Address: Stall inside Win Heng Seng 永兴城茶室 coffee shop at the junction of Jalan Imbi and Jalan Barat (across the road from Jalan Imbi Chapel)
GPS: 3.145624, 101.715016
Hours: 6:00am to 2:00pm
When I was working in Kuala Lumpur over 10 years ago (2001), Imbi pork ball noodles 豬肉丸粉 was one of my favourite breakfasts. My then office was just a stone's throw from the corner kopitiam Win Heng Seng 永兴城茶室 along Jalan Imbi.
I am so glad that the Imbi pork ball noodles stall was still here (2015) at a corner in Win Seng Heng kopitiam.
Win Heng Seng kopitiam now sports ugly giant billboards as signboards but the little Imbi pork ball noodle stall was still the same, the way I remembered it. Business at the kopitiam was as frenetic as ever.
Inside the dingy, dim, stuffy, hot kopitiam, people of every community and all walks of life mingle and eat together. I've walked the slick and tacky mosaic tiled floor at Win Heng Seng kopitiam countless times. I was one of the legion of smartly dressed salarymen 打工仔 and OL (office ladies) who eat here in office attire.
I settled down quickly like a local and ordered my usual 干捞 (dry).
The familiar bowl of snowy white kway teow (flat rice noodles) drizzled with lard and dark soy sauce, topped with a generous heap of fried mince pork and garnished with a sprinkle of chopped chives.
The kway teow after a vigorous toss, mixing in the sauce and garnishing. The sauce and minced pork are robustly savoury balanced by slight natural sweetness from the pork and tender rice noodles (kway teow).
The signature pork balls come in a bowl of broth.
Price now for the set is RM8 for small and RM10 for a big serving. Prices have gone up considerably since my last visit.
The round bodied broth is robustly savoury and slightly sweet. It is also a little peppery as stall owner Mr Kok 國先生 squeezes a puff of Sarawak pepper into each bowl.
The famous hand made Imbi pork ball doesn't look like a ball at all. The pork ball is dense, firm yet tender with a nice bouncy spring. It is well balanced between savoury and sweet with a subtle porcine flavour.
The stall owner Mr Kok and his wife make these fresh pork balls by hand everyday.
Each small serving comes with two pieces of home made pork sausages or siu cheong 燒腸. It's robustly savoury, soft and heart clogging greasy.
These siu cheong are also home made by Mr Kok and wife.
A bit of lightly pickled tangy crunchy green chili helps to cut through the greasy feel.
For all it's fame, this popular stall which had been around for 46 years doesn't have a formal name - it's always known simply as Imbi Pork Ball Noodles. There is no confusion here as this is the one and only pork ball noodles stall in Jalan Imbi. Elsewhere around KL and Petaling Jaya, there are other stalls emulating the Imbi pork noodles recipe.
Busy Mr Kok patiently explaining to a new customer what his stall serves. As Jalan Imbi runs parallel to the Bukit Bintang tourist belt, Win Heng Seng kopitiam is also heavily frequented by out of town visitors.
After paying for and finishing my delicious meal, I approached the boss to greet and speak with him. As he was busy, Mr Kok invited me to sit down at his table and offered me his own drink which he had just made. Mr Kok said that he will be with me in a moment, once he has some free time. (Mr Kok likes his milk tea very sweet :-D )
Such is the warm hospitality I often had the good fortune of encountering in KL and other places in Malaysia.
Half an hour passed, the steady stream of customers was non stop. Mr Kok apologised for not being able to chat with me. I apologised for troubling him on a busy day and promised to be back soon when he has a breather (probably after his stall closed for the day in the afternoon).
Imbi Pork Ball Noodles is one of KL's heritage food icons.
If you like strong savoury flavours and heart stopping lard, then Imbi pork ball noodles is for you. To me, it's also
Thank you Tourism Malaysia and Grand Millennium Hotel Kuala Lumpur for hosting my stay in KL.
Date visited: 1 Jun 2015
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