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PETALING JAYA, March 31 — I've always liked Kampung Cempaka. Just off the LDP in the Sungai Kayu Ara area, it is one of those places where you feel you're walked into a small town far away.
It's also got loads of food gems where prices are cheaper and portions are pretty substantial.
You can find 99 Hometown Curry Mee — a nice, simple stall — located in the owner's house. It's pretty near the commercial area and market which is the heart of Kampung Cempaka.
If you're hopeless at figuring out places like me, just use your Waze to find the house.
You can dine at the place or take away your food, like I did. They offer a variety of noodles such as wantan mee, pork noodles, their version of sam kan cheong noodles using the flat pork balls and curry mee. There is also a small menu of home-style dishes like steamed egg, steamed fish, vegetables to be paired with rice.
Most of the diners here are the village residents. The stall starts early in the morning, catering to those who live nearby who want to grab breakfast before they head off to work.
Zoom in on their signature curry mee. The basic bowl is served with pig's skin, sliced fish cake, beancurd puffs and your choice of noodles.
What's interesting is they serve lai fun here. The rice noodles seem to be a popular item for those who live here.
You can also get freshly made lai fun over at the market's food court. The silky smooth strands go well with the fragrant curry broth laced with coconut milk.
The broth is the type you can happily drink up as it's not too thick or rich to overwhelm your palate. Even with the sambal mixed in with the curry, it isn't too hot.
For the curry mee, you can add on roast pork, char siu or their specialty which is sek pan fish head. The unusual addition of fish head was actually their customer's request.
As the stall served steamed fish head, diners decided to add it to the curry mee and it's now a popular item.
Try it. You will love that unique combination. The fish is cooked to perfection with smooth meat. The best part is the gelatinous thick skin. Just take your time to slowly eat the fish head and you will find little bits of meat on it that taste divine. Some parts do have a little fish scales so watch out when you're eating them.
My only gripe would be, I wanted more pieces of fish! I guess since it's part of a bowl of noodles, they don't add so much.
You can also add cockles with your curry mee but I found them overcooked, maybe from the residual heat in my takeaway. It may be best to add this only when you're dining there if you prefer juicier cockles.
The sek pan fish head curry mee is RM16. A normal bowl of curry mee is usually RM6 only.
I had also bought the pork noodles. Usually a bowl is RM6 but I had added pig's intestines for RM3. The intestines are the layered type, giving you more bite to them. I felt these weren't worth the bother since they weren't too tender. Just stick to the basic bowl of pork noodles.
For my noodles, I had them with loh shue fan or mousetail noodles. The texture of the noodles was really good with a slight bounce. As I had ordered the dry version, the noodles were tossed with dark soy sauce, minced meat and beansprouts.
On the side, they serve a clear broth that is not overly sweet and had quite a lot of ingredients. You have tender pork mince, sliced pork, pig's liver and kidney. Everything was well prepared and no funky smells with the kidney. The liver was a tad overcooked but cut into thick slices which gave it more bite.
99 Hometown Curry Mee, 418, Jalan PJU 1/3, Kampung Cempaka, Petaling Jaya. Open: 6.30am to 1.30pm (Monday to Friday). Tel: 010-3770099. Facebook: @99HomeTownCurryMee