Friday, 11 October 2013

Leong Kee – Rockin’ it old-school… like a boss

Stall on the sidewalk outside 76, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, 50000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We normally don’t like going to KL if we can help it, because we hate traffic jams and overpriced parking. But there was an anti-Lynas petition thing going on at Dataran Merdeka and we decided to brave the super-congested streets of KL to go contribute our signatures.

They committed to stay there until they get a million signatures. I hope they've hit their target by now.

Having signed the thing, and since we are seldom in KL, we went looking for dinner around the vicinity. What followed can be summed up as two unfulfilled dreams and one incredibly lucky find.

Unfulfilled Dream 1
I am ashamed to say that, though I’ve lived in Klang Valley for more than 10 years, I have yet to eat at Coliseum. Now, the same friends who were appalled at this also told me that the food was only mediocre. So my reason for wanting to eat there was not really for the food; it was just so I could finally say I did. Hopefully before the geriatric wait staff… err… retire.

Anyway, that was our original dinner destination. Then on the way there, we passed by Soong Kee Beef Noodles and I casually pointed out to Lady Fartsalot that the pork porridge there was pretty good. She immediately jumped and said THAT was the porridge she had wanted to try a few years ago but never had the chance to up till now!!! She MUST try it!!!

But I wanted Coliseum! I tried to talk her out of it. I had waited more years for Coliseum. This was supposed to be MY night to finally have the thing I’ve always wanted to try, dammit!

There are men, far better men than I am, who are able to win these sorts of arguments against their significant others. As for me, well, it looked like Coliseum will have to wait another few months or years.

Unfulfilled Dream 2
So we parked and paid an exorbitant fee. Then walked back to Soong Kee for the porridge.

As we walked up, however, we saw that the stall owner had just about finished packing up. He was sold out for the day.

Great. Expensive parking paid and no porridge to show for it. I was just about to suggest Coliseum again when Lady Fartsalot spotted something a short walk away from Soong Kee.

The Lucky Find
It was a stall. On a sidewalk. It looked like it came from one of those old-timey Chinese shows, and for a minute I wondered if we were looking at a film shoot.

... for a movie about a time when the gangsters were seriously stylish and the guns came with fabulous red tassels.

But there were no cameras around and I figured this was a real food stall.

We walked closer and saw that it was nothing more than a rough table with a simple wooden frame attached, to which has been affixed a few fluorescent light bulbs. The sign was all in Chinese characters but luckily I could recognise most of them. Pig parts soup and chicken rice – the menu was as spartan as the stall.

But, unfortunately for the ladies, the owners' physiques are nowhere near anything resembling a Spartan's.

That doesn’t seem to be a problem for the stall’s customers. There was quite a lot of them, eating at the rickety tables on the sidewalk, or sitting in their big cars stopped next to the stall as they waited for their takeaway orders to be ready.

The stall's 'kitchen extension' was inside the back of this beat-up van.

There were people from all walks of life there… from kids who looked college-aged to an older gentleman with the waistband of his pants pulled up almost to his armpits.

Under the harsh glare of the white lights, a the middle-aged owner was working at a brisk pace, chopping pig parts and chicken, ladling soup into bowls as he sent out a non-stop stream of food from his tiny stall.

This stall looked legit.

We obviously had to try the food, and boy were we happy with what we tasted.

It's usually really hard to be unhappy with any food that contains this much pork.

The mixed pork soup had very generous amounts of meat and organs. The meat was amazing, incredibly tender with a slight springiness to it. I don’t really eat internal organs, but I have it on the highest authority (Lady Fartsalot is a pig parts fanatic) that they are very good as well. The soup had a pretty unique taste: a fairly strong porky flavour with a slight sourness from pickled vegetables. However, she did complain that it wasn't as peppery as she would have liked.

I can't imagine anyone describing this as anything other than 'perfectly cooked'.

The poached chicken was equally great. The stall owner called it ‘smooth chicken’ and he wasn’t exaggerating. The meat was tender and silky, cooked just right and extremely juicy. The flavour was subtle, reminding me of Cantonese cooking, and went well with the white rice. 

Smoother than a black con artist and playa who can sing like Marvin Gaye and play the sax. At the same time.

Of course, being Malaysians, some of us will prefer some chilli dip to give the chicken some kick – no worries they got that too.

And a pretty powerful kick, too. This is spicier than most chicken rice chilli I've encountered.

It turned out to be a great meal – prepared the traditional way, without any frills. Just plain good cooking done by someone who had quite obviously been perfecting his art over many years.

So, so glad that our two previous dinner plans didn’t work out.

Got this shot as business was winding down for the day.

Snack-sized review
Pig parts soup and smooth poached chicken rice served from a tiny standalone stall on a sidewalk in KL. Simple, rustic food that’s made very well and offered at extremely good prices.

Price: As old-school as the stall’s looks: only about RM15 for a delicious meal for two including drinks.

Hours: Opens about 5:30pm till they run out… which could happen as early as 10pm.


  1. what phone do you use to take the pictures? The quality is really bad. Especially the top down pictures. I see a few of your reviews and all the top down pictures are really bad. Try to take pictures without the flash if possible. Also, turn on HDR if you are using iphone so that you have a few pictures, normal and HDR. Then can choose to see which one is better. Do you also edit the photos to make them better in terms of color saturation and brighness? If not, you should. Otherwise, good review.

    1. Hi! Thanks for your suggestions. We'll give them a try the next time we makan somewhere interesting.

      We usually shoot with a Galaxy S4. And we do edit the pictures but guess we're not that experienced with this sort of stuff yet... :)

  2. My favourite stall to go and fill up on the spare parts. Keep up the good work:)