5 must-go food places when i’m back in my hometown

I think everyone will agree with me on this: food is one of the first things that come to your mind when you are back to your hometown. There are too much good food at my hometown – SS2, Petaling Jaya and the surrounding region. Think SS2 and some food places will come to mind – SS2 durian, Restoran Murni and Wai Sek Gai (为食街). If i had to shortlist the 5 places i won’t miss each time i go home, this will be it:

1. Lok Mei Tong (六味汤) from SS2 Wai Sek Gai (为食街)

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The double boiled longan based soup is oh-so-soothing, WITHOUT any further addition of sugar syrup when the Lok Mei Tong is put together. The dried winter melon and persimmon strips provide something crunchy and sweet to chew on while drinking the soup. Trust me, you’ll be fishing for these crunchy bits and you’ll down the soup in no time, craving for more.

BTW, the fried fritters from stall no. 1 is very good too.

Address: stall no. 4

2. Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉) in curry gravy from Hong Seng Coffeeshop (鸿诚茶餐室)

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The stall is at the very front of the shop, operating only during breakfast hours I believe. I have been eating this since more than 2 decades ago. The curry is thick and soupy, which is necessary for soaking the Chee Cheong Fun (abbreviated as CCF henceforth). It has a very rich taste without an overwhelming coconut taste. Ever since the introduction of CCF with curry soup, I started to like eating CCF, which wasn’t the case before when it was commonly eaten with dark sweet sauce.

Along with the CCF, one must order the bean curd skin (豆皮), a squarish piece that seems like a cross between bean curd and fried gluten (面筋). The bean curd skin is addictive to chew on, and it becomes even more tasty as it soaks up the curry. I have ever encountered the situation where the person ahead of me took five or six pieces (basically everything) leaving me with no bean curd skin!

Address: Jalan 17/29, Seksyen 17

3. Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉) in Penang sauce and Yong Tau Fu (酿豆腐) from O&S Restaurant (海天茶餐室)

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Yes, Chee Cheong Fun again! This time it is in Penang style dark sweet shrimp paste sauce. Despite how I dislike CCF in sweet sauce, the Penang sauce works like magic when paired with the CCF. The shrimp paste lends a luring complexity to an otherwise monotonous sweet taste.

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There is a constant queue at the Yong Tau Fu stall. I think the success factor is in the fish paste, which is tasty and firm like minced pork, not the soft white colour and bouncy type which I don’t really like. Needless to say, the bean curd used is also firm and fresh. It is served in some soup, which is unusual for Yong Tau Fu, and it’s actually quite nice to eat the Yong Tau Fu along with some soup.

Address: Jalan 20/14, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya

4. Char Siew (叉烧) and Golden Lava Bun (the best translation IMO for 流沙包) from Hee Lai Ton Restaurant (喜来登)

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The char siew is available exclusively during Sunday brunch, and it sells out quickly. Slightly charred but not burnt on the outside, with just the right level of sweetness applied; salty, tender and juicy on the inside. The choice of meat used is more fatty than usual, but if one forgoes being health conscious for 10 minutes, it will be 10 minutes of true bliss with the best char siew ever.

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This remains THE BEST golden lava bun (流沙包) I’ve had, where the ‘lava’ is runny and rich beyond description, and will truly drip (流) as promised.

Address: Level 3, Shaw Parade, Pudu

5. Roti Tissue from Original Kayu SS2

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The claim to fame here must be the roti tissue, which looks like it takes quite a bit of skill to prepare, and no, it’s not just a gimmick, it actually tastes good – crispy, caramelized sugar coated, rich margarine taste and balanced with saltiness.

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The roti boom follows the same formula as the roti tissue and, along with the lentil curry, is very good too.

Address: No. 64, Jalan SS2/10, Petaling Jaya

Honourable mention:

1. SS2 durian

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Durian tastes just the same regardless of where it’s sold, but SS2 became famous for its durian stalls, so much so that there are now purpose-built stalls for selling durians, replacing the temporary tentage from before. The prices are reasonable, and they continue to attract a continuous stream of customers.

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Above: Sultan on the left and Grade AA Mao Shan Wang aka Huang Zhong Huang (皇中皇) on the right. Even though Sultan is already pretty good, it is still far inferior to the HZH.

2. Restoran Chuan Chiew 泉州肉骨茶

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Having been to both the shops in Klang where bak kut teh is said to have originated, this restaurant is the one which we go to instead to have bak kut teh, partly because it’s easier to get to. Along the row of shophouses where this shop is located, there must be at least 3 other shops also selling bak kut teh. We have not tried any of the other shops as we have always been quite satisfied with this one. They have a unique dry version of bak kut teh that comes with slightly sweet thick dark gravy which goes very well with the meat, and with dried octopus imparting a nice fragrance. The soup is refillable and you will really want to drink the soup as it is a very tasty blend of herbs in thick meat broth (like in Japanese Ramen), without any overpowering garlic taste, and it’s actually not salty.

Address: 18, Jalan SS 14/2, Subang Jaya

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