Ah Meng restaurant 阿明家乡小炒 is tucked away in a corner just off Taman Sentosa, in quiet Taman Iskandar. Ah Meng is actually the son-in-law of Ah Kaw, the supposed inventor of san lou bee hoon 三楼炒米粉.
Ah Meng's menu is prominently displayed on the wall. There are twenty items on the menu and item number one, numero uno is, san lou fried bee hoon 三楼炒米粉.
As in other restaurants that offer san lou fried bee hoon, every table is bound to order at least one plate of this iconic Johor dish.
Only in Johor is bee hoon fried in this unique way - the outer layer of the bee hoon mound is caramelised by searing it on a hot wok. The resulting caramelised bee hoon is crunchy on the outer layer while inside the mound, it is still soft and retains the seafood broth providing the rich flavour and aroma.
Compared to the other renditions, Ah Meng's san lou fried bee hoon is drier - just a shade below wiry. Kudos to the chef as I feel it takes a higher level of skill to take the dryness so far and yet not cross over to being wiry.
For such a large plate of delicious san lou bee hoon, we were charged just RM5.
For those who like traditional Teochew desserts, you will be pleased to note that Ah Meng also serves or nee 芋泥 (sweet yam paste).
Restaurant name: Ah Meng restaurant 阿明家乡小炒Address: 38, Jalan Sultanah Aminah, Taman Iskandar, Johor Bahru
Hours: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight (closed on Tuesday)
Date visited: 19 July 2012