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Feb 25, 2012 09:07 AM

Kuala Lumpur - Dining Options at EAT Food Village, Publika @ Solaris Dutamas

KL's Islamist government generally frowned upon consumption of pork - requiring the kitchens of international hotels to be pork-free and certified "halal" (suitable for Muslims) if those hotels hope to get any Malaysian government-sanctioned events or contracts.

Public food courts in government buildings also have the same requirement, including eateries in airports, railway stations, etc. Townships like Putrajaya (KL's administrative capital) and Shah Alam are also declared pork-free, which meant any eating establishment had to comply with trhis requirement to be granted a license to operate.

Amidst all these restrictions, it is no wonder that KL's non-Muslim Chinese & Indian minorities generally get all excited when they come across a new non-halal eatery.

The newish EAT Food Village at Solaris Dutamas is perhaps KL's only other non-halal foodcourt, besides trail-blazer Hutong @ Lot 10. Located in a part of KL which is home to large expatriate communities, EAT Food Village, which opened late last year, was posh, cool, and put in great effort to bring together famous hawkers from KL and Penang, including Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh from Klang, Sentul Ah Yap's Hokkien fried noodles, Hoong Kee Wanton Mee, etc.

Some of the food we tried:

1. Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien Mee & Seafood (洗都阿叶福建面海鲜饭店)
The original Sentul Ah Yap (744 Jalan Sentul in Kuala Lumpur) started operating in 1968, frying its Hokkien noodles over charcoal flames - the original way, which Hokkien noodles aficionados insisted ould give the noodles its characteristic slightly-charred "wok hei" flavor.
The version churned out in the food court tasted every bit as I expected, but with less lardons than I wanted (which was probably "good", healthwise, anyway). Prawns, fishcakes, slivers of pork, cabbage and "choy sum" vegetables completed the delicious, gooey plate of noodles.
Perfect texture-wise, and consistency of the sauce (KL-style Hokkien noodles cannot be as wet as the Klang version, but not too dry either).

2. Lorong Seratus Tahun Curry Mee (百年路咖哩麵)
This famous stall's original outlet is located in Lorong Seratus Tahun (One Hundred Years Lane) in Penang. It's a newish stall by Penang standards (just over 30 years old) and "unqiue" in the sense that its curry gravy is whitish in color instead of having that orange-ish/reddish hue atypical of curries. Also, Lorong Seratus Tahun Curry Mee is perhaps the only one I know of in Penang which does *not* use any coconut milk in its gravy - hence the somewhat clearer, translucent quality of its gravy.
The mix of yellow Hokkien wheat noodles and thin white rice noodles ("bee hoon") was perfect. Tiny just-cooked cockles, shrimps, cuttlefish strips and tofu puffs completed the picture.
I still preferred the richer, coconut-flavored type of the typical Penang-style curry mee, though, so Lorong Seratus Tahun's version is not exactly to my taste. But many other diners & fans of Lorong Seratus Tahun would beg to differ.

3. Hoong Kee (亨记) Wanton Noodle
Established in 1960 in Jalan Loke Yew, Hoong Kee's wanton noodles had the classic ultra-delicious KL-style soy-sauce-sesame-oil-lard dressing which proved irresistible to me. The "char-siu" (caramelised barbecued pork) was lard-rich, meltingly-soft on the inside, and smoky-crunchy-sweet on the outside.
Hoong Kee's "kon low" (dried version) wanton noodles would be accompanied by a small bowl of clear pork-prawn broth containing 3 divinely delicate wanton dumplings, filled with a mixture of minced pork and prawns. Simply fab! I'd still rate Hoong Kee way behind my fave, Ho Weng Kee in Hutong, Lot 10, though, and also Koon Kee in Petaling Street, Chinatown.

Address details
EAT Food Village
UG1 Publika Shopping Gallery
Solaris Dutamas
1 Jalan Dutamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-264 0938 (General enquirie

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  1. Hmm, interesting the Federal Territory Mosque is across from the complex according to Googlemaps - doesn't the smell of burning pork get to them? :-) Then there's the High Court of Malaya and the Government complex a hop and a skip away... Interesting...
    (I also didn't know that Shah Alam and Putrajaya were pork-free. "Islamist government" sounds right.)

    The food looks nice and tasty. Yum!

    Only three wontons seems a little meager, though? (How many would one have got for that small/y6.90 Ringgit portion of "wanton" alone as posted on the board?)

    Perhaps it's what I was used to, but I think I would still prefer KL Hokkien Mee without choy sum or cabbage or fish cake or cuttlefish. Just pork strips and lardons, maybe shrimp as well. I'll have a plate of veggies on the side. No, I'm not one of those who hate food touching each other on the plate. :-) Mind you, I *like* lots of veggies included with other kinds of dishes - like the char siu korn lo meen, for example.

    4 Replies
    1. re: huiray

      EAT Food Village's prices were certainly not cheap. But I guess that's the price to pay for dining in air-conditioned comfort. I'll need to go back there again to try other dining options.

      I need to be more like you, huiray - include more veggies in my diet! :-)

      1. re: klyeoh

        If, as you say, expats are plentiful in that neighborhood (that's interesting, too - whereabouts, exactly?) I suppose there would be lots of customers with higher levels of disposable income to comprise the clientele?

        1. re: huiray

          The Hartamas and Mont Kiara area - lots of Japanese especially - they'd moved away from Bangsar which has become more a Muslim-Malay dining area. Did I mention how difficult it is to find restaurants serving pork in Bangsar? Only El Meson Spanish restaurant bucked the trend. All other Italian or Continental restauants serve turkey ham, beef bacon, etc.
          I just realised that it's IMPOSSIBLE to find pork katsudon in KL! I go back to Singapore on some weekends for this dish.

          1. re: klyeoh

            Aha, thanks. I guess those multitudes of condos in those areas (and the International schools there) should have pointed me to their whereabouts) Y'know, Damansara Heights just south of there and north of Bangsar always used to be a chi-chi and wealthy area - I must suppose it is still the same but wonder if the expat population has also spilled over significantly into that enclave.

            The tid-bits about further Islamicization and things like the dearth of pork katsudon makes one sad. And a tad riled.