PETALING JAYA, May 3 — How do you find a good Ipoh-style kai si hor fun outside of Ipoh? Just be guided by the keen tastebuds of an Ipoh native.
I've been a regular at Restoran MJ Wang for some time. It's my go-to place for the cleaner flavours from Ipoh such as freshly made lai fun and yong liew (or what we call yong tau foo in KL).
This corner coffee shop is a hidden nest of goodies. On rainy days, I'll order invigorating white pepper soup with a mixture of pork ribs, pig's stomach and thick slices of pork belly. You also have the legendary Yang Kee beef noodles here.
A friend who is from Ipoh had recommended the kai si hor fun here. It's a relatively new stall but that piqued my interest.
My curiosity was rewarded with what I consider to be a really good bowl of kai si hor fun.
The star is the broth with its lovely Sunkist orange sheen. It's got a subtle umaminess from the fried prawn shells and heads.
Combine this with the goodness eked by slowly boiling chicken and pork bones, and you have a winning broth that you'll relish to the last drop.
I also appreciated the fact that I didn't suffer from any thirst or swollen lips after I chugged down all of the delicious broth.
For my tastebuds, I felt that it was just the right sweetness... probably from rock sugar used when boiling. For some, they may deem it a little sweet. Again, this is my personal preference.
While the bowl served here is not absolutely perfect (a friend said it did not have enough chives to satisfy that criteria and the chicken was shredded a little too thickly), I felt that the broth with that distinct prawn taste just makes it an awesome bowl I wouldn't mind ordering again. It's also paired with pretty smooth and silky hor fun too.
The menu offered at the stall is simple. There's the basic bowl of shredded chicken hor fun for RM7. If you pair it with prawns, it's RM7.50. You get two medium sized shelled prawns that are fresh but not overly crunchy.
Or if you prefer more protein with your meal, they offer just plain hor fun noodles with a side of poached chicken for RM8.50. The texture of the chicken is decent but not exceptionally smooth. This is served with soy sauce and fried shallots.
What you can do if you're not a fan of the poached chicken is to pair it with a bowl of yong liew from the other stall. That's what I did for my takeaway. Some items like the sar kok liew are unique to Ipoh.
Just use the tongs to pick what you like. There's also the usual lady's fingers, chillies, brinjal or even bitter gourd stuffed with fish paste.
The sar kok liew here has a nice bite, thanks to thick crunchy yam bean stuffed inside it. Essentially it's fish paste paired with cut yam bean that is wrapped with beancurd skin and deep fried.
It's the perfect combination to beat any blues caused by not being able to travel up to Ipoh anytime soon.
Give it a try!
Ipoh Shredded Chicken Hor Fun Stall, Restoran MJ Wang, 1, Jalan 21/17, Sea Park, Petaling Jaya. Open: 7am to 2pm. Days off not certain