Che Jai Meen in Hong Kong

che jai meen noodles

Che Jai Meen is one of the great hawker delights of Hong Kong. It’s literally translated as “small cart noodles” but commonly called peddler noodles.

small cart noodles

These wonderful push carts carries a mind boggling array everything from pork, eggs, veggies, beef, offal and of course, the all important fishball.

che jai meen

You choose the ingredients you want and it’s served up in a huge bowl with noodles and hearty beef-flavored broth.

che jai meen hong kong

This is one of the local delights that you just have to try out. I first saw it in a Stephen Chow movie. Heh. The shop that we went to has very limited seating but that’s part of the deal – it adds to the ambiance.

che jai meen hk

This is Jeanie’s bowl – it has a fish slices, meatballs, sausages, stomach and some vegetables. Each ingredient you choose adds to the total price of the dish.

che jai meen bowl

My very own che jai meen is much more opulent. I think I ticked half of the options that were available and would have gone for more if the cook had not stopped me and said it won’t fit into the bowl. You can barely see the noodles as it is. smirk

peddler noodles

It makes for a very hearty breakfast – the piping hot broth is flavored with a stock that tastes as if it’s been boiling for a long time. However, the beef balls is hands down the highlight of the che jai meen. The huge beef balls practically squirts its juices when you bite into it and it’s springy and chewy. Superb!


Hong Kong does beef balls really well – it seems to be a cultural thing and a pride of the nation…but don’t quote me on that as I gleaned the information from Stephen Chow’s God of Cookery film. 😉 However, it is one of the most delicious bowls of noodles I’ve ever tasted in my life – it ranks up there with the best!

che jai meen us

Don’t forget to order the beef balls when you’re eating from a humble che jai meen stall in Hong Kong – it’s delicious and probably one of the best you’ll taste in the world.


…and if you’re up to it, you can do like the locals do and stick a toothpick in your mouth after the delicious che jai meen meal to clear any pesky debris sticking to your molars. I’ve never seen Jeanie use it before but she seems to have gone native during our trip there. smirk

Penang Asam Laksa @ Pasar Air Itam

pasar air itam laksa

I’ve always been a big fan of Penang Asam Laksa. I prefer asam laksa over the santan (coconut milk) saturated variants out there. Cheryl brought us to the best Penang Asam Laksa in Penang when I was there for the long Labor weekend.

air hitam laksa

In true Penang tradition, the best Penang Asam Laksa lies not in an air-conditioned food court but at Jalan Pasar in Air Itam. The stall is a bit dingy and the seating arrangements nothing more than plastic stools and slightly shabby tables beside a drain.

air itam montage

Appetite stimulated by the authentic smells and ambience, we ordered ice cold five fruits soup (it’s a shaved ice dessert popular in Sibu too, except we call it five tastes soup) and fried popiah with century eggs.

penang asam laksa

The Penang Asam Laksa (RM 2.70 and worth every cent) at Pasar Air Itam did not disappoint – it came in a broth that had the signature medley of tastes distinctive of asam laksa. Tamarind? Check. Lemongrass? Check. Onions? Check. The hearty soup went down really well with its minced fish pieces. It’s awesome-ness!

air itam laksa

I also learned a trick from Cheryl – dipping popiah into the rich Penang Asam Laksa broth is addictive! I’m lovin’ it.

“Over here in Penang, we just call it laksa”. 😉

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