PETALING JAYA, Sept 17 — There’s all kinds of food hunters. Some chase after wantan mee all over the Klang Valley. Others swear by curry laksa. Whatever it is, they’re devoted fans and once they sniff out news of a new place, you will find them there.
A friend who is the ultimate curry laksa fan introduced me to this stall in an obscure corner of Damansara Jaya.
I’ve driven past this place many times and as far as I know, it’s always crowded since the draw is actually its extensive spread of economy rice or chap fan dishes. Who knew it hid a curry laksa stall as well.
This stall wears many hats. There’s chicken rice, wantan mee and even freshly cut fruits being offered as well as the curry laksa. Zoom in on the curry laksa — a bowl of it sets you back by RM8 — laden with lean pieces of char siu, pig skin, brinjal, long beans, bean sprouts, beancurd puffs and fried beancurd skin.
The beauty lies in that curry broth. It’s fragrant with a distinct lemongrass aroma and well balanced with santan. According to the Indonesian Chinese lady who runs the stall, she learnt the recipe from her husband about 10 years ago.
The spice paste for the curry is made from scratch and you will see them keeping the broth boiling away in a pot. Depending on your luck, you may even score a piece of potato in your curry broth!
Since it is well balanced, drinking it is a pleasure. You get a slight hit from the spiciness followed by its fragrance. The sambal served on the side is not overly spicy but I like its distinct belacan aroma when eaten on its own.
As it offers so many items, you can mix and match items with your curry laksa. There’s fried wantans for RM5. Either eat them on the side and dip them with the curry or crown your well- laden bowl with them.
There’s also two types of chicken available, poached and the roasted variety so add more protein to your bowl by ordering extra.
The char siu may be a little lean but it complements the curry well as if it was the stickier, dark version, the sweetness would probably have overwhelmed the balance. Sadly, they have stopped selling cockles, otherwise you can build up the ultimate curry bowl here.
Since they sell wantan mee, I prefer using the egg noodles with my curry laksa. The slightly springy strands pair well with the curry. Sometimes, they even add a spoonful of crispy lard fritters in your curry laksa.
Curry laksa stall, Restoran Hong Mei (previously Hong Hui), 1, Jalan SS22/11, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya. Open: 8am to 5pm. Closed on Sunday.