Brickfields Famous Char Kuey Tiaw & Cendol

Brickfields-CKT

Who wants to sit under the blazing hot sun on uncomfortable stools strewn by the sidewalk with loud motorbikes and cars zooming inches away from you while you eat a plate of CKT? Surprisingly, quite a lot of people. I’m not sure if the exhaust smoke adds to the flavor but this no-name stall in Brickfields is packed during lunch. Or so it seems when it was at the sidewalk opposite. Now that it’s at a roomier five foot way, it doesn’t seem that crowded.

Char-Kueh-Tiaw-Brickfields

I’ve been wanting to eat here and my adventurous lunch kaki and her friend jio me today. Brickfields Char Kuey Tiaw is just a stall built with corrugated sheets at a pedestrian sidewalk near my office. It’s a mystery how a place like this received operating permits. I imagine it was grandfathered in back in the days coz you never see stalls like this outside of a permanent structure now. The famous cendol in Brickfields is located right beside it.

Brickfields-Famous-CKT

You need a certain type of person to appreciate the CKT here. If you insist on air-conditioned comfort, Brickfields Char Kueh Tiaw is not for you. It’s sweltering hot, very noisy and quite uncomfortable. I have to admit, I did wonder why people want to put themselves through this. I’m not a huge fan of getting soaked with sweat and walking around for the rest of the workday with BO. But I wanted to try it. They fry each plate of CKT individually and have a sign stating they’re open from 12:03 pm – 9:32 pm. I thought that was hilarious.

Brickfields-Cendol

The cendol is slightly salty due to the unsweetened (or salted?) coconut milk. I like it but one of my lunch companions didn’t. I think the slightly salty cendol is nicely balanced. It’s a lot more interesting to eat this than a one-dimensionally sweet cendol. Your taste buds are a lot more interested and engaged with a sodium tinged cendol. 8/10.

CKT-Brickfields

I ordered the CKT with an extra fried egg (RM 8). I had been warned that the CKT here is not the dry wok hei type of affair. It’s a slightly soggy and moist plate. You will likely be let down on your first bite. The taste creeps up on you. There’s prawns, siham, lap cheong, and crispy fried pork lard – all the ingredients that’s supposed to be in a plate of CKT.

Brickfields-CKT-Us

I prefer eating rice with lots of meat so maybe my verdict is slightly colored by my penchant for flesh. I’m inclined to be more carnivorous during mealtimes to get my protein macros in. It’s not a bodybuilding thing, I’ve always liked eating lots of meat products. Taste wise, it’s alright but not the best plate of CKT I’ve ever had. I give it 5/10 but you may like it more if you enjoy eating CKT.

Tudia! Crabby Fatty Char Kueh Teow @ The Food Bank, Kota Damansara

Tudia Crab Char Kueh Teow

The Food Bank is a collection of Malay hawker stalls in The Strand, Kota Damansara. I eat here quite often since it’s just opposite my condo and the halal options here are limited. Tudia! Char Kueh Tiaw is one of the stalls I frequent. It’s from Penang but it’s not Chinese style CKT – this is Malay style CKT with gravy. They also have a premium option with crab!

Tudia CKT

I like eating Malay style char kueh teow. The first time I came across it was when I started working in KL and frequented the Malay stall behind my office. I thought the gravy was simply mouth-watering! I have had kueh teow ketam in a lot of places since I also love eating crab. Tudia charges RM 6 for their kueh teow but the crab version goes for RM 15 – RM 25!

Deep Fried Crab

Tudia! crab char kueh teow is made by deep frying the flower crab. That’s quite unusual since most places just steam it. I thought it’ll come out greasy or overcooked due to the way it’s prepared but it’s actually quite good. The flower crab is huge too – the claws overflowed from the plate and they gave me a separate one to eat from. Haha.

Crabby Fatty (RM 23)

Crabby Fatty

The price fluctuate according to season, it was RM 23 yesterday. The kueh teow here is awesome! I love the sweet gravy that floods everything. I think it’s made with a combination of peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce and sambal. It’s very savory and sweet and makes you want more. There’s also an egg in addition to the deep fried crab. It’s yummy but not very filling. I had to order a ikan keli penyet (also called nasi lalapan in Sarawak) to fill up.

Tudia HB

There’s quite a lot of meat in the flower crab and I had fun picking at the shell. There was a Chinese couple who just got off work beside me who ordered the dish after seeing me eat it. The bomb ass sauce goes very well with the crab too. This is a problem in other crab kueh teow places since you don’t have gravy to eat with the crab. It’s a little expensive and you should probably go when you’re not wearing a white shirt but it’s delicious!

3 cooks from 3 stalls serving 3 types of food

This is my Top 3 favorite food from just one single coffee shop – D.U. Cafe in Kota Damansara…and it’s all done by locals, no foreigners. smirk

1. Penang Popiah

popiah

Popiah can best be described as a Chinese burrito. Instead of tortilla wraps, a thin wheat paper is used. Finely grated turnips is the main filling, this one has shredded omelet, small pieces of diced chicken with jicama (bengkuang) and chopped peanuts for a bit of crunch.

If he’s in a generous mood, he’ll add 2 cups of pai tee (which they call Singapore popiah – technically, it’s Nyonya cuisine) to your order free of charge. It’s quite filling and the secret home made chilli sauce is numbingly superb.

2. Nasi Lemak Panas

fried chicken

This stall can fry up a new batch of chickens in just 10 minutes. When there’s no cuts of chicken that I like, I’m prepared to wait that long for a new batch. Plus, you can’t beat the taste of fried chicken just out of bubbling hot oil.

RM 5 is a total steal for this – there’s also a fried sunny side up egg included in your order, in addition to the usual accoutrements of nasi lemak. The sambal is awesome too, and if you’re hungry just add RM 0.50 for an extra serving of rice.

3. Pork Rind CKT

pork crackling CKT

Not many places serves char kueh tiaw with pork crackling e.g. the crispy skin of a deep fried pig. This one does. They also load your CKT with heaps of finely diced garlic and chilli, making it taste so *intense* that it’s the most seasoned CKT I’ve ever had.

They’re generous with their clams and lap cheong (Chinese sausage) too. Too bad they don’t have prawns but the pleasant surprise of crunching into the melt-in-you-mouth pork rind more than makes up for it!

3 uniquely Sibu dishes

I’m back in my hometown, eating delicious food you can really only get here – at least, if you want the authentic stuff! :)

1. Char Kueh Tiaw Omelet

CKT omelet

Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it! It has been around for over 40 years (no kidding) and this particular way of cooking it is a Sibu institution. I first ate it as a kid in Kwok Ching Coffee Shop (now defunct) and this is the son carrying on the legacy, cooking it the exact same way.

How do you get char kueh tiaw into an omelet? The CKT is cooked first and even though it’s a simple dish – spring onion and bean sprouts are the only ingredients – it tastes superb in its simplicity.

kueh tiaw omelet

The CKT is dropped on a cracked egg on a hot wok, flipped and served. This technique has been copied by many other cooks in Sibu but there is only one heir of the original and he does it best! This stall is located at Aloha Cafe and it’s only RM 3.30.

2. Twice Cooked Tapah Fish Noodles

foochow fish noodles

There are RM 35 bowls of this stuff out there. I had that with my better half when we came back last time at Min Kwong. I can’t justify eating that all the time so this is an equally good (if not better) version from Y2K Cafe. It’s RM 12 and is cooked in the traditional Foochow style – the noodles are first *fried* before being *stewed* in a hearty soup.

tapah fish

That means you get both the Maillard reaction and caramelization on the noodles from frying in the fiery hot wok, making it taste wonderful, before it’s softened in the rich seafood broth. Infinitely satisfying, and a local classic. You can drink the wonderfully tasty soup after you’ve finished your noodles too – it’s full of flavor!

3. Kampua Mee with Pork Tripe and Pig Liver Soup

kampua noodles

Yup, this is our famous kampua noodles. I always like to add a bowl of pig liver soup to my order (RM 4) coz it makes the noodles taste even better with that rich, mineral-y taste that liver has. I also like pork tripe soup (RM 5) coz of the chewy texture and the acidic dipping sauce it comes in.

pork liver soup

It’s a perfect side dish(es) for kampua noodles – the offal works very well with the slices of BBQ pork in the noodle dish and I always love drinking the soup after I’m done – alternating between the clear pork tripe soup and the dark iron-y pig liver soup with tendrils of liver. It’s always the *first* thing I eat when I come back and this one was at Yum Yum Cafe.

5 things we ate at hawker stalls in Penang

1. Lorong Selamat Char Kueh Tiaw

lorong selamat

I had wanted my better half to try this, since she’s never had it before. It’s legendary for its 1 hour wait and when we were there the crowds were out in force!

crowd

There were no empty spots on tables and people had to stand in clumps beside diners to wait their turn.

plates queue

I was told that it’ll take longer than 1 hour based on the plates and there’s a rule about having to sit down before you can order. The price now has sky-rocketed to RM 10 per plate too! My dear didn’t want to wait and we went opposite the road to eat…

2. Curry Mee

curry mee

It’s RM 7 per plate and the guy told us he has run out of prawns so I think we paid RM 5. It’s still not too bad, loaded with pig’s coagulated blood and the broth is delicious! I wanted to go to the Lorong Seratus Tahun one but I couldn’t find it.

However, we did manage to find…

3. Sin Kim San banana pancake

banana pancake

I thought this was char kueh kak at first and ordered a plate (RM 6). It turned out that the stall sells banana pancakes.

chinese banana pancake

This was nothing special – just a Chinese interpretation of a pancake with lots of eggs and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. My dear makes *better* banana pancakes.

We did manage to eat CKT at the same place though.

4. Duck Egg Char Kueh Tiaw

I like the one near Pulau Tikus police station but since we’re here, we might as well satisfy the craving for Penang CKT. The duck egg version costs RM 4.50 – half the price of the overrated Lorong Selamat stalls.

duck egg

It was good, but slightly greasy. The prawns were fresh and succulent and there’s a huge helping of lap cheong (Chinese sausage) with it.

We were pretty much full at this point but managed to share a bowl of…

5. Ah Soon Kor Cham Lor

ah soon kor har mee

This is a distinctively Penang dish where you mix Lor Mee with Har Mee. The combination gravy is awesome! Ah Soon Kor is famous for their Har Mee (Prawn Mee) but my dear doesn’t really like it so we ordered the mixture instead.

cham lor

You can see the two different and distinct bases mixing together in the color of the gravy which makes it look like the yin yang symbol (if you squint hard enough ;)). It has lots of interesting goodies like deep fried shrimp and roasted pork belly and I thought it was good. We couldn’t finish it though coz we had so much food.

However, since we didn’t manage to eat the Lorong Selamat CKT I put as #1, here’s a bonus to fulfil the 5 dishes we ate in Penang.

Bonus: New World Ice Kacang Special

new world

I’ve eaten this a lot of times before. I like the tropical fruit mixture compared to the Penang Road cendol. It’s a very popular stall that serves drinks for the New World food court and their flagship costs RM 5.

ice kacang special

There’s atap chee, kidney beans, corn, papaya, bananas and lots of other fruits inside this shaved ice dessert, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

ling hb

It was a good weekend escape to Penang to relax and eat some food. We stayed at Traders Hotel, which cost us RM 800+ (more about that soon – there’s an interesting story behind it) and came back on Sunday rejuvenated.

Scratch that, we actually both caught the flu and fell sick but it’s a good vacation nonetheless! :)

Breakfast of Champions – Char Kueh Tiaw

char kueh tiaw

Char Kueh Tiaw is a local fried flat noodle dish
that is my preferred meal to start off the day. I usually eat this for
breakfast (with an extra fried egg on top) and I’ve found that it’s the
best option for breakfast as it can sustain you enough to skip lunch if
you’re busy. I have experimented with various different meals for
breakfast and I eat out so breakfast options are usually limited to
nasi lemak, kolok mee, fried noodles or kaya and toast.

Thus, I usually eat Char Kueh Tiaw even though I would prefer muesli
and milk (but I don’t cook over here, or have a fridge and pantry for
that matter).

What do you usually eat for breakfast?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...