Sunday, 30 March 2014
Char Kway Teow in Kulai, Johor 古来炒果条
William and I went searching for the much talked about 古来炒果条 stall in Kulai. After parking the car at Kulai Centre Point, we tracked down the famous stall quite easily by asking the locals - most people here know about this local favourite.
The sight of the queue visible from a distance and the aroma of sizzling garlic helped us locate the no name street side stall quickly.
We were here at around 6:45pm. A patient queue had already formed and new arrivals automatically asked the lady boss, "Still have kway teow?" I could see the relief on the customers' faces as they make their way to the tables after the lady boss replied, "Still have".
While the lady boss took orders, the boss was quietly focused in churning out plate after plate of char kway teow.
I asked the busy lady boss, how long have they been in the CKT business. "Thirty nine years, we are the third generation", she replied. The lady boss wasn't sure how long her grand dad and father had been in the business before her.
This old CKT stall is an institution in Kulai and clearly very well loved by the locals.
Kulai char kway teow RM4.50
Overall, the plate of CKT was moist though not wet or soggy. It was slick with lard but not overly greasy. The sauce was nicely savoury with no trace of sweet sauce flavour; I like it. The slightly gummy noodles were tender, with a nice mouth feel but lacked charred or caramelized bits as the "wok hei" 镬气 was not strong.
The bean sprouts were expertly done - fresh, just cooked, crunchy and juicy. The boss was generous with the see ham (cockles), which were fresh and just cooked, allowing us to enjoy the unique taste of fresh see ham.
Very basic. No spring onions, lup cheong, choy sum or fish cake slices. Just eggs, taugeh and see ham.
By around 7:30pm, before we finished enjoying our CKT, we heard the lady boss repeating over and over again to customers who just arrived and who called her handphone "卖完了" - the kway teow had sold out.
I found the flavours and taste in this CKT likable. I enjoyed the rustic ambiance and the chance to enjoy a meal that is simple, and yet is so much part of the local residents' lives.
Restaurant name: No name street side char kway teow stall
Address: Jalan Ibrahim, Kulai, Johor
Hours: 4:30pm till sold out around 7:30pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Date visited: 29 Mar 2014
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