Last night, I popped by at Meldrum Walk with Pen/Hemingway Prize winning author John Krich. I wanted to show John some of the heritage hawkers who are faithfully plying their trade here.
One of the stalls we stopped at was Stall 37 - Mr. Foong's oh chien 蚵煎 (oyster omelette) stall. Business was brisk at the oh chien stall on a Monday early evening.
This oh chien stall is run by Mr. Foong 冯, his son, wife and an elderly helper. Today, I didn't see the younger Mr. Foong.
Mr. Foong has been running this little mobile stall with his wife for over 30 years. When Mr. Foong first told me his family name 冯, I replied in an instant "Cantonese?" I was curious how a Cantonese man come to be a seller of this Teochew signature staple for his life's work. Mr. and Mrs. Foong laughed out loud, "My master is Teochew" Mr. Foong shared smilingly. The warmth in his voice and the smile on his bronzed, weathered face, reflected his gratitude towards the source of his craft and livelihood.
Mr. Foong emptying the over dozen fresh eggs into the pan sizzling with tapioca batter and lard.
Mr. Foong tuning the gas jet like a musical instrument. After watching many oh chien hawkers at work, I realised that control of the fire is one of the keys to good oh chien - and perhaps, one of the hardest skills to master.
When the eggs and batter turned golden brown on the pan, Mr. Fong tossed in a handful of fresh oysters.
Our serving of oh chien at RM6.00.
Mr. Foong's oh chien has a slightly crusty brown outside layer while inside it was soft and eggy. It was greasy but not overly so for me (who is very cholesterol conscious).
We had nearly a dozen oysters in our plate, some large and some small but all were fresh, soft and juicy. This was the biggest one.
An old style brass weight (from a daching) used to hold down the polystyrene plates and plastic lined brown paper. (Missing those old school orh peh leaves :S )
I love this oh chien 蚵煎 stall.
->> This is probably the definitive oh chien stall in Johor Bahru. Fresh juicy oysters smothered with a soft egg wrap with slight crisp outside.
Restaurant name: Fried Oyster Omlette Oh Chien 蚵煎
Address: Stall 37 in Meldrum Walk in downtown Johor Bahru (behind Jalan Wong Ah Fook and next to City Square Mall)
GPS: 1.460045,103.764673 / 1°27'36.2"N 103°45'52.8"ENon Halal
Date visited: 13 Feb 2012, 17 Feb 2014