KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — Whenever I see a stall selling bak kwa buns, I have to stop and get one. That simple combination of a hot dog bun with the BBQ dried meat, pork floss, cucumber slices and a slick of tomato or chilli sauce always reminds me of the old days.
Maybe because selling bak kwa buns on the street is a dying trade. These stalls that grill the meat jerky on a charcoal fire, can trace their origins back some 30 to 40 years.
In recent times, you do see stalls opening up in coffee shops or even the pasar malam. Some of these offer different variations of the buns whereby it includes an omelette or they swap the soft bun for a crispy waffle.
As far as I can recall, there are probably less than five of these stalls around the KL city centre. Some stall owners do two locations to cater to a wider audience too. Like this particular stall that I favour which you can find at Pudu. It's not the famous one located outside ICC Pudu but another one which is at Jalan Kenanga.
This time, I found him at Salak South New Village where he is three days of the week. I find his bak kwa bun's flavour combination the best. The meat is not chewy but softer. You also get a nice balance of savoury and sweet flavours as you eat the bun. Even though it's not slathered with lots of sauce, the whole ensemble is not dry. If you can, it's best eaten hot from the charcoal grill as you get the slight smokiness.
The bun is priced at RM3.70. If you want an additional piece of bak kwa, it will be RM6.
In addition, you can get homemade herbal drinks from the stall to wash down your snack. Previously the menu was an extensive one with chrysanthemum, pear and candied dates and even ginseng roots. However he now offers one variety which is lor hon gor. This is sold by the bottle for RM2.50.
The herbal drink is a nice treat for a hot day. What I liked was there was a distinct taste of the longevity fruit to keep away any heatiness. A big plus point is the fact it's not too sweet.
If you prefer to visit the stall at Pudu, it is open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can find the mobile stall in the vicinity of Pudu's KWC Fashion Wholesale. It will be parked at the corner of Jalan Kenanga and Lorong Meranti 1, just after the mall. He is open from 6.30am to 10.30am there.
Xin Xiang Ji stall, Opposite Kedai Minuman Salak Selatan Baru, Jalan 22, Salak South New Village, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:+6012-6174156. Open: 6.30am to 10.30am for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.