Eating Out

Published: Thursday March 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday March 20, 2014 MYT 10:21:53 AM

Food Trail: Lart Thong and kari laksa

A generous portion of Lart Thong is served at Kee V restaurant.

A generous portion of Lart Thong is served at Kee V restaurant.

Two more dishes that make Sungai Chua in Kajang a foodie's destination.

The Lart Thong is a Hakka soup dish, which is well-known in Serdang, Kajang and Semenyih.

If you are a meat-lover, then you are in for a treat.

The main ingredients used in the Lart Thong are ginger and white pepper.

You will find no shortage of Yuen Sai Choy (Chinese coriander) in this soup dish and there are a few places in Kajang that specialise in this particular dish.

I came to know about Sungai Chua’s famous Lart Thong through Melvin Phua, a fellow makan kaki who dedicates time to search for good eats in the area.

Phua said there were a few well-known Lart Thong restaurants in Sungai Chua, and one of them is exceptionally good.

“Eh Samo, I will save you the agony of going from one place to another to try the hot and spicy soup la!.

“Just head straight to Kee V restaurant at Jalan Sungai Chua 15. It’s really easy to spot this place because its underneath a slope. The entire makan place is below street-level,” he said.

I took Phua’s lead and ended up at a temple on top of a hill.

Simple and really good: Kari Laksa Kampung from Lot 630.
Kari laksa kampung from Lot 630 is simple and really good.

With some adjustments on the GPS coordinates given, I finally ended up at the Kee V restaurant (N 02 59.195, E 101 46.512), which was already packed with people.

It’s hard to believe there is a makan place in the middle of a new village and I guess that this must be Kajang’s best-kept secret.

When I made my way to the dining area, I noticed a concrete fish pond and to my surprise, I found a Godzilla-sized fei chau yee (tilapia) swimming in it.

The fish must have been at least 6kg .

Besides the mutant tilapia, there were other giants in the pond as I took notice of the wan yee (Grass carp), ikan patin (Silver catfish) and an ornamental South American catfish.

A bowl of hot rice goes down well with the hot and spicy soup.
A bowl of hot rice goes down well with the hot and spicy soup.

Distractions aside, I placed an order with the waitress for a single-helping of their Lart Thong.

I waited patiently for the soup to arrive while noticing the ginger wine chicken, harm yee far larm pou (claypot pork belly with salted fish and Chinese wine) that a group of people on the next table were having.

When my order arrived, the first thing I did was slurp down the hot and spicy soup.

Now, Phua’s recommendation was spot-on! The soup is tasty and the portions of pig liver, stomach, belly and kampung chicken bits were generous.

On the Samo-scale, I would go with 9 out of 10 for this awesome Lart Thong.

Phua told me not to waste time with the rest.

A view from Kajang from the highest elevation in Sungai Chua.
A view of Kajang from the highest elevation in Sungai Chua.

Next on the list was a trip to Jalan Bukit in Kajang town where a good chap fan (economy rice) shop is found, namely Jin Yingdao coffeeshop (N 02 59.344, E 101 47.456) located off Jalan Gereja.

The recommendation came from Jimmy Law, a fishing kaki of mine who is perpetually broke.

“Eh Samo, I have loans to service and am up to my eyeballs.

“So, I keep things in check by eating cheap. That said, you can check out Jin Yingdao coffeeshop because their chap fan is one of the best around,” he urged.

I tried this makan place during my stint as a training officer to a reporter during the13th general election and agree with what Law has to say about this coffeeshop.

For RM5.50, I scooped up four dishes and was filled to the brim. The dishes were quite tasty and prices reasonable as I treated the rookie reporter to a meal at this makan place.

Just round the corner from Jin Yingdao is the 20/20 coffeeshop. You can find a variety of hawker food at this place and what I found interesting were foreigners preparing wantan mee for their customers.

Hometown corner restaurant.
Hometown corner restaurant offers Hakka Poon Choy.

Law also recommended the Abbex food court, which is located behind a canal near the Kajang Metro Mall.

Now, just when I thought I could leave Sungai Chua, another makan kaki of mine Larry Chan mentioned the kari laksa kampung.

I haven’t tried this for a long time and was told by Chan that there is a house where this noodle dish is served..

“Eh Samo ah! If you don’t mind eating in people’s house ah, you can go to Lot 630 in Kampung Sungai Chua.

“There is a lady who serves kari laksa kampung,” he added.

So, what is kari laksa kampung?

It’s a term I coined for curry noodles using wantan mee as its main noodle base with garnishing like char siew kampung (instead of roasted, it’s boiled with red food colouring), taugeh, taufoo pok and fresh cockles.

It wasn’t hard to locate Lot 630 (N 02 59.426, E 101 46.572) because the place was packed with office workers from the banks in Sungai Chua.

I ordered a bowl of kari laksa kampung at RM4.80 and was surprised with the great taste that it yielded.

On the Samo-scale, I would rate it an 8 out of 10.

And when Chan said about “eating in people’s house” he actually meant that the business premises is also the home of the trader.

While scouring Sungai Chua for some good makan, I also learned that there is a Chinese restaurant called “Hometown Corner” (N 02 59.242, E 101 46.467) offering the famous Hakka Poon Choy.

This is a communal dish with high-end ingredients like abalone, good quality table fish, prawns and vegetables.

To lure customers, this makan place offers a decent discount for phone-in bookings.

Unfortunately, I could not round up enough makan kakis in time to give this place a try as the minimum charge for the Poon Choy is RM339 for nine people.

Hopefully, someday I can organise a cycle and makan trip to Sungai Chua with my folding bike kakis.

Both Sungai Chua and Kajang can be accessed via the North-South Expressway, South Klang Valley Expressway and the Grand Saga Highway (Cheras-Kajang).

If you love to walk and burn calories, take the KTM Komuter to the Kajang station. Sungai Chua is 4.5km from the train station.

However, I would recommend exploring Sungai Chua’s makan places on a bicycle.


Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, Food Trail

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