SHAH ALAM, Nov 17 — When it comes to food, I am sometimes stuck in a rut.
Very often, I'm too lazy to even Google new places to try. Instead, I just hit up my familiar spots.
Recently just to shake things up, I explored parts of Selangor I had never been to... like Tropicana Aman.
With vague directions given by the person who recommended this place over social media, I managed to find my way to K2 Kopitiam.
It was a pleasant drive along the network of highways deep inside Kota Kemuning and my reward was my first-ever glimpse of a field of sugarcane with flowers!
It's not hard to spot the kopitiam as it's the only one in this spanking new township. Opened just seven months, K2 is the heart and soul of this neighbourhood; residents, construction workers and even those who work at the nearby international school and property developer come here.
My mission was simple: Try the recommended kai see hor fun and poached chicken rice.
This stall which has been open for two months is run by Brodsky Chong. A self-taught cook, the 33-year-old juggles operating this stall together with doing paperwork at his family's construction firm.
His love for cooking led him to start his own kopitiam in Puchong. However, stiff competition edged out his business since he couldn't get many stalls to operate in his kopitiam.
In order to increase the offerings in the kopitiam, he picked up the skills to make wantan mee.
His mentor was a family friend who taught him how to roast char siew and prepare the sauce for the noodles.
Its taste is similar to the wantan mee served in Melaka, where lard drives the taste versus the sweeter-tasting version that KLites prefer.
Chong explained that he renders the fragrant lard without adding any additional oil.
Even the noodles are lovely with a nice, springy bite. Chong takes the trouble to source the egg noodles from a Jalan Kuchai Lama supplier popular for its springy texture.
The wantans are packed with minced pork with just a slight hint of dried flounder fish powder. Even the soup is delicious as it is made by boiling chicken and Chinese herbs. This herbal scented soup is also served with his chicken rice.
Sadly, after I visited, he told me that it was just too much to juggle making so many items so the wantan mee is no longer available. Moreover, the kopitiam operates long hours from day to night.
Chong prefers to highlight his poached chicken and kai see hor fun. Chong uses the tried and tested method of poaching the chicken in a pot of just boiled water and leaving it to steep.
The chicken is then soaked in cold water, until it's ready to be chopped. This method is usually practised by home cooks but rarely at stalls, since it is time consuming.
With this method, the chicken meat is juicy and moist. Chong also insists on using female kampung chicken (choy yuen kai) for a more tender bite. Pair it with a plate of their fragrant rice, tinged brown as the rice grains are cooked with the chicken fat.
It tastes especially delicious with their minced garlic, laced with oil to prevent oxidation.
For the kai see hor fun, the soup is the star. Chong uses a whole old chicken, simmering it over low heat for hours on end, which results in a soup with a creamy texture and sweet taste. He also ensures the broth is pork-free as most of the kopitiam's diners are Indian.
You may find that the prawn oil served here is a little different as it doesn't have that distinct bright orange hue. Chong explained that he prefers a lighter tasting prawn oil since the soup is the mainstay.
Honestly, the soup doesn't need that sweet hit from the prawn oil, as it boasts a natural sweetness already from that slow overnight simmering.
Chong is constantly looking to improve his kai see hor fun. He is in the midst of sourcing for hor fun from Ipoh. Those flat rice noodles will definitely boost the bowl's deliciousness since the silkier strands can be easily slurped down.
Also within the kopitiam, you will find an Indian stall selling thosai and curries. They also offer a refreshing lemon jelly ice dessert using the soft wobbly ai-yu jelly that is so refreshing.
Finding the place can be a challenge though since the area is incredibly new. Key in the GPS co-ordinates below or just Waze to Tenby International School at Tropicana Aman as the shophouses are just behind the school.
K2 Kopitiam, 27 Jalan Aman Sinaria 7, Bandar Tropicana Aman, Teluk Panglima Garang, Selangor. Open: 7am to 9pm. Closed every alternate Monday. GPS coordinates: 2.9430, 101.5284