DUE TO KUALA LUMPUR'S VAST CHINESE POPULATION, RESTAURANTS REPRESENTING THE VARIED CUISINES OF CHINA CAN BE FOUND ALL OVER THE CITY. That said, Chinese restaurants do seem to be particularly plentiful around Chinatown (what a surprise!) and along Jalan Bukit Bintang near the Puduraya bus station.
In particular, Hainanese food is well represented in KL, alongside Hokkien, Hakka and Cantonese cuisines. Anyway, here are some Chinese places you can see in the city:
Ah Koong Eating House: Changkat Thambi Dollah Street, behind Berjaya Times Square Mall.
Ah Koong specializes in things fishy -- fish porridge, fish balls with noodles, fish cakes, and fish paste-stuffed veggies and tofu (aka yung taufu).
As Eating Asia commented after a dine in experience at Ah Koong Eating House last year (2005): "Ah Koong's fish porridge did not disappoint. Really more of a Shanghai-style fan tang (loose rice soup) than a Cantonese-style jook (thick and creamy rice porridge), this generously-sized bowl -- well more than enough for two -- held plenty of big, tender chunks of boneless fish (grouper, I think), seaweed, and lettuce, in an aggressively gingery fish broth seasoned with fried shallots, coriander sprigs, and lots of shredded ginger.
"As fond as I was of the porridge, I had mixed feelings about Ah Koong's fish cake..."
Bangsar Seafood Village: Lot 43873 Jalan Telawi Empat, Bangsar Baru.
One of the oldest establishments in Bangsar, this restaurant is famous for its wide range of fresh seafood. The restaurant has expanded and there are now three outlets in one compound. The main outlet is decorated with simple elegance, while The Hut, has a tropical setting, and the Claypot Corner offers alfresco dining. For an after-dinner drink the Beer Garden is just the place.
Depending on which outlet you choose, you can sample Chinese, clay-pot or seafood dishes. The signature dish of the main restaurant--Baked Crab in Butter Sauce--is delicious. Various soft drinks and beers are available.
The Bangsar Seafood Village is actually just one of a number of quality food outlets set in a beautiful stretch of Nature they call One Bangsar. The Seafood Village is the anchor, which ties down a gourmet paradise representing eight international cuisines (Continental, North Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, French, Italian and local fare). Each of these cuisines has its own pavilion, according to the New Straits Times newspaper. You have been warned. So get up there and sample this sumptuous array of foods, now!
Open Hours: Restaurant and The Hut: Lunch: noon-2.30pm. Dinner: 5pm-1am. Claypot Corner: 5pm-1am. Beer Garden: 4pm-1am.
Bon Ton: 6 Jalan Stonor, off Jalan Kia Peng. Phone: 03/2141 2988/2141 3848.
A Mecca for Nonya and Malacca Straits Chinese food, Bon Ton is housed in a gorgeous old Chinese bungalow. The high ceilings and large windows make this light dining venue the perfect space to indulge in a very distinctly Malaysian cuisine. One visitor embarking on an unabashedly luxurious weekend remarked: "The Bon Ton Restaurant on Jalan Kia Peng offers east-meets-west cuisine such as crab ravioli and papaya long bean salad in a converted bungalow where fans whir overhead and there is a colonial feel." Some other remarkable and remarked upon dishes at this establishment include: Asian antipasti, pan-fried sole fillet, Nyonya laksa (yellow noodles in a thick curry sauce with coconut, prawns, fish cake, quails egg and fried bean curd, spiced with ginger and garlic) and the constantly changing local set menu. If that is not enough, there are also impressive views of the Petronas Towers and frequent exhibitions of local art. Thus has it been remarked -- now find out for yourself!
C-Jade Express: Unit LG-048 Lower Ground Floor,
Mid Valley Megamall. Phone: 603-2284 8113. Writes Pasan Kia on his Malaysia food blog: "Crystal Jade Group is a Singaporen restaurant group began 16 years ago. Crystal Jade open their first Hong Kong style Cantonese restaurant in 1991. They have now diversified it's product lines to Shanghainese, Teochew, Korean, Hong Kong, Cantonese dim sum, steamboat, and even pastry and bread. Crystal Jade also has different restaurant type to cater different product line, including Crystal Jade Kitchen, Crystal Jade Steamboat Kitchen, Crystal Jade Golden Palace, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, Crystal Jade Cakery, Crystal Jade Ginseng Chicken, C-Jade Express and others that I'm not aware of. Most of these Crystal Jade group of restaurants can be found in Orchard Road, Singapore.
"C-Jade Express Restaurant is one of the latest concept from Crystal Jade, the first C-Jade Express open in Wisma Atria, Orchard Rd on November 2005, the second has open in Mid Valley Magamall in December 2005. There are three type of cuisine available in C-Jade Express, i.e. Chinese, Korean and Japanese. You can find some similiarity to Hong Kong Cafe & Restaurant which popular in Malaysia these day (something like Kim Gary).
"C-Jade Express is the second Crystal Jade Restaurant in Malaysia, the first one is Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Lot 10..."
Hakka Restaurant: 90 Jalan Raja Chulan, near Twin Towers. Phone: 603-2143 1907.
Wrote the Guardian newspaper from the UK: "Hakka cuisine from south-east China may not be as famous as Sichuan, Cantonese or Beijing food, but it is a firm favourite with Malaysians for its simple rustic dishes, strong on flavour rather than sauces and chilli. Nowhere is Hakka food better presented than at this vast open-air restaurant (which can serve a staggering 1,000 diners a night) in the shadow of the Twin Towers..."
While the English readers of the Guardian may need some education on Hakka cuisine, Malaysians certainly do not. One institution who knows all about Hakka restaurants in Malaysia is Everyday Food I Love KK. After eating at Hakka Yuen at Taman Cheras, Angeline wrote: "We actually plan to go Caffeinees for dinner but we only going to meet up the other friends at 8pm, feeling hungry at 6pm now, so Habe bring me to this place for some healthy food 'Lui Cha'. I love hakka food cause my mum is hakka, I'm hokkien and got a bit of Baba Nyonya genetic. I grow up eating hakka, hokkien and Baba Nyonya food, I love this food very much. I'm going to have some allergy today cause I'm having tea in my meal, but if it's good then is worth it, haha. This place serve many good hakka dishes, but I don't want to eat too full, saving it for later..."
Another place to eat Hakka food in KL is at Ying Ker Lou Hakka Restaurant at The Curve. (There is another branch at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.) The menu includes Hakka yam abacus, stuffed bitter gourd (I love it in Vietnam; here it is presented in the Hakka style), braised pork belly and so on.
I am not sure this is really authentic, but there is a place in Kuala Lumpur called the Hakka Republic Wine Bar and Bistro. Serves the best beef in town, according to one reviewer on Trip Advisor.
Happiness Star Restaurant: 54 Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas.
This restaurant, established by a Hong Kong chef, has gained popularity as the place for good Cantonese meals. The Chinese decor features dining sets of marble-top wooden tables and chairs, as well as quaint Chinese paintings on the walls. The cheong sam clad staff provide friendly and efficient service.
The extensive menu includes vegetable, chicken, beef and pork dishes. Two of the most popular items are Baked Spare Ribs with Special Sauce and melt-in-the mouth Steamed Bean-curd with Spring Onion Sauce. Various soft drinks and fruit juices are also available.
Open Hours: Lunch: 11am-3.30pm; Dinner: 6pm-10.30pm.
Hian's Seafood Porridge: Restoran Hoong Pin, Overseas Union Garden (OUG).
Prawns, fish and squid feature in the Chinese rice porridges (congee) served at Hian's Seafood Porridge.
Hokkien Noodles: Corner of Hong Leong Bank, Petaling Street.
If the long queues are anything to go by, this place is hot.
Hon Kee Porridge: Opposite Hong Leong Bank, Jalan Hang Lekir, Chinatown.
If you are looking for a hot steaming Chinese meal at 5am, Hon Kee Porridge opposite Hong Leong Bank in Chinatown will be able to sort you out. The stall is open from 4.30am to 1.30pm, and rice porridge is the theme. Mixed in with rice porridge you can find: sliced fish, pork meat balls, shredded chicken, eggs and pig offal.
Herbert Wong, a third generation owner, says his family started the stall in 1945. I think I have walked past the place but I didn't stop to sample the wares. Next time I am in the neighborhood, I will check it out!
Janbo Seafood Restaurant: 22-24 Jalan Radin Tengah, Seri Petaling. Phone: 03/957 7842.
36-44G Jalan 5/101c (off Jalan Kaskas), Taman Cheras. Phone: 03/9130 6009.
1st Floor Wenworth Hotel, Jalan Yew. Phone: 03/9283 8667.
Chinese seafood at its best, at three locations in Kuala Lumpur. The first Chinese character of this restaurant chain's name (・ｽ・ｽ) means "rare" or "unusual", and Janbo certainly lives up to its unusual name. One of the best things about this restaurant is the flamboyant names of the dishes. On the menu you will find items like Fookchow style mini buddha jump over the wall and Fookchow style four treasures red wine paste chicken. On a more conventional note, there are plenty of Chinese seafood classics here, inlcuding shark's fin soup, braised sea cucumber, fried prawn, baked lobster and sweet and sour fish. There are also wedding packages -- for 398RM you can get a nine-course meal including tiger prawns, steamed hai huang and hong si fish with soy sauce, and iced longan, sea coconut and mixed fruit. Australian abalone also features on the menu. If you are holding a wedding here, there are karaoke facilities and MC support.
For a map of how to get to Janbo Seafood Restaurant, click this link.
Jin Man Restaurant: 71 Jalan Dato Haji Harun, Taman Taynton View, Cheras. Phone: 03/9133 1697.
Cho Yeng Heng's venture into the food business started at an early age when he helped his father make fish balls for sale in the Pudu market in the late 1970s. He now runs the popular Jin Man Restaurant in Cheras (with a branch at Shah Alam), still specializing in fish balls. According to the Sun2Surf.com: "Cho is very particular about the freshness of the parang fish he uses for the fish balls. He says that if on a particular day the fish is not fresh, he would take the day off."
Yes, Jin Man is that kind of restaurant!
Some of the dishes you can expect to find at this place: fish ball noodle soup, thong choy (a preserved vegetable used to flavour soups), and dry konlo noodles. If you want an extra fish ball it will cost you 40 sen which is nothing, even in Malaysia!
Koon Kee Wanton Noodles: Petaling Street.
Petaling Street is where the action is for Chinese food.
Journey Malaysia reports: "This old establishment is a little more than a hole in the wall, on Petaling Street itself. The waiters are a little grumpy and you may have to repeat your order a couple of times but it's worth the hassle. One of those few remaining old coffee shops in the vicinity. Closed in the evenings."
Kuak Nyuk Loong: 50 Jalan Raja Abdullah on corner of Jalan Yap Ah Shak, one block from Jalan Dang Wangi. Phone: 03/2691 2713, 016/386 7113.
Popular for its kuey teow (semi wide, flat rice noodles), fish balls, tofu, chicken dishes and so on.
According to the Malaysian Sun newspaper, owner Kuak Hon Moh opened his first stall in the late 1960s. He moved across Kuala Lumpur, dispensing his noodles with springy fish balls and fish cakes and fried pork and tofu and steamed chicken. Now he has ditched his hawker days and established himself as a permanent restaurant. But the food is as tasty and distinctive as it always was.
Lai Ching Yuen: The Regent Kuala Lumpur
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang. Phone: 03/241 8000.
It is jacket and tie dress only at this exclusive and upmarket Cantonese restaurant. Some truly gourmet items are on the menu, such as shark fin soup and bird's nest soup, abalone, pigeon, chicken, duck, and barbecue specialties. Inside the pavilion-like dining room, the decor is sublime: illuminated glass etchings, modern Chinese art, silver panels, a Burmese teak ceiling, and silver-and-jade table settings. Traditional music on Malay instruments accompanies dinner and the diners as they dine. Reservations essential.
Old China Cafe: 11 Jln. Balai Polis. Phone: 03/2072-5915.
This charming cafe/restaurant at the bottom end of Chinatown is in a guildhall that was built at the turn of the last century, and its large mirrors, tables and chairs, porcelain pieces, and memorabilia are from that period. The Pinang-born chef offers a delectable range of Nonya dishes, including curry kapitan (chicken in spiced coconut milk) and udang asam pedas (prawns in sour hot gravy).
Oriental Bowl: 5-7 Leboa Pudu Kuala Lumpur. Phone: 03/2032 5577.
This is a well known and very health conscious (・ｽ・ｽV・ｽ・ｽ・ｽ・ｽ) Chinese restaurant in KL. The Oriental Bowl specializes in double-boiled herbal soups which do everything from cleaning the blood to rebalancing Yin&Yang energies and helping the liver. The restaurant is located right above a Chinese herbal shop and is a great place to dine after long hours hunting for herbal medicines in Kuala Lumpur. Check out some of the elixirs on the menu at this gem: Indonesian bird's nest soup, American Wild Ginseng and kampung chicken soup, cordyceps soup, antelope's horn and mak dong soup and burdock and old tree dates soup.
According to writer Eu Hooi Khaw: "Bird's nests are known as the queen of tonics and are rich in calcium and other minerals. They are good for the lungs, the spleen, the digestive system and the immune system. Those at the Oriental Bowl come from the caves deep in East Kalimantan, near Pontianak.
"In the past seven-tiered junks from China have sailed in the command of Admiral Zheng He to these waters and collected bird nests as gifts for the Chinese emperor," says Kenny Chen.
The Oriental Bowl is known for their "lang tong" or fine soups. It all began with those buying herbs from Soon Hing Cheong the House of Ginseng downstairs and requesting the owner Kenny Chen to provide a service of boiling the soups for them.
"Now you can sit in the cool restaurant furnished with marble-topped tables and coffeeshop chairs, and sip the Dancing Buddha Soup like we did. It's like a mini Fatt Thiu Cheong, brewed with wild American ginseng (pau sum), pike maw, sea cucumber, dried scallops and kampung chicken. It・ｽfs a soup to replenish qi and boost blood circulation, and strengthen bones and cartilage.
"Photographer Choo Choy May and I had two more soups — the Double-boiled Ginseng and Chicken Soup, and the Dried Scallop, Baby Cabbage and Bamboo Fungus Soup. The first is to stimulate physical vigour and blood circulation and eliminate heat. The other is reduce blood pressure, strengthen the heart and detoxify the system."
If you really need it and can afford it, Oriental Bowl sells porcupine dates, extracted from the insides of porcupines. It is apparently very good for people with serious illnesses.
Oriental Bowl has been recommended by one Japanese citizen working in the alternative medicine field. The write claimed regarding his recent trip to the restaurant: ""
Paris SS2: Jalan SS2/24, Petaling Jaya.
A restaurant with a French name and a very Chinese taste, out at Petaling Jaya. Says Banzai: "Situated at the fringe of SS2 and Seksyen 17, always packed to the brim with people. Only open at night. Expect fast and furious cooking and clearing of tables (you'll know what i mean when you see it). Not exactly very clean. Seems like they are not happy if your only 'fish' ordered is anchovies and the only prawn ordered are the har mai (small shrimps prepared Chinese Style).
"Serves quite good Chinese dishes. My faves are frogs legs with Kong Pou sauce, the usual fish, the prawns and the vegetables. Not had a single bad dish yet.
"Where it is near: near Yamaha school, next to Jasmine tower condo and behind the rest of the other condos like Ken Damansara / Casa Damansara. If you don't know the way, best way in is to come down Jalan SS2/24 from the Rothmans Roundabout. At the first traffic light, make a U turn and on the first turning to the left, take it. Drive for 1/2 km, you will see a school on the left hand side and Paris on the right hand side."
Restoran Claypot n Pan: 14 Jalan SS 2/10, Petaling Jaya.
I found this recent review on the excellent site for Chinese/Malaysian food, CharKueyTeow.Com: "We were driving around the Chow Yang area wondering what to have for dinner when we spotted a new establisment, Restoran Claypot n Pan. Since we had not had claypot chicken rice for quite awhile, we thought we would give this place a go.
"The claypot rice comes in two sizes large at RM10 and small at RM5.50. What I liked about the claypot here was the generous amount of garlic thrown on top of the rice to give it an extra oomph. For those who like salted fish, you will need to add RM1.50 for a relatively large serving of salted fish.
"The rice was very nicely cooked as each grain rice was well separated and not sticky. Oh yes, they only have one variety of claypit chicken rice but they do it quite well, so it's well worth a visit.
"We had a pepper pig stomach soup (RM 3.50) which tasted really good except that the pig stomach was too soft. It had probably cooked for a very long time. The plate of stir fried vegetables (RM5 for a small plate) was not bad as well."
Shook!: Basement Level, Starhill Shopping Centre, Jalan Bukit Bintang. Phone: 03/2716 8535.
Samantha from England commented upon this joint: "Liked this place so much, went back three times, would highly recommend it, the menu is so big, it's like a book, you can have Chinise, Thai, Italian and lots more. The only problem is, you want something from every menu, hence why we went back three times."
Super Noodle House: Lower Ground, Sungai Wang Shopping Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/2142 4729.
Located at the entrance of this busy shopping centre is this equally busy restaurant, which is never short of diners. The exterior is charmingly done in a red and green oriental style. The warmly lit interior is simple with a long mirror pasted on one length of the wall to give a spacious feeling to the otherwise table-packed restaurant.
There is an overwhelming variety of noodles and congee featured on the menu. The variety of accompaniments includes roasted chicken or the more extravagant sliced abalone. Drinks served include soft drinks, fresh juices and Chinese tea.
Open Hours: 11am-11pm Mon-Fri; 10am-11pm Sat; 9am-11pm Sun.
Tai Thong: 51 Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi (amongst other places). Phone: 03/262 4433.
This is supposed to be one of the best Chinese restaurant chains in the city. However, according to one disgruntled reviewer: "I am interested to know what the big deal about this place. Had dinner with the family however we were not pleased to dine with a couple of cockroaches at our table.
"The waitresses were kind enough although they should improve the proficiency in Engligh or at least Malay.
"Food was awful! Had tasted better in Melaka or even in Klang. The mgmt should consider diversifying their chef's talent to incorporate more spicy dishes."
Tang Palace: Dynasty Hotel, Level 3 & 3M, 218 Jalan Ipoh. Phone: 03/4043 7777 (ext 3340).
Dine like an emperor amidst the majestic splendour of the Tang Palace, Dynasty Hotel's premier restaurant. Serves traditional Cantonese and Szechuan specialties.
Teochew Restaurant: 270-272 Jln. Changkat Thamby Dollah, off Jln. Pudu. Phone: 03/2141-5851.
Another upmarket selection, worth a try if you are serious about real Chinese food. It's popular on weekends and holidays, when 100 varieties of dim sum are served for breakfast and lunch. Typical dishes include noodles made entirely of fish; sea cucumber stuffed with scallops, crab, mushrooms, and water chestnuts; and sizzling prawns. Try also the oh wee, a sweet yam dessert with ginkgo nuts that's served with tiny cups of bitter Teochew tea (from which this restaurant gets its name!) Reservations essential.
Toh Lee Chinese Restaurant: Hotel Nikko.
Known for its all-you-can-eat weekend dim sum. Besides a spacious main hall, the restaurant also has six private rooms.
Toong Kwoon Chye: At Jalan Bintang, across the road from Century Hotel on Jalan Bukit Bintang.
Says Journey Malaysia: "Another great place for wonton noodles with barbequed roast pork. Been around for years and is now run by 3rd generation of the family. Also serves up pretty good Herbal Duck Drumstick Noodle soup and yin yang toast. Open 7.30am-7.30pm."
Wingcourt Restaurant: Plaza Phoenix, Cheras.
According to Philips, this place is good for curry prawns and Hong Siew pork legs. "Spicy and creamy prawns you won't find anywhere else. Long gone the shopping mall there but the restaurant survives. Expext to go into almost empty multi-level parking except the fifth floor where the restaurant is. Close (sic) on Tuesday."
Wong Ah Wah Chicken Wings: Jalan Alor.
Do you like chicken wings? I thought so! Journey Malaysia says: "This is located at Jalan Alor and has been making a really big name for themselves as the best grilled chicken wings in town. The Hong Kong and Taiwanese tourists love this place. They have expanded the operations to cater for seafood enthusiasts by adding deliciously prepared seafood dishes to their list."
Woo Lan Restaurant: 19 Jalan Scott, Brickfields. Phone: 03/2274 8368. Map: http://sun2surf.com/articlePrint.cfm?id=818.
Famous Chinese food joint famous for its speciality mee sua noodles dish, among other popular favorites. Its biggest drawcard, however, is steamed song yee tau (steamed silver carp fish head). The claypot fun si prawns and braised pork legs are also popular. If none of these fine sounding dishes take your fancy, you can always settle for Woo Lan's renowned paper wrapped herbal chicken.
Yook Woo Hin Coffee Shop: Jalan Petaling, Chinatown.
Like Noodlepie over there in South Vietnam and CodeRot in Japan, Eating Asia is a foreigner and whiteskin who has attempted to make a home in Asia. She has also become soemthing of a legend for her gastronomic romps across the Asian continent, and her almost encyclopedic knowledge of Asian food. If you want to develop your appreciation of Asian culture and cuisine -- and see some great photos from places like Petaling, Bangkok and even Bhutan -- check out her weblog. Eating Asia is currently based in Kuala Lumpur, and is naturally well versed in all the cool places to hang out in Chinatown and beyond. One of the places that she especially digs, is the Yook Woo Hin coffee shop.
Eating Asia spake thus: "The average tourist could be forgiven for thinking there's not a lot of interest in KL's Chinatown. Jalan Petaling, Chinatown's main street and the one that seems, by observation, to lure the most visitors, is lined by a tedious assortment of clothing, cheap watch and trinket, and kitschy goo-ga stalls. Walking down the middle of Petaling, I get the sort I-could-be-anywhere-in-Asia feeling that would make me want to run screaming back to my hotel room, if I had one.
"But, if you duck behind the vendors and walk the sidewalk you'll find that Chinatown is, in some part, still there. An entrance to the dim aisles of the wet market (pretty much over by 10:30am), with its fish and pork and chicken (live, if you wish) and fresh tofu vendors juts off Petaling (it's marked by a roast pork stall). And there are a few atmospheric old coffee shops. Yook Woo Hin is one of them.
"Yook Woo Hin is a typical (and, to me, loveable) Chinese coffeeshop - dimly lit, loud, staffed by stone-faced waitresses (though they'll crack a smile if you do first) who seem to have been there forever and populated by neighborhood oldtimers who've been taking their meals there even longer. It's been dishing grub and coffee for some 50 years, and by the settled-in looks of it, will continue to do so for another half century. Get there before 9am and you'll have a choice of dim sum (the deliciously sturdy, belly-filling coffeeshop kind, not the dainty, delicately flavored restaurant kind). After 9:30 you've a choice of noodles, fried rice, char siew (BBQ pork), and various stir-fried dishes.
"We came for the seafood Cantonese noodles (a mixed meat version is offered as well), and decided to make a meal of it by adding a plate of greens stir-fried with garlic and an order of lam yee kuat (spareribs in fermented soy bean). Dishes come out of the kitchen just one or two at a time, so this is not the place to go if you're in a hurry. Sitting at the back of the shop, we were obliged to hungrily eye everything headed for other tables for the 25 minutes that we waited for our order (observation: the fried rice is very popular here)...
"When ordering our Cantonese noodles I neglected to specify crispy, deep-fried yee meen noodles, so we ended up with fresh rice noodles instead. No matter. The wide, thick, and very chewy noodles had been first stir-fried with dark soy and then topped with large chunks of firm white fish, a few small shrimp, slices of carrot, thin coins of ginger soft enough to eat, and enough choy sum to make a greens lover like me exceedingly happy. All was swimming in a mild gravy thick with egg yolks and whites. (The white pepper in the photo is our addition). If I lived in the 'hood these noodles - delectable, satisfying, oh-so-comforting - would grace my brunch table at least five times a week."
Yut Kee Coffee Shop: Jalan Dang Wangi, on the corner just opposite the Wilayah Complex.
Journey Malaysia claims this is a great place to go for hailam noodles. It is also well known for its lum meen, Hainanese chicken chop and roti babi. The place has been passed on from one generation to the other so the secret of superb cooking is still very much alive within the family. Closed on Mondays and in the evenings.
And some more Chinese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur:
Ah Tuan Ee's Place: 3rd floor 03-115, Berjaya Times Square. Phone: 03/2142 4199. Ah Wah Chicken Wings: Jalan Peel (opposite Carrefour), Cheras. Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant: 1st floor Swiss Garden Hotel, 117 Jalan Pudu. Phone: 03/2072 6688. Ah Yip Herbal Soup: 1st floor Citrus Park Plaza OUG, Taman OUG, Jalan Kelang Lama. Phone: 03/7980 8646. Celestial Court: Hotel Imperial Sheraton, Jalan Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/468 9900. Char Siew Rice: Jalan Alor (opposite La Bodega), Bukit Bintang. Chef Rasa Sayang Sharksfin Restaurant Sdn Bhd: 194 Imbi Road. Phone: 03/244 1193. Fortune Palace: Melia Kuala Lumpur
16 Jalan Imbi. Phone: 03/242 8333. Fu Gui: Hotel Istana
73 Jalan Raja Chulan. Phone: 03/241 9988. Golden Phoenix: Hotel Equatorial
Jalan Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/261 7777. Hakka: Lot 1-3, Jalan Telawi Satu
Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru. Phone: 03/282 4211. Hakka Restaurant: 6 Jalan Pinang. Herbal Soup House: 19 Jalan Telawi Dua
Bangsar Baru. Phone: 03/283 3188. Hunan Garden: The Crown Princess Hotel
City Square Centre, Jln Tun Razak. Phone: 03/262 5522. Ipoh Chicken Rice: Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya (near Catholic high school.) Lim Ho Prawn Mee: Corner restaurant of the SS2 Center, Jalan SS2, Petaling Jaya. Low Yau Kee: 82 Jalan Tun HS Lee. Marco Polo: Wisma Lim Foo Yong,
86 Jalan Raja Chulan. Phone: 03/241 2233. Meisan: Holiday Inn City Centre
Jalan Raja Laut. Phone: 03/293 9233. Ong Lai Restaurant: Corner of Jalan Raja Laut and Lorong Tiong Nam. Oversea: 84-88 Jalan Imbi. Phone: 03/248 7567. Parkroyal Court: Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/242 5588. Restorant Hup Yick: 30 Jalan Yew, Pudu. Phone: 03/221 5564. Ritz Carlton: Boasts a good dim sum joint. Shang Palace: Shangri-La Hotel
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/232 2388. Shanghai Restaurant: JW Marriott Hotel, Jalan Bukit Bintang. Phone: 03/926 8288. Six Happiness Restaurant Sdn Bhd: Komplek Wilayah
Jalan Wang Dangi. Phone: 03/291 5666. Soo Kee: Imbi Rd. (Cze Char joint.) The Blossom: Swiss Garden Hotel
117 Jlaan Pudu. The Museum: The Legend Hotel
110 Jalan Putra. Phone: 03/442 9888. Unicorn: 1/F, Annexe Block
Lot 10 Shopping Centre
Jln Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/244 1737. Xin Cuisine: Concorde Hotel
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail. Phone: 03/244 2200. Yee Foong: Ground floor Melati Flat, 24 Jalan Loke Yew. Phone: 012/212 9596.
c h a r + k u e y + t e o w
WHEN I WAS WORKING AT THE NORTH SHORE TIMES IN SYDNEY'S CHATSWOOD REGION IN THE LATE 1990s, MY COWORKER ALEX INTRODUCED ME TO THE DELIGHTS OF KUEY TEOW. As he told me back then: "This kuey teow is so nice, it is incredible!" At the time Chatswood was one of the centers of Chinese civilization in Australia, and there I was getting turned on to some other Malaysian/Chinese delicacies, such as chicken laksa. Anyway, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but I still consider char kury teow to be one of the finest dishes in the whole world. There is something about the combination of thick noodles, chicken or duck egg, chilli and seafood and pig lard which speaks to the soul. Or at least, it speaks to the stomach -- in particularly flattering and lovely words!
On Things Asian, Vincent Kok writes: "Kuey teow in essence is fettucine except that it's made from rice flour. Char kuey teow is fried kuey teow in Hokkien. So char kuey teow is fried flat noodle.
"Char Kuey Teow has been in existence as long as my mum was a kid and maybe even her mother before that."
On CharKueyTeow.Com, an anonymous reviewer has gone to the trouble of recommending the best places in all of Malaysia for char kuey teow (to be henceforth known as CKT). These are places where the CKT is so nice, Alex Brown from the North Shore Times should give up his Australian citizenship and immigrate to Malaysia! And the recommendations (some of them of nameless restaurants, I am sorry to say) are:
Champ's: Centrepoint, Bandar Utama. Phone: 03/7722 5800.
Champ's stands for "Champion CKT!" According to the CharKueyTeow.Com reviewer, this place has even better CKT than the famous restaurants of Penang: "And now for the review of their Char Kuey Teow (RM15.90). Stir fried to perfection with four big prawns, crab meat, cockles, lap cheong & lard on top of banana leaf - it's got all the right ingredients and the right taste as well. I love it! It's excellent. It's really like what you would get from Penang. In fact, it's better than some of those supposedly famous Char Kuey Teow in Penang."
Kedai Makan Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin: 2 Jalan Rembia (off Jalan Tong Shin).
Wrote Babe in the City on her great great blog: "Should you happened to be in the golden triangle, do drop by Kedai Makan Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin. This particular husband-and-wife team has been in business round a corner lot along Tengkat Tong Shin (opposite Radius International Hotel) aeons ago and they're still popular in Kuala Lumpur as ever.
"Their char kuey teow packed a punch with enough wok hei (heat of a wok), generous ingredients and of course the right amount of oil and sauces that emits a very very fragrant aroma. They opens (sic) from noon till 2.00 am but try not to be on the dot at noon, sometimes the couple are not in the shop yet. Their helpers will tell us that their bosses are still sleeping and we need to wait for a short while before the couple come downstairs to char the kuey teow."
Weng Heng Coffee Shop: Jalan Imbi, opposite the Honda Showroom and round the corner from Sakura Restaurant. Journey Malaysia claims this place "serves the best pork ball noodles in town." Of course, only the good locals of Kuala Lumpur can decide if this is true or no -- I can only speculate! Journey Malaysia goes on to write: "And not to mention (this is one) of the best places to go for a piping hot plate of Penang kway teow. If that's not enough, the popiah is superb too! However you'll have to order this dish from the old man who runs his little stall just outside of the shop. It gets really crowded during lunch hour so go early."
Some other recommended CKT places are:
Jalan Alor: Restaurant is near the Istana Hotel, opens from dinner onwards. Jalan Batai: Damansara Heights. Jalan Imbi: This restaurant is roughly opposite the Overseas Restautant, and can be found at the end of the same row as the famous Sakura. Nelson's Char Kuey Teow: Old Klang Rd, Kuchai Lama, Salak South. This is basically a stall outside the Salak South market. Restoran Cheong Hua: Crossroads of Jalan Thambypillai and Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Brickfields. Has been called "probably the best in KL" for CKT. As many people know, Brickfields is one of the centers of fine dining in Kuala Lumpur! Restoran Yit Seang: Crossroads of Jalan Thambypillai and Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, across the road from the aforementioned Restoran Cheong Hua. Restoran Sri Oriental: Jalan Thambypillai, Brickfields. Restoran off Jalan Tun Sambathan 4: Near the 7-11 store, in Brickfields. This restaurant is said to serve charcoal-fried CKT which includes duck rather than chicken eggs! And as Vincent Kok has reported: "Duck eggs are said to add more oomph to the dish." Tin Wah Coffee Shop: Old Klang Road, next to the May Bank.