This 25th December, as my FB got flooded with images of Christmas trees, pasta, turkey & beef I was looking forward to some quiet time to for writing.
As usual what was planned didn’t go as planned.
The festive season saw some friends on holidays, and thus with time on their hands.
An invite from a friend came on Xmas eve, asking if I’m open to explore some food joints. I had thought why not; since I have few like-minded and similar tastebuds foodie friends and having them available for food exploration is considered a blessing.
And so Christmas day began at 6.30am.
First on our list was this “giant bowl curry mee” in Selayang, notoriously known for its long wait but indubitably tempting due to its appearance.
I mean, take a look at this and tell me it doesn’t make your mouth water and spur you to ask “where, when, how, why“?
We thought being there at 7am was a smart strategy since we knew the stall begins operation from 6.30am.
When we got 17 as our waiting number, we thought that wasn’t too bad. After all, that could mean 17 bowls ahead of us, or if it is an average of 3 bowls per number, that would be about 51 bowls ahead.
Hawkers usually work fast, and 50 bowls would be served in a jiffy.
Unfortunately, for that morning, No. 17 meant a 2 hour wait.
I wasn’t complaining, since we were all busy on our social media channels and replying Christmas wishes.
I spent almost 30 minutes kacau-ing the guy in charge, which I eventually found out his name to be Jason Chan.
Friendly and accommodating to my photography and the 5 -6 questions I asked, I observed as he worked assiduously for each and every bowl.
No doubt the operation model could benefit with a better process in place, for the bulk of the delay was due to him single-handedly assembling each and every bowl.
I was told the mum (plus a helper) handles the ingredients prep while the dad serves.
A young chap, Jason revealed that the he is the founder. He has been selling this curry noodles for about 11 years.
A typical day begins at 6.30am. The soup base is cooked, the numerous ingredients prepared on the spot.
By 6.30am customers started to flock in to grab their numbers.
The numbers are given out and recorded in a book. Occasionally, they will call out a number, and if it is your number, proceed to the stall to make your order.
If you have already ordered when you took your number, just wait for your order to be ready and wave at the server so he knows where you’re seated.
It is far from a sophisticated method, but hey, it is the current “system” they have.
Jason said he had never kept track of the number of bowls he sold daily and hence he couldn’t give me an estimate, but he would be to advise late customers if there are any bowls of curry mee left.
Generally, if you arrive at 8am or later, your chances of securing a bowl of this rich, satisfying bowl of curry mee are NIL.
Looking at Jason, it is pure concentration for the full 2 hours operations. A typical business day ends at 9am or 9.30am. His ingredients bowl are periodically filled up by a helper while he cooks and assemble each order, one bowl at a time.
So it is worth the wait?
To be frank no food is worth waiting hours for.
But the value of time is relative to everyone isn’t it?
I for one, do not have 2 hours to spare on any given day. But if I’m with a bunch of friends, if I have good internet connectivity and we could all sit in comfort (no queuing please) while we “wait” for the noodles, then yes, I won’t mind the big bowl curry mee here for it is honestly delicious.
The soup base is creamy, rich and the amount of toppings available made it a tasty one dish meal. The price is fair too, for a huge bowl with EVERYTHING is RM9.
Taste aside, Jason is friendly & humble man; adding to the reasons why I won’t mind patronizing his business. I’ve had my fair share of arrogant hawkers who thinks you owe it to them for preparing your food for you, never mind that you are the customer!
So there you have it. The big bowl curry mee at Selayang.
There are potential better curry mee elsewhere, but his could be the only one that offers so many toppings in a bowl for that price.
We recommend adding chilli paste to the curry mee if it isn’t punchy enough. This is a good tip especially for those who prefer their curries spicy.
1. Arrive there at 6.30am.
Any number smaller than 10 is a good bet that you will get your noodles within an hour.
2. Go with a bunch of friends.
3. Do not go there famished. The wait is long and the other stalls offers mediocre chee cheong fun, char kuey teow.
We tried the CKT and regretted it. The wantan mee looks better but heck it is the curry noodles that you would want to save your stomach for.
4. Sit outside. The interior of the coffeeshop can get stifling after a while and your good mood might evaporate.
Normal (S)：RM 5.50
Normal (B) : RM 6.50
Add On (S)：RM 8.00
Add On (B) : RM 9.00
Standard portion: Longbean, tofu puff, beansprouts, cockles, chicken curry (1 pc), bean curd sheet.
Added toppings: Fried wantan (meat dumplings), char siu (BBQ pork), siu yuk (roast pork), longbean, tofu puff, beansprouts, cockles, curry chicken (1-2 pcs), beancurd sheet, pork paste or pork balls.
Restaurant Coca Seafood Restaurant (**Waze for the same name)
29 Jalan Bidara 1,
Off : Wednesday & Thursday of 1st week of the month