I have great news to share! 🙂
For the past few months I’ve been working on a series of articles for RapidKL (Prasarana Malaysia Berhad) and The Malay Mail. In general, it is about discovering food surrounding a RapidKL LRT/MRT station, but with the criteria of within 600 metres “walking distance” from the exit of the station.
After months, the articles finally made it to print and from hereon, it will be published weekly on Malay Mail e-paper, each week highlighting a different RapidKL LRT/MRT station.
For the first instalment, I zeroed in on the Masjid Jamek LRT station.
Personally I’m hardly ever in this area (or the many areas that I was assigned to cover) due to pure laziness and the fear of traffic congestion. But as the saying goes, where work takes you, you go.
Boy, I’m glad it did, for I wouldn’t have made such an effort to ferret out these eateries if it wasn’t for the fact that I had to do it!
So yes, though this assignment was tough as it dead tiring (I would fall sick after a session of walking and sweating profusely during the hot sun; not to mention the severe headaches), some of my discoveries provided me a sense of gratification so that made it all bearable.
ARTICLE No. 1
LRT No. 1/50 articles – LRT Masjid Jamek: Prasarana x Malay Mail x Rebecca Saw
NOTE: This is my year long collaboration with Malay Mail and I am charged to explore gastronomic around (within 600 m walk) fifty selected (Prasarana Malaysia Bhd (RapidKL) train stations (LRT & MRT).
** Written work (pre-edit by editor) and images are mine.
Published article: Published 29th May 2017
1. In Malay Mail e-Paper:
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: My long-winded version…
Last year I had an assignment that required me to visit Betel Leaf at Leboh Ampang.
It took me 45 minutes to secure a parking in the vicinity and another 15 minutes under the sweltering sun to get to the restaurant.
I recall feeling frustrated, sweating profusely and absolutely famished by the time I climbed the stairs to Betel Leaf.
But lunch was delicious, particularly the Mutton Sagwala (mutton cooked with spinach in a thick gravy) -RM17 and the air conditioning worked its magic so my discomfort was forgotten quickly enough.
However, when the craving for an authentic Chettinad experience struck last week, I wisely took the LRT.
Alighting from Masjid Jamek LRT station, one is within 500 metres walking distance of many gastronomic delights.
Many of them, as I’ve discovered, are reasonably priced and the food are more often than not, prepared personally by local cooks or the owners themselves.
I had the good fortune to speak to some of these culinary masters.
Aunty Lee’s shop, Sin Hoi How, for example has been around for 70 years.
In the mornings patrons filled her shop to tuck into creamy, tasty curry laksa. The watery broth had me wary at first but the first sip surprised me, for it was actually good!
Aunty Lee admits that the original soup was richer, but a tweak in recipe was necessary to cater to the palate of the current generation, whom she claimed to prefer less “lemak” soup.
I weaved in and out of the alleys between Jalan Hang Lekiu, Jalan Tun HS Lee and Leboh Ampang and came upon many makeshift stalls offering cheap but delicious sustenance.
In one of the alleys, Mr Chong frowned in concentration in front of his Apollo oven. He checked his roast pork, checked the fire and alternated the slab of meat to ensure even char and doneness.
I stared, mesmerized at the sight of this traditional method of roasting pork.
Mr Chong was guarded at first, especially of my camera, but he soon warmed up as I chatted about my love for food and well, specifically roast pork!
“The price of charcoal is ever increasing,” he lamented. “But I still prefer to use charcoal, the way I’ve been roasting my meat for the past decade”, he added.
His shop on Jalan Hang Lekiu just opposite Segi College possesses no identifiable name or brand but his chicken and roast meats rice had garnered a loyal following over the 10 years he has been in business.
As an initiation, I ordered a mixed platter of 3 meats for RM10 with rice and complimentary soup.
Remember that roast pork that I was eyeing earlier at the alley?
It was juicy with a satisfying crackly skin albeit a tad salty.
As a whole, I rate my meal a fair 6/10.
The chilli was superb; sharp, sour and spicy all at once, the soup wholesome and the chicken and the char siew decent.
All in all, it was a satisfactory meal for RM10.
One can’t be in the Masjid Jamek and ignore Santa Chappati and Jai Hind, both of have had attainaed almost revered ranks for the best chappati in town.
In Jai Hind I had the stuffed aloo chappati (RM3.50) that came with a trio of curries and their special Punjabi tea made from fresh cow milk (RM2.50).
Over at Santa, the chappati (RM1.70) was served with a simple dhall and any additional sides are chargable.
Jai Hind: Aloo Chappati.
Santa: Plain chappati.
While Betel Leaf offers almost a fine dining experience, Sarimala Villas Chettinad Mess is simpler in ambiance but serves no less delicious fare.
A basic banana leaf set is RM6.50 and a tray of tempting dishes appears soon after your banana leaf meal is laid out on the table. We opted for the mutton stomach and the uncommon shark meat and of course, rasam and yogurt.
The smell lingers and the curries stains my fingers, but there is no better way to enjoy a good banana leaf meal!
Over at Hong Ngek Restaurant, a 70 year old institution, rice is enjoyed with traditonal chinese dishes instead.
Patrons can order one meal sets for less than RM10/meal or dishes to share.
Signatures include pork knuckles, crab meatballs, fried glass noodles as well as housemade sharkfin tofu (RM28).
How do you like your roti canai?
With sugar? With curry on the side?
At Mansion Tea Stall their Roti Canai Banjir Special (RM3.00) consist of 2 roti canai, 2 half boiled eggs, dhall, fish curry and a dollop of spicy sambal.
Mix the entire lot thoroughly and enjoy this flavoursome masterpiece with a glass of their Teh Tarik.
BELOW: Mansion Tea is right after the bridge. Look for the shop with tables on the sidewalk.
If you are feeling adventurous, walk over to Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin and excite your palate with the flavours of lesser-known cuisines.
At Eaindra restaurant I tucked into a bowl of Mohinga (RM5), a wholesome rice noodle and fish soup that is considered Myanmar’s unofficial national breakfast dish.
BELOW: Look for the ‘BM & Sons Group” and head upstairs.
There are many, many more delicious discoveries in the vicinity of the Masjid Jamek LRT and the above were merely a scratch on the surface.
The area is however, busiest during the day as most shops cater to the working crowd.
Last but not least….
My original article is usually longer/ ‘more complete’ since I wrote on and on without restriction.
Understandably, due to space constraints, the original was edited prior to publication. Thus I’ve shared my original article as above.
You may also find that my articles for this Prasarana x Malay Mail x Rebecca Saw series rather diplomatic/non- opinionated, but it is meant to be so as per the brief given.
Anyhow, if you think I’ve missed out on some eateries worth highlighting near any MRT/LRT stations, please let me know! I’ll be sure to go check it out.
Please do be in touch via FB message HERE.
Thank you and I look forward to your suggestions! 🙂