Close to 20 local hawker’s delights are quickly drawing a steady crowd of office workers, tourists and city folks to Malaysia Boleh! — a new food haven at Shoppes@Four Seasons Place KL after it opened for business recently.
The opening event got off to a rousing start with guest of honour, Singapore Deputy High Commissioner Mark Neo and local celeb Jack Lim joining Malaysia Boleh! owners from Singapore’s Fei Siong Group for the auspicious ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Proceedings were enlivened by Kun Seng Keng Lion Dance troupe, dazzling invitees with their heart-stopping acrobatic lion dance performance before lunch.
We are charmed by the old-school coffee shop environment within: white washed walls, mosaic floors, bird cages and suspended fish traps doubling as light fixtures complement faux pre-war shopfronts and old-fashioned wooden tables and chairs.
In line with the Malaysia Truly Asia concept, dishes served at Malaysia Boleh! are non-halal. Below are our top ten best eats from the myriad of hawker-style food we sampled:
This chart-topping dessert surprisingly exceeds our expectations. The overall taste is so good, a bowl of the finely shaved ice liberally doused with dark, fragrant gula Melaka syrup, fresh coconut milk, cendol (short, plump pandan-flavoured glutinous rice flour noodle strands) and red kidney beans may induce you to succumb to an extra helping.
CHAR KWAY TEOW
Another acid-test speciality to pass with flying colours even though there isn’t a single cockle in sight. Full of wok hei, the smoky-sweet-savoury fried flat rice noodles with fluffy clumps of egg, beansprouts, chives and prawns lives up to the top billing given to it.
Decent offerings emerging from this stall include oh chien (fried oyster omelette) and char kway kak (fried
carrot radish cake). Smeared with a little
chilli sauce, the little plump oysters found studded within the airy-crispy
omelette-pancake crossover is on-point. Similarly, char kway kak is good
although more charred smokiness should amp up its appeal.
CURRY CHICKEN NOODLE
Whether you call it curry mee or curry laksa, there’s no denying this noodle dish hits the spot for spice fiends. Chockful of spongy fried pork skin, beancurd puffs, chicken and long beans, the rich, aromatic rempah gravy boasts an assertive punch that entices us to slurp up spoonfuls of it.
A ‘drier’ version of the curry noodles is also available so if you like more intense, concentrated curry flavours, you won't regret opting for this instead.
IPOH BUNTONG CHICKEN RICEHandpicked by the Malaysia Boleh! owners, this delicious Ipoh chicken rice ticks all the right boxes for us. The irresistible yau farn or ‘oiled’ rice is good enough to eat on its own but succulent poached chicken with minced ginger-shallot and tangy chilli dips on the side is par for the course for each serving.
CLAYPOT CHICKEN RICE
Nothing is more comforting than digging into a sizzling hot claypot of rice generously drizzled with dark and light soya sauces, toppings of sliced Chinese sausage, chicken chunks and chopped spring onion. Slightly smoky from the burnt rice crust at the bottom, this hearty one-dish meal is guaranteed to leave ravenous diners happily replete.
For Penangites in KL who crave for their hometown laksa, I daresay the version dished up at Malaysia Boleh! gets the nod. The brownish tamarind and fish-based broth is well-balanced in terms of tangy-sweetness although a stronger torch ginger flower accent won’t go remiss. Add in the little serving of prawn paste to heighten its tasty appeal.
As food court standard goes, the Hokkien char noodles here is decent enough to give the popular Hokkien mee joints around the city a good run for their money. The crunchy deep-fried pork lard dices atop the thick, dark fried noodles raises its street cred as does the presence of its wok hei smokiness.
WANTAN MEENo complaints against the wantan mee as the springy noodles tossed in dark and light soya sauces come up to scratch. I especially enjoy the slickly caramelised char siew slices. For once, the wantans or pork dumplings in soup pass muster too.
Although it can’t beat the real McCoy, this version proffers a mild but aromatic prawn broth. All the requisite condiments: prawns, sliced pork, kangkung, hardboiled egg and fried shallot crisps complete that melange of textural and flavour dimensions necessary to make this noodle dish palate-pleasing.
Possibly one of the simplest, basic noodle dishes ever yet some stalls botch it. We are stoked to discover the soupy noodles with assorted pork meat and innard bits hit the spot without any complaint. No after-meal thirst from sodium overload so we give it the thumbs up.
Congee fans will be stoked to know the same stall serves piping hot pork rice porridge. Smooth, slightly unctuous with the clear meaty sweetness of pork coming through, it’s simple soul-satisfying fare that won’t disappoint.
Other Malaysia Boleh! crowd-pleasing offerings worth sampling include Chilli Pan Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Roast Duck and Barbecued Pork, Nasi Lemak and Handmade Pau. Most of the dishes are priced from RM10 upwards -- fair pricing in view of most suburb kopitiams already charge around RM6.50 upwards for their hawker fare.
MALAYSIA BOLEH! is located at B1-01B, Shoppes@Four Seasons Place, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily from 10am to 10pm. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/MalaysiaBolehKL/