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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bite-Size Review: Weng Hing Coffeeshop - KL, Malaysia

Weng Hing coffeeshop along Jalan Imbi.  Photograph by Weng Ho
One of my favourite childhood memories of growing up in KL is bundling into the family car and heading to this coffeeshop at the corner of Jalan Barat and Jalan Imbi for breakfast during the weekends.  There are about six very different hawkers co-existing more or less harmoniously within that space.  We always ordered the same things: my dad would have the chee cheong fun (rice noodle roll) complemented with fishballs, beancurd wrap (fu chok) and stuffed chili peppers, all slathered with a combination of sweet fermented black bean and spicy chili sauce; my mom would order the char kway teow; chicken rice or char siew (BBQ pork) for my brother; and I'd line up for the dry mixed noodles with minced pork in black soy sauce.  Those came with these chewy pork cubes on the side, the likes of which I'd never really seen anywhere else in my foodie travels.
Kway Teow Mee with Minced Pork
Now, the best aspect about this coffeeshop is not what it served whilst I was growing up.  It's not just a mere nostalgic highlight of my culinary childhood.  No, the remarkable thing is that this ratty, run-down, grimy joint is still around, and all those hawkers selling those dishes I'd mentioned?  They're still dishing out those very same wonderful streetfood.  To this very day.  And for a city like KL to be witness to such consistency and longevity in a local coffeshop in a land of local coffeshops, decade after decade, that's pretty amazing.

Weng Hing Coffeeshop - Corner of Jalan Imbi and Jalan Barat. Diagonally across the street from The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur in KL, Malaysia.
Fish Balls and Fish Cake


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