KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — It's hard to categorise these bowls of noodles... are they kai see hor fun or kuey teow th'ng?
Since poached chicken and smooth rice noodles are used, it has to be kai see hor fun. But wait... where is the distinctive orange-coloured prawn oil found in proper kai see hor fun? Maybe not then.
On the other end of the spectrum, this bowl of noodles tastes very much like Penang style kuey teow th'ng with its clear soup made from chicken and pork bones. However, it is missing the quintessential duck meat and fish balls.
Maybe it's a hybrid of both, or just the cook's version of these iconic dishes? I guess at the end of the day, it doesn't matter as long as it's a tasty bowl of noodles... so good, in fact, you want to slurp down the very last spoonful.
Here are three spots in the Klang Valley where you will find just such bowls of delicious noodles:
Little Eat Stall
Standing a head above the rest, this stall serves up a superb bowl well worth the long wait. Regulars flock here on Mondays and Thursdays to relish this well-prepared meal.
The wait can be phenomenal; ranging from 15 minutes to two hours, depending on your luck and timing.
Try to pop by in between breakfast and lunch, say around 10am when the wait can be a little more bearable.
Your reward for your patience: smooth slippery strands and a broth you'll want to drink to the last drop.
Diners also like to lace the broth with the best Shao Xing rice wine from their personal stash. You will also spot bottles of this precious liquid on one table at the side, from their most favoured customers.
It's best to come with a fellow foodie or a group as they only do a minimum order of half a poached chicken. Believe us, it's worth it.
You get smooth poached kampung chicken. But what pushes it to greatness is the accompanying sauce: probably a combination of the best soy sauce with chicken oil and a touch of rice wine.
If you're a single diner here, they do offer a bowl of kai see or shredded chicken with the bowl of hor fun. You can also get lum mee on those days but it's not as popular as the hor fun and poached chicken option.
17, Jalan Beruang, Pudu, KL. Open: 7am to 1pm. Closed on Sunday. The stall runs a different menu each day. Other great eats include their fish head noodles and pork noodles.
Restoran Ipoh Noodle Section 17
Previously known as Restoran Ipoh Chang Jiang, it has now changed its name but still retains the same offerings.
Dine here for their hor fun served with shredded poached chicken, fish balls and pork belly slices. For added flavour, they top the noodles with a spoonful of fragrant fried shallot oil, lard crisps and chopped spring onions.
This makes it more like the Northern style kuey teow th'ng. The broth has a slight sweetness, which makes it easy to finish. We do find that the texture of the rice noodles is not as smooth as the other two spots though.
The poached chicken has a softer texture even though it's distinctly kampung chicken with its signature yellow hued skin.
Here you get the option to bulk up your meal with an extra bowl of meat balls or fish balls. Blanched beansprouts can also be ordered on the side.
They also offer kaya toast and Ipoh white coffee.
14, Jalan 17/1A, Section 17, PJ. Open: 7am to 4pm. Closed on Monday. They also have an outlet at Stall No. 62, Wai Sek Gai, Jalan SS2/62, PJ. Open: 3pm to 11pm. Closed on Thursday.
Kampung Chicken Wantan stall
This stall serves their noodles topped with poached chicken and their own-made wantans that look more like sui kow.
They may not be generously stuffed but it's still a delicious bite with its minced pork and prawn filling. You also have a spoonful of lard crisps with chopped spring onions added to the bowl of noodles.
The star here is their broth. Most places just use the chicken carcasses to boil the soup but here, it's sweetened with the use of pork bones. They also use the larger sized bones that imparts a light milky hue to the broth.
Their poached chicken is good with a firmer bite since kampung chicken is used. Go easy on the accompanying soy sauce though as it's a tad salty.
This corner coffeeshop also has a few good eats. You can get a fully loaded yam cake from the char kuey teow stall.
If you need a cool pick-me-up, the shop also offers a refreshing bowl of chilled ai-yu jelly. When night falls, you have Hokkien fried mee cooked over charcoal fire.
Restoran Goodview Kopitiam, No. 1091, Jalan 17/27, Section 17, Petaling Jaya. Open:7am to 2pm, 5pm to 10pm. Closed on Monday.