When dining out on chinese food, the local chinese would refer to 2 different categories; Big Eat or Little (Small) Eat. Big Eat would refer to a street side restaurant focused on cooking up a variety dishes to be eaten with rice. Some of these dishes might be a specialty of the restaurant. Little Eat would refer to individual stalls on the street or a cafe focused on single dishes such as fried noodles, roast chicken with rice or spring rolls.
We’ve recently been frequenting a well established and very popular food stall in Pudu aptly called Little Eats Stall. The stall shares a dining space with an Indian muslim food stall and another Chinese food stall under the shade of a large canopy tree and a mix of corrugated zinc and ceramic roofs. Just how popular is this place? On a good day, they are sold out as soon as, a little after noon time!
While most food stalls would focus or specialize in one dish, the Little Eats Stall has 5 different specialties offered on different days of the week. As we continue on with our post, we thought this song might be the ideal accompaniment.[audio:http://ccfoodtravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Never-on-Sunday.mp3|titles=Never on Sunday]
The ‘white knight’ Chef and wifey
Here’s what you can expect at the Little Eat Stall in Pudu. On Mondays and Thursdays they serve, Ipoh Kway Teow and Lam Mee. On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays they serve Meehoon Fish Head and Fish Paste Noodles, and finally on Wednesday, they serve Pork Mee and Porridge/Congee.
The wife takes orders, is the public relations officer, provides kitchen help, and takes phone reservations. She carries a mobile phone (number at the end of this post) and she can actually reserve the noodles for you if you are going to be late, getting to the stall. However, she can only hold it for an hour or so.. so you still have to get there by the agreed serving time. The ideal time to arrive for your meal here, would be at around 11am or earlier. Be sure to keep your schedule open as the wait can be long. There is no other person cooking except the chef, brightly clad in white.
Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays they serve Meehoon Fish Head and Fish Paste Noodles
The fish head noodles are fab. The soup is murky, rich and sweet – sufficient to envelop any noodle you choose to go with the dish. They do not add any evaporated milk in the soup – a common ingredient of this dish – so you can imagine how natural this tastes, as the murkiness is caused by all the pure fish stock alone (or whatever secret ingredients added). The broth has a terrific hint of chinese wine flavouring to it. Afficiandoes of this dish require the kick of the chinese wine.
The chopped fish meat and bones of an unknown variety were fresh, and not overcooked. We left the table with empty bowls and many bones beside them. If you don’t enjoy fish bones then you might not enjoy this dish.
Looking around the place, Cumi spotted this larder, where regular patrons of the little eat stall, keep their different brands or mixes of Chinese wine. When they arrive for their *bespoke dish with choice of meats, they take their own respective bottle (all numbered or signed for easy recognition) and add the wine to the soup. Wow, talk about “kao”(concentrated). For me and Cumi, just the regular wine in the broth will suffice. There’s really no need to add more, as the wine flavour is already pretty apparent in the soup. I guess these regular patrons to the Little Eat Stall are what you might refer to as hardcore.
This friendly lady likes to chat with us. She noticed that we came several times too late, and all the food was sold out. She kept saying to us- oh, you really need to wake up earlier, if you want to try all the noodles here at this stall!
Pak Cham Kai (white boiled chicken) for the Lam Mee. Only free range variety sold here for the natural great taste.
What’s the matter.. chicken?
Mondays and Thursdays they serve, Ipoh Kway Teow and Lam Mee.
The chef’s ‘lots of feeling’ expression when cooking each bowl and yes.. there is ajinomoto (MSG) used.
The Lam Mee might be the most popular of all Little Eat Stall’s dishes. There are times we would arrive to find it is completely sold out before noon. If you do get there early, it can be a long wait but it is worth it.
Lam Mee isn’t at the top of our favourite street food list but the one cooked up here might be one of the best we have eaten.
The Lam Mee here, employs the thick yellow egg noodles (Tai lok mee) that people used to use to stir up Fried Hokkien Mee. It’s actually starchier and heavier than your regular thin yellow egg noodles. These noodles are doused in a gravy made of prawns and pork ribs and chicken stock with eggs stirred in at the end. The translucent gravy resembles a thick, brown, viscous sauce. It is then served with toppings of bean sprouts, shallots crisps, chives, deep fried pork lard and massive chunks of sweet chicken breast or thigh meat. You can also have an order of chopped chicken on a separate plate – which was the preferred order of the regulars.
Tai Lok Mee
The Little Eat Stall where an old tree provides additional shading on top of the zinc, tarpaulin and ceramic roof.
A hardwood plank supporting a massive trunk. The support has already been fused with the trunk with passing time
An antique concrete street lamp provides a new home to a plant
Old trees line many streets in Pudu. Before the large development to build connecting roads to ease traffic and an underground tunnel to clear storm water, there were many old colonial houses and government quarters in Pudu. Today, the traffic jams still remain even with the new roads but few ancient canopy trees remain to shade and keep road users or pedestrians cooler from the heat.
Pudu history intertwined
and finally on Wednesday, they serve Pork Mee and Porridge/Congee
The pork noodles are delicious as well. A meaty, sweet and clear broth of pork with deep fried pork lard and a trace of Chinese wine to flavour it. The intestines are scarce, and I may have to ask for more offal the next time. Be sure also to ask for the egg, if you like a yolk in your noodles. We did not realise that we had to request for this. No worries. We will be back again, soon enough I think, and there is plenty of time to get it right.
All the dishes here start at RM5 each. Super affordable, quality stuff.
Earlier we stated *bespoke dish because, apart from selecting the ingredients available at the stall counter, The Little Eat Stall welcomes its regular clientèle to bring their own meats and seafood to be added to their favourite dish. On one occasion, on fish head noodle day, we noticed a mini buffet of fresh crab, razor clams and crayfish laid out on a side table. You could imagine our glee seeing the ‘seafood spread’, only to be extinguished when the lady boss mentioned that it was meant for a private party seated at selected tables around the stall.
It’s getting harder to find such good ‘little eats’ in city these days. This place is indeed a gem in the heart of bustling Kuala Lumpur.
If you had played the tune and read it this far, never come here on a Sunday.
Add: Little Eat Stall, Pudu For bookings : 012 220 8666 Monday Thursday – Ipoh Kway Teow and Lam Mee Tues, Fri and Sat – Meehoon Fish Head, Fish Paste Wed – Pork Mee, Porridge Sunday & Public Holidays Off