Wai Sek Kai or Hawker Eat Street on Jalan Sayur, off Jalan Pudu (opposite Sek Yuen Restaurant on Jalan Pudu)..
Ask any of the KL folks about this hawker street and they will point you in the right direction. Wai Sek Kai on Jalan Sayur could be a city icon in itself – one of the older hawker centers in the heart of Pudu that is still surviving, no thriving, till this day.
Hawkers have been working this street for the past 50 years or so, and many of them are now second, and even third generation owners. Affectionately known as Wai Sek Kai, this fluorescent lamp lit street comes alive after 7pm. We have been having a bout of heavy rain in the evenings this past month and so, the particular hawker stall that we always frequent has not been open regularly. We often bring our foreign visitors here for dinner – Simon Falvo of “Wild About Travel” had her initiation here earlier this year, when she visited Malaysia. Needless to say, she was soon hooked on the hawker fare. One dish in particular really stood out for her as well.
And this dish happens to be, the best find on this street…
Fried kwey teow with a twist..
The Salted Duck Egg Yolk, Char Kwey Teow (DuCKT)!
Here is the Salted Duck Egg Yolk, Char Kwey Teow (DuCKT) stall. The shop may not look like much, but it has been around for ages and the DuCKT is truly special. The spin on the Char Kwey teow is the result of marrying salted duck egg yolk with the flat rice noodles. It is added last in the frying process and adds a gritty texture and characteristic aroma to the noodles. It has tons of wok hei as well, and contrary to what the name implies, the duck yolk is not salty at all.
such concentration in frying the DuCKT
salted duck egg yolk.. key ingredient
And what’s better than salted chicken yolk? Well salted duck yolk of course – it tastes better, richer and has an overall nicer texture. The salted duck yolk is fried up separately and added last to the wok. The dish is a decadent explosion of spicy, prawny and eggy flavours. Also the bloody cockles add a slick and unctuous dimension to the dish. The DuCKT has got to be richer and more flavourful than your average Char Kwey Teow. We keep coming back for this dish but be sure you work out extra hard in the coming days because the cholesterol in this dish is just phenomenal!
end product – can’t really see the salted egg yolk but the flavour and texture is evident in every mouthful
Check out also the fried sotong (cuttlefish) rojak stall for this Malaysian favourite. The rojak has bite-sized chunks of cooling cucumber, crunchy kangkung, strips of tart green mangoes, and wedges of crispy wafers. Also tender cuttle fish and rolled BBQed cuttle fish are added for extra bite and texture. The choice ingredients are then tossed in a thick gooey sweet and savoury hae ko or shrimp paste base sauce, and finished with generous sprinkles of nutty ground peanuts and fragrant toasted sesame seeds to enhance the taste and texture.
famous sotong (rolled cuttlefish) rojak but the wafers were a bit hard and over grilled this time
grilling station – rojak
Our, another hot favourite is the Winner’s Fried Chicken stall – deep fried chicken which is succulent yet crispy – there is always a long line here, queueing for the chicken. And if you love chinese desserts, check out the dessert stall next to Winners Fried Chicken. This 50-year-old stall offers only five types of dessert, including the usual tong sui, Chinese-style sweet broths with ingredients like longans, lotus seeds and gingko nuts. The hot favourite here is the steamed egg custard – sweet, creamy and super smooth. The aromatic egg in the herbal tea is also delightful.
young and old .. diners on Wai Sek Kai
lok-lok is another hot favourite
Lok-lok is another Asian dining phenomenon. They have laid out before you, a massive selection of “cold cuts” such as fish balls, cockles, squid, shellfishes, jelly fish, green vege, tofu, meat balls, prawns, pig’s kidney, liver and stomach, and even some century eggs with pickled young ginger.. Pay by the stick and sit down al-fresco with a bunch of family members, enjoying your communal dipping hot pot session. This is best eaten during the rainy season as it can get rather hot in front of the hot pot. I don’t really fancy eating this much because, though the rule is “no double dipping”, who can say? And those dipping pots are indeed communal and reused throughout the night so.. you catch my drift.
There’s loads of dipping sauces which comes with the lok-lok. There’s chili, peanut, super hot green chillies, garlic and red chillies and sweet sauce
The chee cheong fun (CCF) stall is another crowd pleaser – rice rolls doused with sweet sauce and garnished with crunchy bits of sesame seeds. The other way to enjoy the chee cheong fun is to drown it in curry with spongy bits of pork skin. The curry has coconut milk, and is aromatic from the smokiness and depth of the rempah used. I like the curry version but Cumi like the CCF with sweet sauce and chili sauce, with lots of bean curd skin and tofu pok in it.
Chee Cheong Fun with sweet sauce and chili sauce, with lots of bean curd skin and tofu pok
And finally, my last two favourite stalls – one is halal and one is non-halal. I am always irresistibly drawn to the stall with the somewhat grotesque cauldron of pig intestine soup on the boil- Hot, peppery and just fantastic on a cold and rainy night. But it’s not just all about the pork. There is also halal food on Wai Sek Kai – I love the sup tulang that’s loaded with tasty gristle/cartilage (tulang rawan), cut into bite sizes, and bursting with flavours of kurma powder, fennel, star anise, clove, cinnamon, galangal, turmeric, bay leaves and coriander. Oh super addictive as well!
Offal soup – a massive cauldron on the boil and you wonder how they finish it all in one night?
Feels like Zombie-land all right..
the soup is bursting with flavours of kurma powder, fennel, star anise, clove, cinnamon, galangal, turmeric, bay leaves and coriander
Most of these stalls are closed on Mondays, and come alive in the evening till late.
Had a great time with Simon Falvo, from Milan!
Add: Wai Sek Kai or Hawker Eat Street Jalan Sayur, off Jalan Pudu (opposite Sek Yuen Restaurant on Jalan Pudu)