalan Sungai Besi turn left into Jalan Tiga.)
Open: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Sundays.
Prices: two humongous fish heads and plenty more for $8.
No credit cards accepted.
4) Yoke Woo Hin on Jalan Petaling (Chinatown)
Been around for ages - lots of old-timers still gather here to meet their friends for tea and dim sum in the mornings and is pretty packed for lunch too. (Open for breakfast and lunch. Not sure about dinner.)
5) Seng Nam Coffee Shop at the junction of Lebuh Ampang and Lebuh Pasar Besar (in the area between Chinatown and Little India)
One of the old kopi-tiam (local coffee-shops) that's good for a breakfast of toasted kopi-tiam-style bread with kaya / butter and sugar, soft-boiled eggs and local coffee. The chicken rice and fried mee-hoon (rice vermicelli) sold for lunch is also excellent. (Open for breakfast and lunch. Likely to be closed on Sunday.)
6) Soon Kee Beef Noodles at the junction of Jalan Bandar and Jalan Silang (in the area between Chinatown and Little India)
A variety of noodles (a choice of wanton mee noodles, rice-vermicelli, flat rice noodles or “loh-shue fun” (literally translated as mouse-tail noodles!)) topped with minced beef and pork and served with a beef-ball soup (as in meat-balls). (It’s open for lunch and dinner)
7) Ngau Kee Beef Noodles, Tingkat Tong Shin (the area behind Jalan Bukit Bintang)
A stall on the road-side (near the Ching Hai coffee-shop) that’s open only at night serving beef noodles similar to that served at Soon Kee.
8) Beef Noodles at Lai Fong coffee-shop (next to the pedestrian bridge to Jalan Petaling)
A different style of beef-noodles that’s cooked with “ham choy” (salted vegetables). The wanton noodles and the chicken and char siew rice at the shop next door is pretty good too. There are other stalls serving other types of hawker food at the coffee-shop. (Open for breakfast and lunch)
9) Low Yau Kee Porridge on Jalan Tun HS Lee near the junction of Jalan Bandar and Jalan Silang (in the area between Chinatown and Little India)
Fish, chicken or pork/pig intestine/tripe porridge (congee) and poached chicken. Another of those places that has been around for ever. (Only open in the evenings)
10) Hawker stalls at the Madras Lane market off Jalan Petaling (Chinatown)
Very good curry laksa - the hawker stalls here are quite territorial about where customers sit - if you sit at a certain section, you have to order from those stalls! (Breakfast and lunch)
11) Nam Heong Chicken Rice on Jalan Sultan (Chinatown)
This has since become part of a chain so may not be as good anymore. (Lunch. Not sure about dinner. The outlets in the suburbs are open for dinner.)
12) Ipoh Hor Fun at Soo Kee on Cecil Street (Cecil Street is the old name, can’t remember the new one, it’s the lane that links Jalan Petaling to Jalan Sultan in Chinatown). There’s a spin-off in PJ. Ipoh Hor Fun is a noodle dish of flat rice noodles served in a chicken and prawn stock with chicken shreds, prawns, bean sprouts and chives. Prawn wantons and poached chicken are available as side orders (Open for lunch only)
13) Sambal steamed seafood stall on the sidewalk at the junction of Jalan Petaling and Cecil Street (Chinatown). Extremely spicy. Be prepared to wait for a table and your food. It’s open for dinner only. It’s next to a stall which sells “air mata kuching” during the day – it’s a drink of “luo han guo” (googled it and the English term for luo han guo Arhat Fruit), winter melon and dried longans - a "cooling" drink that good for sore throats.
14) Ching Hai Coffee Shop at Tingkat Tong Shin (parallel to Jalan Bukit Bintang)
Good Ipoh hor fun hawker stall. The char siew at the chicken rice stall here is also most yummy. The chicken / char siew rice stall also sells some Hakka dishes – “Mui Choy Kau Yook” (Pork with Preserved Vegetables), Woo Tau Kau Yook (Pork with Yam).
15) Meng Kee, Tingkat Tong Shin (parallel to Jalan Bukit Bintang)
Char Siew and Chicken Rice in the front-yard of one of the pre-WWII terrace houses along the street. There’s also a shop that sells pretty good char kuay teow on the other end of Tingkat Tong Shin (evenings only)
16) Eateries along Jalan Alor (parallel Jalan Bukit Bintang)
Food at the most stalls along Jalan Alor are pretty good. Some are open for lunch, more are open for dinner. There a stall at the junction of Jalan Alor and Jalan Hicks that sells very good yu-tiao and other Chinese fried dough snacks – opens around 3pm.
17) Hakka Yong Tau Foo in Ampang New Village
A traditional Hakka specialty where a mixture of fish paste, pork and salted fish stuffed into various kinds of tofu, bitter gourd, aubergines, ladies fingers, chillies. I normally go to Hoong-Hoong (it’s called Fong-Fong in the Fried Chillies reivew, anyway, it’s the shop furthest to the right if your’re facing the 3 shops) (Open for lunch only)
18) Woo Lan on Jalan Scott in Brickefields
Good steamed fish head in a ginger sauce, guiness-stout pork ribs, fried tofu, honey chicken with ginger, tomyam prawns in a coconut
19) Roast duck at Sunrise in Section 21, PJ
The best roast duck in town.
20) O&S Coffee-Shop in Paramount Gardens, PJ
A popular coffee-shop with a wide variety of good hawker food – Penang prawn mee, char kuay teow, Penang chee cheong fun with prawn paste / chicken curry, curry laksa, yong tau foo and Chinese egg tarts (Tong Kee confectionery).
21) Hokkien Mee (KL style) – Ah Hwa at the coffee-shop near the Shell gas station on Jalan 223 in PJ
Hokkien Mee (KL style) is dish of wide wheat noodles (shaped somewhat like udon) fried in a dark soya sauce with lard, pork crackling, pork, shrimp, squid and cabbage and served with sambal or raw garlic in dark soya sauce. Besides Hokkien mee, there are other stalls selling “tauhu bakar” (grilled tofu puffs with bean sprouts, cucumber and a peanut sauce), “oh chien” (oyster omelettes), ikan bakar (grilled stingray in a sambal sauce).