Soon Lai 顺来粿汁 serves one of the most loved kway chap in Batu Pahat, and some say, in the whole of Johor.
Soon Lai kway chap started as a street hawker stall more than 70 years ago before moving into its current premises some 10 years ago. MR Lim, the friendly second generation owner has been serving his popular kway chap since he was a child years ago.
MR Lim serves his kway chap with obvious passion and pride. You can literally feel his cheerful glow as he cuts the meat and innards for his steady stream of customers. Many regular customers come with tingkats (traditional tiered food containers) for takeaways.
MR Lim cutting the braised pig intestines, a staple of kway chap.
Look at that big pot of fried shallots on the left of the picture. These fried shallots and shallot oil do wonders to enhance the fragrance of Soon Lai's kway chap.
Look at the big pots of braised tofu skin and chicken feet in the foreground. Soon Lai's tofu soaking in the braising sauce is loaded with delicate herbal flavours while still retaining a slight crunchiness. The chicken feet which are deep fried and then boiled in braising sauce is a hot seller.
I always indulge in braised chicken feet whenever it is available. Soon Lai's braised chicken feet is among the best that I have tasted.
My favourite is Soon Lai's braised pig lung. The lung felt soft and spongy, and was saturated with fragrant braising sauce. Soon Lai's is the best braised pig lung that I have ever tasted.
A tender slice of pig's cheek - a nice balance of meat, fat and skin.
For Singaporeans who miss pig's blood, you can get your fix with Soon Lai's braised pig's blood.
Soon Lai's kway (rice sheets) is the broad kind that Singaporeans are familiar with. Soon Lai's kway is soft and smooth, yet it still has the subtle grainly texture and feel of milled rice. The kway is drenched in a bowl of broth flavoured with braising sauce and topped with a generous heap of fried shallots. The braising sauce is pleasantly herbal, and is neither salty nor oily. I drank up two bowls of the tasty herbal broth without feeling any thirstiness at all afterwards.
Batu Pahat is one of my favourite towns as has a lot of good heritage food to offer. Soon Lai kway chap 顺来粿汁 is a worthy standard bearer of Batu Pahat food.
Restaurant name: Kedai Makan Soon Lai 顺来粿汁
Address: 6-C, Jalan Fatimah, Batu Pahat, Johor
Hours: 11:00am to 6:00pm
Date visited: 25 Jun 2012