Kuala Lumpur - Lien Bee (联美) KL-style Fried Hokkien Mee, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
Lien Bee has been churning out rich, delicious KL-style Hokkien noodles since just after the end of the Second World War, which makes it, oh, a few years short of 70 this year?
Charcoal-fried, with generous helpings of artery-clogging but to-die-for (literally) crisp lardons, Lien Bee's noodles are unmissable. The back-lane setting was precious - we *never* get this in Singaproe anymore!
Lien Bee (联美)
Alleyway next to Lai Foong Coofeeshop
Off Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
50000 Kuala Lumpur
Is that barley water? :-)
What's the green bits in the dish?
Hmm. I wonder. When you are next back at this stall, could you be so kind as to ask them if they had a night stall (or knew of it) back in the 60's further up Jln Tun HS Lee (aka High Street) just beyond Leboh Pasar Besar (aka Market Street) on the N/NE side at that slight curve in the road and before Jln Tun Tan Siew Sin (aka Cross Street), and with Maybank at the corner across from the site of the stall? I've talked about this stall "back in the day" before.
Yes, it's barley water - seemed to be the only drink they served there.
The green stuff was "choy sum" - nice young shoots used here at Lien Bee.
I'll ask the youngish-looking owner-chef the next time I'm down there about your query. He himself is the 3rd-generation running Lien Bee.
Okay, huiray - this one's for you: intrigued by your detailed description/request, I drove all the way down to Lien Bee this evening after work and talked to the owner-chef, Kua Choon Chuan. Well, he said that his family's been operating in this back-lane location since 1946, although they did shift from the left side of the lane to the right side of the lane a few years ago - okay, I didn't exactly expected him to throw this piece of trivia at me :-D
Anyhoo, I asked him about "your" night-stall and, sure enough, he knew about his competitor. "Yes, it's *very* famous, ... like mine" - his exact words.
Anyway, the geographical position you described was spot on. He called it the "D&C Bank" stall. Now, the bad news - the stall ceased operating in that particular location in 1999. Reason given was because after some bank mergers in Malaysia resultant from the Asian economic crisis during that period, D&C Bank was merged with another bank, and the new owners wanted the legendary Hokkien noodle stall to move away from its long-time back-lane location as it was "blocking the traffic".
So, the Hokkien noodle stall owners decided to pack up & call it a day :-(
Personally, I *can't* believe that it's gone without a trace. I'm sure the famous chef, or at least the descendants, *must* be somewhere in KL still, cooking up a Hokkien noodle storm - either in another back alley, or a food-court, or some coffeeshop. I'm going to ask around all my old foodie friends and find out for you.
Wow, I hope you got yourself another plate of Hokkien Mee while you were at it! I owe you one.
Hmm, I remember both a young man as well as a young lady alternating at the stall - perhaps her son or her hubby or a male relative "in the business" with her, then? The stall was parked on the sidewalk then, with tables and chairs spilling out around it and onto the road too. At one point the cops even closed off that short stretch of the road at night for the stall, IIRC, and we used to wonder what kind of influence they had!
Yes, I too would be curious to know if they have reconstituted themselves elsewhere.
Another plate of Hokkien Mee? My dear: Mr Kua put a nugget of lardon the size of the Hope Diamond in my plate of Hokkien Mee yesterday. It contained enough cholesterol to last me for the next one month. So, I had to sadly forgo my Hokkien Mee today :-(
Interestingly, Lien Bee's Hokkien noodles did *not* contain any shrimp or squid, but did contain pork liver, besides the lardons and slivers of pork. I understood from Mr Kua that the "D&C Bank Stall" was exactly the same.