Kopitiam Hop: Puchong
September 7, 2019
Text by Chee Gee Ren
Our latest Kopitiam Hop brings us to bustling Puchong, with its thriving landscape of local fare, rife with traditional coffee shops that serve much, much more than chicken rice, char siew and char kuey teow.
Foong Lei is an institution for hawker samplings in Pusat Bandar Puchong, with a smorgasbord of stalls that span Hokkien mee to Nyonya mixed rice, the latter helmed by Miss Chin. She has curated a cornucopia of specialities, potentially catering to a niche market that seeks Peranakan-influenced temptations. Mastering her skills through reading cookbooks and watching chefs at work, she has sturdy command of her cuisine - our plate comprised crisp cucur udang, tender curry pork ribs, prawn and petai sambal, and acar (she insisted it's a must-try), costing RM12.50 for the gargantuan portion. The sambal proved to be pungent perfection, while the acar tartly balanced its accompaniments.
Everyday Food Court
Perhaps the quintessential kopitiam offering, wonton mee has a special place in the heart of Mr. Ng, evoking memories of his mother, the mentor from whom he learned to make his staple. His stall, Wai Kee Wantan Mee, boasts a respectable reputation among Puchong’s residents - the noodles are springy with a satisfying bite, while the char siew is downright luxurious, practically melting in your mouth from hours of charcoal roasting.
Restoran Chef K
Restoran Chef K is popular for curry noodles. Its owner, the eponymous Chef Kenneth, crafted his recipe for the Ipoh-style curry noodles with inspiration from his aunt, who worked as a hawker in Perak’s capital. The Curry Noodles with Roast Pork (RM8.50) is a potent concoction of spices, mellowed by lots of coconut milk. Chef K sources high-quality ingredients for the broth, buoying its aromatic flavours. The roast pork showcases crisp skin, achieved without the use of baking soda but by laboriously poking holes in the skin of the pork. The restaurant has recently moved to a new location near its original lot.
Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin
Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin has an illustrious history dating back to 1977, when its founder’s parents opened the original stall in Bukit Bintang, earning reverence as an institution for char kuey teow. When soaring rent in the city centre forced them to close a few years ago, their son was determined to carry on their legacy and continue serving loyal customers, opening this shop in Puchong. The venue is air-conditioned, since the founder wants patrons to enjoy their CKT in comfort. The signature char kuey teow (RM8.90) is worthwhile, packed with prawns and cockles, plus a satisfying savouriness from crunchy pork lard. Another one of the specialties is popiah, a solid snack to be shared.
Hai Siang Kopitiam
Hai Siang Kopitiam is a gem for retro décor, with posters of Elvis Presley and Volkswagen Beetles on its walls and lanterns hung overhead for a nostalgic 1960s vibe. The menu wields an impressively wide repertoire of rice, noodles, toasts and caffeine for the busy crowd of office workers. Sarawak Laksa (RM9.50) is a hallmark, the noodles doused in a light coconut broth with generous toppings. Nasi lemak possibilities are aplenty, with a house special of Nasi Lemak Rendang (RM11.90), which features a fragrant, flavour-packed chicken rendang.
Kopitiam Kaki Bukit
Tucked in a secluded part of Puchong, Kopitiam Kaki Bukit is a sanctuary from the stresses of traffic in this suburb. It’s a portal to a Malaysia of yesteryear, serene and still, with the occasional whirr of tools from mechanics next door. Vintage memorabilia and black-and-white portraits adorn the walls (all belonging to the founder’s grandfather), while classic Malaysian food and coffee to relish over relaxed conversation are meant to rekindle fond memories. The Roti Goyang (RM6.50), named after the jiggle of the two half-boiled eggs over kaya-slathered bread, is a tribute to kopitiam toast - break the runny yolks for a rich dipping to complement the creamy-crisp kaya toast. For fans of instant noodles, the Mi Sedap Goreng (RM6) might be another highlight.
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