The Relentless Char Kuey Teow Hunt Continues (Aunty Gemuk’s @ Kelana Jaya)June 29, 2011 | 7,267 views
A classic plate of Penang style Char Kuey Teow; with prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and ku chai (Chinese chives). But bear in mind that this is a ‘halal’ (more to pork-free, but this stall’s parked in a HALAL premise), hence no lard, no waxed sausages (lap cheong).
And if you can recall this recent post on Robert’s Char Kuey Teow in Section 17, you would have known that I can be really, really determined when I am on the prowl for good street food. Blame it on the Ipoh genes or the strong attachment to quality hawker fares from Ipoh/Penang maybe?
Especially when expectations are met with disappointment, over-rated eateries taking precedence due to the overwhelming crowd, stories inflated by media coverage, and people jumping on the bandwagon.
Well, not ALL of Ipoh’s hawker food are of exceptional quality, mind you. But owing to more than two decades of life spent in the tranquil town (some say sleepy, but I beg to differ ….), I just knew where to seek for the above average ones.
Unlike current times; when I’m just like a lost sheep in this juggernaut of a metropolitan; sporting eateries of unfamiliar genres and origins. Let’s cut to the chase; and see how Aunty Gemuk’s (literally translated to Fat Aunt, but that’s not too courteous now, are we?) Char Kuey Teow fares against the likes of Robert’s etc ….
No, she was NOT playing with Play-Doh (do kids still know what is Play-Doh in the 1st place?!). She was sorting our the flat, processed rice noodles (also known as kuey teow, or hor fun) probably for the next day’s supplies.
I was there last week; when the area’s a bustling scene of night market taking place on a Saturday night. Her stall was closed though, about 7pm+. So better not go on a Saturday night then. She’s supposed to operate from morning until night daily, except on Sundays when she closes much earlier.
For RM4.50/USD1.50 per serving (big portion, small for RM4.00 only), the Char Kuey Teow here can rank as one of the more reasonably-priced one in town.
Scary if you’re apprehensive towards eating anything with charred bits, since her CKT came loaded (almost) with burnt bits from the high heat of the wok. Some call this ‘wok hei’
Verdict? Spicier than the usual (maybe catering to the predominantly Malay crowd here), came with few pieces of prawns, lots of juicy cockles (not so fresh, sporting an unpleasant stench) and lots of bean sprouts. Since this is a HALAL eatery, obviously she omitted the lard that gives Penang Char Kuey Teow the distinctive aroma. And no ‘lap cheong’ or waxed sausages, but that’s completely forgivable since Penang’s version does not come with the sweetish sausages anyway.
I felt that the noodles lacked flavours; the ‘oomph‘ factor maybe reduced because :
1) No lard.
2) The plate of CKT was fried within 3 minutes. Top.
3) The wok was not heated to a considerable degree; hence the smoky aroma imparted was not as ideal.
Tom Yam Campur (Mixed seafood Tom Yam Soup) with rice (RM7/USD3.50 per portion) – Not too bad, with prawns, squid, chicken, abalone mushrooms, tomatoes etc. Not spicy at all, but with a distinct piquant taste and a sourish tang from the tomatoes.
Tandoori Chicken (RM6/USD2) per piece, with a side serving of mint chutney which was surprisingly better than the usual watery version served in most tandoori stalls. Smaller serving though; and barely enough to feed one if you’re not taking his naan bread.
But still, for HALAL CKT (Okay, overused now. Should be pork-free CKT instead), I can’t deny that Aunty Gemuk’s version could be one of the better ones. Since Penang Char Kuey Teow usually does not come with the ‘halal’ tag; and a Chinese lady frying noodles in a Halal restaurant is almost unheard of.
1Malaysia at its best; we had Tom Yam Seafood with rice and Tandoori Chicken to complete the ‘feast of unity’ …. ahem.
Restoran Jamal Mohamed opens for 24 hours, but Aunty Gemuk’s CKT closes at about 9pm daily.
And this was how I countered my mid week blues. First day in the office this week, and already facing an onslaught of garbage; enough to throw one off his/her perfectly composed equilibrium.
A greasy & spicy finish to the cool, rainy day. If only KL’s temperature hovers around today’s for good. Then we can talk about porridge, hot soupy noodles and steamboat on a daily basis. If only.
AUNTY GEMUK’S CHAR KUEY TEOW @ RESTORAN JAMAL MOHAMED
No. 24, Jalan SS5A/9
47301 Petaling Jaya
Google Map to this restaurant
GPS Coordinates : 3.095361,101.605483
*Almost directly opposite of Wisma FAM.