Seremban is the often overlooked city which lies mid-way between Kuala Lumpur and historic Malacca. It's a mere 1 hour's drive from KL, and has its own Chinese cuisine, Hakka-influenced, in contrast to KL's Cantonese cuisine and Malacca's Nyonya food.
In terms of Malay food, Seremban is also different from KL or Malacca - its roots are the ultra-spicy Minang cuisine from Sumatera, and different from the rest of Malaysia.
We were at Seremban's busy and rather chaotic Main Market - the Pasar Besar Seremban - you need to be early to catch the action, and also the more popular food stalls.
A wet market selling vegetables, meats and other fresh produce occupy the first floor, whereas food stalls on the second floor offer all kinds of local hawker eats.
The second floor of the main market is divided into 4 quadrangles like this one, each lined with dozens of food stall. Seremban folks start their day early - this was 7.30am in the morning.
This stall specializes in the chewy, al dente Hakka noodles, bathed in a tasty lard, onion oil and light soy dressing, topped with minced pork and chopped scallions.
Run by the grand-daughter of the original founder, Tow Kee has been purveying Hakka noodles for close to 8 decades now.
One of the best Hakka noodles one can ever find in the whole of Malaysia and Singapore.
After Tow Kee, this 68-year-old beef noodle stall is the main culinary draw for visitors to Seremban.
Yellow wheat noodles, topped with sliced beef and beef tendon in a dark, unctuous, totally delicious gravy. Chopped green scallions and toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled on top for added flavour.
Springy golf ball-sized beef balls, served in a savoury, slightly peppery beef broth. Comfort food at its best.
This is a very popular stall serving perhaps a most unusual noodle dish (for me) - fine rice vermicelli noodles in a light, soupy gravy, topped with soy-braised pork belly slices and slippery slivers of cuttlefish.
Local Seremban folks loved this, but I'm not quite used to the unusual combination of pork and cuttlefish together in one dish. Still, it was pretty "tasty" in its own way.
The Pasar Besar Seremban is definitely a must-visit for any culinary visitor to the city. The sheer variety of Hakka food, and the freshness of all the produce which went into the preparation of these dishes in hard to find even in KL or Malacca.
Pasar Besar Seremban
Jalan Tuanku Munawir
Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia