Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Teochew Kway Teow Soup 小李粿条 at Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
One morning after breakfasting at Fat Mom 肥妈 in Taman Pelangi, I wandered to the kopitiam next door and stumbled upon 小李粿条.
I spotted this bowl of wrinkly fried fish balls and casually asked the boss what these were. "Shark fish balls" the boss said. I was surprised and delighted as I have not come across shark fish balls before in Malaysia or Singapore.
As I have already had a heavy breakfast, I immediately marked 小李粿条 for a visit as soon as possible.
And, so I am back at 小李粿条 the very next day :D
小李粿条 is founded by 小李. The master 小李 in action - unhurried, precise, and swift.
小李 is assisted at the shop by his wife and son, Chee Siong who does most of the cooking now.
小李 the friendly Teochew kway teow soup master. Over 40 years in the business. 小李 is the brother-in-law of 亚华, the founder of the 亚华粿条 brand, now with three shops in JB (downtown, Taman Century and Plentong).
Here's what we had today at 小李粿条.
The dry version of kway teow with an aromatic blended sauce of fish sauce, lard, shallot oil, and vinegar. We can ask for chili paste, sambal chili (with hae bee) and dark soy sauce on request based on our preference.
The bowl of pork bone soup with shark fish balls and fish cake that came with the dry kway teow.
Shark fish ball is a traditional Teochew dish that is rarely seen nowadays. It tastes great! Savoury and sweet, blend of tender and slightly chewy - nice. Biting and breaking the golden brown skin releases a gentle pleasant aroma that bursts in the mouth and runs up the nose.
My bowl of kway teow soup. The broth made with big pork bones and ball joints had good body, and a pleasant savoury flavour. 小李 confirmed that no MSG is used (with all the fresh, quality ingredients, there is no need to).
Everything in the bowl was fresh and expertly cooked. The clean tasting kway teow noodle was slurpy soft and smooth. The liver was just cooked and had a slight powdery mouth feel. The fresh oyster was creamy and juicy. The bouncy slice of lean meat was sweet and tender. It's really a delicious bowl of heartwarming kway teow soup.
小李 let us try 肉筋 which is lean pork with strips of gelatinous rubber band-like tissue.
小李 carefully sliced the meat to extract the 肉筋.
I have eaten 肉筋 at other Teochew kway teow shops before but 小李's skill in slicing the meat created 肉筋 with the best mouth feel that I have eaten so far - sweet tender lean meat strips with curly bands of soft springy gelatinous tissue.
肉筋 is off menu, so remember to ask for it, if you like to enjoy it's extra good bite and mouth feel.
I looked around the stall :D
Plump fresh oysters are standard at Teochew kway teow soup shops in Johor Bahru.
Something seldom seen in Teochew kway teow soup shops - pork brain. Shall try it next time :D
Lard! Freshly made every day.
Other customers' orders.
Kway teow and yellow noodles with a dash of dark soy sauce.
Soup with fish cake and shell fish slices. Note how clear the soup is.
When we were leaving, 小李 declined payment for our meal and only accepted a small token amount at our insistence.
->> 小李粿条 the famous old name in Teochew kway teow soup is definitely a Must Try in Johor Bahru.
小李粿条 is a stall inside Hup Seang kopitiam.
Restaurant name: 小李粿条
Address: 53, Jalan Kuning, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
Hours: 06:30am to 2:00pm (Closed on last Tues of month)
Date visited: 19 Mar 2014
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