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KLANG, May 7 – Following our article in January, we tracked down the char kway teow stall that used to be at Restoran Seng Lee, Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights to Setia Alam. The stall is run by Eng Lee Ling and her husband, Khoo Meng Hian.
This April, the duo decided to give up managing Henan Hawker Food and started to search for a new premises to set up their stall. An obvious choice was Restoran Jie Mee in Sri Hartamas where the wantan mee stall from Restoran Seng Lee had opened.
Unfortunately, after a month of negotiations, they were unable to reach an agreement with the owner of the premises, who wanted them to install an exhaust system that would have cost a whopping RM10,000!
It was a big blow to fans of the char kway teow stall. Many of them had been looking forward to their stall opening at Restoran Jie Mee. Moreover, it would have been a partial reunion of sorts, just like the old days in Restoran Seng Lee.
On May 1, the duo opened at a hawker centre along Jalan Gelugor, Klang. It may be foreign to non-Klang residents, but this is one of the hot spots for food in the middle of Klang town.
The choice for this spot was purely due to its proximity to the couple's home, which is within walking distance. Moreover, Eng advises, she was lucky as another siu chow or small eats stall selling char kway teow had just relocated before she took over the space within this area.
Walk in and you can spot Eng frying up the noodles in the front. Eng prefers to fry it outside her stall area, since this means less fumes and also it helps attract customers from afar.
Occasionally, Eng's father, Eng Kim Soong, the stall's original char kway teow master also helps out with the frying. Most of the time, he spends his time with family in Penang and Klang.
In addition to char kway teow, Eng also sells her home-made honey lemon and herbal tea drinks, as refreshments. In the future, the couple's eldest daughter, Ella Khoo will also be selling chee cheong fun and fishballs at the stall.
Eng's char kway teow tastes the same with its slightly moist texture; thin flat rice noodles or kway teow with prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and Chinese chives.
She is also slowly learning to adapt to how the Klang residents prefer their char kway teow. Usually, they would ask for a darker version with more dark soy sauce, hence she will accommodate their request.
Some have also asked her to add pork lard in her char kway teow but she's told them her version does not include any pork at all, which the customers have accepted, after tasting the wok hei in her noodles.
For those unfamiliar with Klang, a trip down to relive old memories with the char kway teow stall is worth the drive, since it's located at a place filled with an abundance of good eats.
Right next to their stall, you can find an old favourite among Klangites, Nasi Ayam Hiang Kee. This chicken rice stall is famous for its roast chicken or tender pieces served with an aromatic clear sauce reminscent of chicken broth.
Pair it with fragrant chicken rice drizzled with sweet tasting dark soy sauce, just like how the locals like it. The rice is served with a big bowl of chicken soup and tangy chilli sauce.
Another must-eat stall is Kah Ping, next to the chicken rice stall, which sells the silkiest thinly hand pulled mee hoon kueh, made upon order. Slurp up the light broth made from ikan bilis, which is given a balanced sweetness with the addition of small prawns.
A bowl of the hand pulled noodles is served with choy sum, slices of tender pork and crunchy fried ikan bilis. On Fridays, people flock here for their red wine mee sua, a nod to the stall's owner's Foochow heritage.
Further up the road, opposite Restoran Langkapuri, you can find the popular wantan mee stall. Be careful, as there are two stalls here, the more popular one is on the side of the wooden shack with a table where they make their wantans on the spot.
The stall draws the crowds with their thin springy homemade egg noodles, tossed in a sauce that includes their homemade broth for a delicious finish.
Nowadays, the stall is run by the second generation of the family. Its tiny tasty wantans with pork mince made by the original owner of the stall is also highly sought after.
Expect to wait for your plate of wantan noodles as the place can get packed. Fussy rules apply at this stall – if you wish to pack home their wantans, please bring your own container.
Char kway teow stall, No. 3, Lot 206, Jalan Gelugor, Klang.
Open: 8am to 5pm (Mondays to Fridays), 8am to 8pm (Saturdays and Sundays).