* Some of the establishments / dishes below are not halal.
The rice noodle roll, a.k.a. chee cheong fun
, had its humble start in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong and Hong Kong. While the people there continue to enjoy theirs filled with classic savory fillings like shrimp, cha siu
, and Chinese cruller (yao zha kwai
, which gives you a variation known as zha-liong
in Cantonese), over the years Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese have developed their own preferences.
KL-ites love theirs with a hoisin sauce-like, dark, sweet tim-zheong
. Penangites are partial to serving the noodles with a more pungent haeko
. Ipoh people, on the other hand, must enjoy theirs with a shiitake mushroom gravy and a good ladle of chili sauce on the side. Let’s not forget also the intriguing version from Teluk Intan!
Of course, besides the quintessential sauces that render the bulk of the flavor, well-made rice noodle roll should emit a sweet rice-ish aroma and carry a silky, pleasantly slippery texture. Here are 10 chee cheong funs
in K.L. that you ought to try! (Click on the restaurant names for addresses and OpenRice members' reviews.)
1. Kim Lian Kee Chee Cheong Fun @ Petaling Street
For decades only Cantonese-style chee cheong fun
— rice noodles rolls accompanied with tim-zheong
and / or chili sauce — has been served here. This is simplicity at its tastiest. Now that the first-generation owner has retired, his mid-aged daughter, another chee cheong fun
expert, has taken over the business. This spot can be inconspicuous. You can look out for it by a sign that reads “Kim Lian Kee”; it’s in a corner, opposite a Hong Leong bank and beside Hon Kee Porridge. Be there early because the noodles normally sell out by noon!
2. Curry Chee Cheong Fun @ Pudu's Wai Sek Kai
The signature chee cheong fun
with curry broth and pig’s skin is made with secret family recipe. The turmeric-tinted broth is heady with curry flavor and definitely not thinned down. While the pig’s skin is crisp and juicy. Dried shrimp and toasted sesame seeds bring savory final touch. This is, no doubt, one of the city’s hidden treasures.
3. Chee Cheong Fun @ P.J. Section 14
The owner would start business about 7 a.m., and his noodles would sell out before nine! People can’t get enough of his steamed, hand-rolled rice noodles. With each bite of the velvety and slightly springy noodles, the poached shrimp hidden within are unveiled. They’re best served simply, with tim-zheong
and chili sauce, a scatter of toasted sesame seeds and, if you like, some pickled green chilies to spice things up a bit!
4. 3A Yong Tau Foo & Chee Cheong Fun @ P.J. Section 19
Established in 2003. Now, even though it hasn’t been around for as long as its peers, it’s already amassed a large and loyal clientele. And because it’s halal, you’ll spot Muslim diners, too, in the crowd. Besides yong tau foo
, of course, its other signature is the chee cheong fun
. It’s reasonably priced and comes in generous portions. You can choose to serve it house-made tim-zheong, curry broth, or Penang-inspired haeko tim-zheong
. And before diving in, garnish the plate with crispy fried shallots and toasted sesame seeds!
5. Anson Chee Cheong Fun @ Pasar Malam Sri Petaling
This will surely help kill anyone’s hankering or curiosity for the unique chee cheong fun
from Teluk Intan, Perak. Underneath the sheets of smooth, silky steamed rice noodle is a savory bed of finely chopped chai poh
, dried shrimp, fried shallots, and toasted sesame seeds. The aroma will tantalize your senses, even from afar, before entering your mouth. The more you have it, the more you’ll be hooked!
6. Chee Cheong Fun @ Restoran Hup Soon, Kelana Jaya
Here, smooth and tender chee cheong fun
is often paired with wok-hot, crispy freshly made yong tau foo
. In the meantime, the deep-brown tim-zheong
is pretty thick and pleasantly sweet, enough to whet your appetite. Lastly, sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds and golden fried shallots. Toss them all together, and you’ve got yourself an ultimate comfort food.
7. Penang-Style Chee Cheong Fun @ Kedai Makanan O & S, P.J. Taman Paramount
It’s hard to find decent Penang-style chee cheong fun
in K.L. But thankfully, the folk here offer some pretty good one. Pitch-black, unctuous, sweet-savory haeko
(shrimp paste) is mixed with the dark, sweet tim-zheong
as well as a touch of hot chili sauce. Then toss freshly steamed rice noodles in the sweet, sticky, salty, sharp-flavored mixture, and strew toasted sesame seeds and fried shallots across them. You’ve got yourself a satisfying dish here.
8. Chee Cheong Fun @ Yap Hup Kee, Pudu
This Hakka eatery serves up loads of deep-fried goodies, including its famous yong tau foo
, as well as chee cheong fun
. You can shower the steamed rice noodles — which, intriguingly, don’t seem as broad as other chee cheong funs
— in classic tim-zheong
or curry broth. Finally, top them off with crispy fried dried shrimp. Tender, silky, sweet and salty at the same time. Things can’t get any better than this.
9. Energy Yong Tou Foo Steamboat @ Jalan Ipoh
If you’re in this neck of the woods, make sure to pop by here for some serious chee cheong fun
/ yong tau foo
. The rice noodle rolls are fresh and heavenly tender, with a little bite to it. You can choose to down yours with a flavorful curry broth or classic tim-zheong
with or without chili sauce. Jazz things up even more with the owner’s tasty deep-fried morsels, like meat-stuffed eggplant slices, fish balls, and stuffed fu zhok
(deep-fried stuffed tofu skin)!
10. Chee Cheong Fun @ 928 Nice to Eat Food Centre, Puchong Bandar Puteri
Just like any well-made, artisan steamed rice noodle rolls, the ones offered here are smooth and tender, or somewhat bouncy with a bite, depending on how they are served. Pour over a good ladle of the owner’s house-made tim-zheong
— which is neither too thick, too thin, nor too sweet, with a perfect salty touch — and top the plate off with freshly made yong tau foo
. Nothing speaks comfort like this does.
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