Restaurants & Bars

[Kuala Lumpur] Night Market Food Street at Wai Sek Kai, Pudu

klyeoh | May 6, 201501:56 AM     14

Whilst the hawker food stalls at Kuala Lumpur's Jalan Alor cater very much to the tourists and foreign visitors, local KL-lites make a beeline for Wai Sek Kai, a nickname given to the hawker food stalls which open from 6pm each evening at Jalan Sayur, off the ever-busy Jalan Pudu.

A whole selection of local eats - too much to savour all in one evening - can be found from the stalls lining both sides of Jalan Sayur. Among the notables are the Hakka noodles from Chun Kee (80-plus years of operation & counting), fried "chai tau kway" (radish cakes, fried with beansprouts, lard, eggs and preserved radish), KL-style curried noodles, "tong sui" (traditional Cantonese desserts), "lok-lok" (a local Chinese fondue), "chu chap choke" (Cantonese rice congee with pig's offal) and an absurdly popular fried chicken stall where the best-seller are, get this, deep-fried battered chicken breast *bones*!

There's also a rojak stall which sells the type of rojak which one finds in Singapore (e.g. Whampoa food centre on Balestier Road): toasted cuttlefish and tofu puffs, covered with slivered cucumbers and jicama, and slathered with dark rojak shrimp paste. It's perhaps the *only* place in KL where one can find this type of rojak.

Wai Sek Kai comes alive only after dark.

This pic taken at around 6pm when most stalls are just opening up, and the dinner crowds have yet to arrive. It is the *best* time to come, actually.

Hakka noodles from Chun Kee

Hakka noodles differ from their Cantonese counterpart (e.g. wanton noodles) in that soysauce or oyster sauce are not used in the dressing. The egg noodles are tossed in onion-scented pork lard. These are served with minced pork topping, and garnished with BBQ pork ("char-siew"), chopped scallions and blanched "choy sum" greens.

Wanton dumplings in soup.

Accompanying the Hakka noodles would be a small bowl of clear consomme with pork-filled wanton dumplings. Hakka tastes tend to be blander than Cantonese or Hokkien ones, but there are condiments (light soysauce & pepper) provided on the tables.

Chun Kee Hakka noodle stall

The sign above mentioned Dapu ("Tai Bu"), a Hakka settlement in Meizhou County in Guangdong province, China, where the family who runs this stall descended from. They'd been operating here for over 80 years now.

Wooden chopsticks provided for Chun Kee's diners.

Chun Kee is located at the junction of Jalan Sayur and Jalan Pudu.

Chun Kee will be the first stall you encounter when you enter Wai Sek Kai from Jalan Pudu.

Shrimp fritters

These crisp-fried disks, studded with shell-on shrimps, were absolutely delicious. Served with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce.

The shrimp fritter stall is located in front of Chun Kee.

"Chu Chap Choke" - Cantonese rice congee with pig's spare parts

One of my all-time fave eats - Cantonese rice congee has a smooth, almost-gluey consistency and subtly delicious flavour which differentiate it from the grainy Teochew and blander Hokkien renditions.
The version here has the obligatory roasted pig's intestines (to-die for!), soft-boiled intestines, pig's liver, kidney and slivers of tender, marinated pork. Crisp-fried rice vermicelli topping provides an additional textural dimension, and chopped green scallions gave a slight astringent bite. Add a generous dash of white pepper and some light soysauce - it's the perfect meal-in-a-bowl.

"Chu Chap Choke" stall

This used to be one of the mainstay Cantonese staple hawker foods, but surprisingly difficult to find even in this largely-Cantonese city these days.

One thing to note - seating is *not* exactly free-for-all: certain tables are allocated to each stall and, unless, you patronise that stall, you can't occupy the tables in "its area". Do check with the respective stalls. But come early, and you won't have a problem getting a seat.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better

by Amy Sowder | Sugar cookies often look prettier than they taste. Now that's not right. With cookie season well under...

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year

by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

by Vanessa Simmons | Christmas cookies, holiday cookies, winter treats—whatever you want to call them, they used to be...

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies

by Jen Wheeler | Christmas cookies are one of the reasons to love the season, but holiday desserts do not stop at the...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.