When I want a balanced meal, quick, no fuss and doesn't compromise on choice and taste, I often go for chap chai png which is known as economy rice (in Singapore) and chap fan (in KL). When in JB, my favourite place for economy rice is 肆源小炒 near the Masai bus terminal. It doesn't have an English name, I just refer to it as Mr Tay's (the boss) place.
I am a regular at Mr. Tay's since I first came here in 2016. Mr. Tay is an accomplished chef with decades of experience as a hawker and caterer in his home state, Penang. Besides chap chai png dishes, Mr. Tay serves excellent hor fun, chicken rice, sio bak, char siew etc.
Mr. Tay knows his flavours well, so everything at 肆源小炒 tastes really good. His prices are very reasonable too, so 肆源小炒 is always packed during meal times by folks who know where to get cheap and good food in JB.
Mr. Tay runs his eatery with his wife and son Ah Wei. I saw Ah Wei (cooking wanton mee here) at the shop since 2016. Today, Ah Wei can cook most of Mr. Tay's dishes and whips up a mean hor fun with good wok hei.
We came here for our Sunday brunch at 10am. The stall fill up when nearby church services end and Mr.Tay's regulars gather here for lunch.
Pro Tip: Mr. Tay serves the widest spread of chap fan dishes on weekdays to cater to workers who come to 肆源小炒 for workday lunch.
Mr. Tay's ingredients are fresh as he goes marketing personally every day. With his years of experience and skill, the dishes have well balanced flavours and taste really good. Prices are also very reasonable.
Besides the economic rice dishes, Mr. Tay cooks "special" dishes depending on what he found at the market. Today, it's his own version of kway teow kia with everything - rice noodles, braising stock and braised pork offal all in one bowl. It's nice.
Well cleaned pork intestines with extra spongy springy tender texture. Tedious work but Mr. Tay is a passionate hawker who goes the extra mile for his customers. His great pleasure is to see his customers enjoy themselves. So, he just piles us with food and watch us enjoy eating 😄
Mr. Tay brought over a large plate of hor fun with a strip of sio bak (roast pork belly) on top. When you become a regular at 肆源小炒, eating here becomes like going to an omakase. When you keep coming back, it becomes implicit that you trust Mr. Tay's cooking and entrusts your meal to his choices i.e. "leave it to the chef" omakase style.
Mr. Tay roasts his pork belly with charcoal. The golden brown skin was crackly. The fat was tender and juicy while the meat was slightly firmer and moist. The layers of mainly savoury flavours were complemented by subtle natural porcine sweetness.
Mr. Tay's well fried hor fun is savoury sweet toasty with good wok hei. The silky gooey sauce is savoury sweet eggy. I can smell the aroma of caramelised soy sauce and kway teow surface when I pick it up with my chopsticks. It's one of my favourite hor fun.
Then, Mr. Tay brought over a plate of charcoal roasted char siew made with pork collar. Good fat to lean meat ratio - just wonderfully tenderly soft and juicy with layers of savoury flavours. And, that's the thing. Mr. Tay finds what's good at the market and serves it to his customers. So, there are surprises for us everyday.
Recommended for you 👍 One of my top favourite places for economy rice in Malaysia and Singapore. Fresh ingredients, lovingly prepared by a skilful chef who takes pride in seeing you enjoy his food. The selection of dishes is wide, with daily surprises depending on what's in the market today. Over value for money. What more can one ask for? Maybe aircon and posh environment - but I am perfectly comfortable with this humble setup as it is 😄
I also like Mr. Lim's economy rice 旺来美食阁杂菜饭 in Taman Desa Tebrau. The type of dishes and style of cooking are a little different from Mr. Tay's. But, the ingredients are equally fresh and dishes well executed, so the flavours are well balanced too. Pricing is also very reasonable 👈 click
This photo of the Masai bus terminus was taken from Mr. Tay's stall. So, the easiest way to find Mr. Tay's stall is to look for the bus station across Jalan Masai Lama first.
Restaurant name: 肆源小炒
Address: Near intersection of Jalan Masai Lama and Jalan Bunga Ros (directly opposite Masai bus and taxi terminal)
GPS: 1°29'10.7"N 103°53'07.4"E 🌐 1.486291, 103.885394
Hours: 9:00am to 3:00pm (Sat off)
Date visited: 26 May 2019
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