Phase four takeaway: Hit up Taman Desa's Restoran Tuck Tuck Tei for the old fashioned taste of 'Sam Kan Cheong' pork ball noodles

·3-min read
At this pork ball noodle stall located at Taman Desa, discover a taste that is closer to that of the original 1970s 'Sam Kan Cheong' — Pictures by Lee Khang Yi
At this pork ball noodle stall located at Taman Desa, discover a taste that is closer to that of the original 1970s 'Sam Kan Cheong' — Pictures by Lee Khang Yi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Back in the 1970s, there were three shoplots known as "Sam Kan Cheong" which were located along a lane near Kota Raya.

The draw here was a bowl of noodles served with flat pork balls, minced pork and pork sausage. Fast forward to the present and you can find that name all over the Klang Valley.

Most of these stalls can trace their origins to those shops whether through blood or a stint of employment there.

Long ago, a friend found one of the original family members who was still making a closer version of the original recipe. They had a stall at Lintang Imbi back in 2007.

Later, they moved and we lost track of their whereabouts. A recent random post on Facebook led me back to their stall that is now at Taman Desa, so I did a takeaway.

Apparently from what I read, it's now run by the one of the third generation of the original family with her son.

Unlike the ones you get at any random stall, the taste has slight nuances that make it different.

You will find the broth has a lighter taste, the pork sausage has delicious bits of lard and the pork balls are a little more tender to the bite
You will find the broth has a lighter taste, the pork sausage has delicious bits of lard and the pork balls are a little more tender to the bite

Overall, the original recipe has a lighter taste. For instance, the clear broth that accompanies the noodles is subtle with soy beans and meat. Some stalls have tweaked their broth to have a deeper pork taste since present-day customers prefer a stronger taste.

You even have a more cloudy broth being served indicating the use of large pork bones. I felt the noodles had less pepper which I prefer as I can taste the elements better.

Some stalls tend to overdo the white pepper which drowns out the taste of the ingredients. Again, this is my own personal preference.

Each element may look the same but once you taste it, you can spot the slight differences. For instance, the pork sausage may not look as dark coloured as that at the other stalls but once you bite into it, it's full of flavour with bits of lard.

The stall offers the soup and dry version of the noodles which you can takeaway to enjoy at home
The stall offers the soup and dry version of the noodles which you can takeaway to enjoy at home

At one glance, it may look dry but once you taste it, you will find that the sausage has a moist bite. Even the pork balls' texture is softer to the bite. Some stalls tend to overdo the springiness.

All these ingredients make the bowl of noodles incredibly satisfying and comforting. Even the dark soy sauce that they toss the dry noodles with has a more subtle taste. Again, some stalls tend to use a sweeter tasting soy sauce.

Do give them a try as this is probably the closest to the original recipe for these pork ball noodles.

The noodles are priced at RM7 for a small portion and RM7.50 for the large.

Pork Ball Noodle Stall, Restoran Tuck Tuck Tei, No. 64A, Jalan Desa Bakti, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 7.30am to 2pm. Closed every second Thursday of the month. Tel:+016-3074598.

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