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!

Chicharon (deep fried pork rinds) in Philippines

pork chicharon

Chicharon is pork crackling or deep fried pork rinds in Tagalog. I got this pack in Manila for 30 Philippine pesos (about RM 2). This is sold as a snack in ’90s style popcorn packaging. Well, at least popcorn was packaged that way in my hometown of Sibu at that time and sold in bakeries (!!!).

The price for chicharon can range from 10 PHP to either side, depending on the brand. Also, the price can change from vendor to vendor for the same thing depending on how much they reckon they can rip you off for. The different brands mostly looks the same, with the manufacturer slipping in a small paper insert to differentiate their products.

chicharon

This one is called Angelo Special Pork Chicharon and comes with a smiling pig, very much oblivious to what he’s about to become by the looks of it. smirk

You can see that it’s slightly wet – the street vendors in Manila will offer to open and douse the packet of chicharon generously with vinegar from a dodgy recycled bottle with a hole at the top. It’s apparently the local way to eat it. I found it quite nice but there’s only so much pork crackling you can eat before you get sick of it.

7fresh

7-Eleven in the Philippines also sells a microwavable chicharon under their 7Fresh store brand. The price is heavily inflated but you can actually bring it back home – I brought back 2 packs, one for my family and one for a friend of mine. I think some people actually do eat it like popcorn!

The fresh ones packaged like the one I had in Manila doesn’t keep too long though – it’ll start to become stale after a couple of hours. You can usually find it where they sell balut. It’s quite tasty though but very, very oily, so if you don’t adore pork, this is probably not for you. :)

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