There are so many wonderful food in Malaysia. Food here are usually mixed with influenced from the different races of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan and East Malaysian. One particular hawker food that I think would be quite 1Malaysia is Char Kueh Tiow (fried flat noodle).
If it is Char Kueh Tiow, of course most Malaysian will tell you that Penang is the state that has the best Char Kueh Tiow. This hawker meal might even have first come from Penang. One can find this hawker fare being sold at any local coffee shop in Penang, which is very common. Any of the stall can dish out a fairly good Char Kueh Tiow.
There is this lane in Penang call Lorong Selamat where there's two stalls are famous for their Char Kueh Tiow. One is cooked by a man and another is cooked by a lady.
Below is the Char Kueh Tiow cooked up by the man. Look at the humongous prawn that is used in the dish. Chinese sausage, Chinese chives, beansprout are the must to make this fried flat noodle. Of course, pork lard is used to make it more aromatic and flavourful. You can read more about it here in my previous post. Oh, be sure to brave through the long queue for this popular Penang hawker fare here.
Lorong Selamat (man) Char Kueh Tiow RM 6
Walking towards the end of Lorong Selamat, you will see this fiery woman doing her things in front of the piping hot wok. She's doing non other than cooking up a nice Char Kueh Tiow for her customers.
Taste is not that different for both of their Char Kueh Tiow. Some will say the man make better char kueh tiow while other will say that the lady make a more tasty one. Why not try both of theirs and compare it yourself to see which you like it better. Taste is one very personal thing that is very different from one person to another. Read my previous post to find out which one I liked better.
Lorong Selamat (woman) Char Kueh Tiow RM 8.50 (with more and bigger prawns)
Not traveling to Penang? Not a problem. I won't categorized char kueh tiow as a 1Malaysia food if it can only be found in Penang. Down in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, Selangor, there are many coffee shop that has stall selling this delicacy too.
If you happened to stay in Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya. All you have to do to take a taxi from the hotel to Section 17, which is only about 5 minutes drive from Eastin Hotel and go to Restoran Say Huat for Robert's char kueh tiow (fried flat noodle). Say Huat is one of my favourite place for lunch when I am working on a Sunday. The stall that attracts me here is of course Robert's.
Robert's fried kueh tiow.
It is one of the fried kueh tiow that I found in Kuala Lumpur that is on par with the one found in Penang. Since, I stay around in Klang Valley, so this is then nearest Penang char kueh tiow that I can gets my hands (my mouth) into. Of course the prawn used is not as big as the one in Lorong Selamat but the price is not as high too. Be in mind that the portion here is quite big, so for small eater it's better to order a small portion (RM 4) and share :p. Big eater order a plate of big size (RM 4.50) will do.
Restoran Say Huat
Jalan 17/27, Petaling Jaya
Google Map here.
The reason I say that char kueh tiow is a 1Malaysia dish is because not only Malaysian Chinese like this food, all Malaysian like char kueh tiow too. That's why there's the mamak stall kueh tiow goreng and Malay kueh tiow goreng. The different is that no pork is used in creating the dish. Yet it still taste quite good. There's a Malay stall in HP Tower food court, stall no. 2 I think dishes out some very good Halal char kueh tiow that can put some Chinese hawker to shame.
Speaking of pork-less fried kueh tiow. I have to mention this stall run by a Chinese couple in Restoran Seng Lee. They only sell one dish and that is char kueh tiow. They don't use any pork or pork lard in their char kueh tiow hence you won't find Chinese sausage in the dish.
Taken around 2.30pm hence it's not packed.
During lunch time on a weekday, this place will be packed and almost 80% of the customers eating char kueh tiow. So if you don't want to wait for about 45 minutes for a plate of pork less char kueh tiow then come around 10 to 11am or after 2pm. Usually they closed before 4pm.
Mid sized prawn.
Even though pork lard is not used, but the flat noodle is cooked to fluffiness that the texture is very nice when you put it in your mouth. Generous amount of beansprouts and Chinese chives put in gives it a good natural sweetness. The prawns are not as big if compared to Lorong Selamat, Penang but I can say it is big for Kuala Lumpur standard.
Those of you that is crazy for pork lard might not agreed with me. Although I like pork lard too but I will have to say that this fried kueh tiow without any pork or pork lard if not better is as tasty as those cooked with pork lard. Why not try out something different for once?
The fruit rojak (mixed fruits salad with prawn paste sauce) or Penang rojak that is selling outside the coffee shop is very good too. Most customers here will order one as dessert or appetizer.
Restoran Seng Lee
8-6, Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights
50940 Kuala Lumpur.
Open from 10 am onwards and during lunchtime. Close on Sunday
Google map here.