KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I had discovered Hai Tao Kee Char Yin Yong's offerings. On social media, it is marketed as Alor Star Char Yin Yong to distinguish its origins.
Even though I'm not from Alor Star, the enticing description of the fried noodles or char ying yong by a friend was enough to make me place an order. It was only much later, I found out how popular the eatery is up north.
From what I read, this stall used to be located on the banks of Sungai Kedah. A few years ago, they relocated to Sudut Selera Tanjong Chali where they share the open air space with many other stalls that offer various things such as oyster omelette to wanton mee. The noodles are fried using a charcoal fire and a half a century old wok. Locals usually keep the fried noodles overnight to allow the flavours of the sauce to be absorbed thoroughly.
Since the end of June this year, their pre-orders to the Klang Valley have been quickly filled up. Most of their customers are those who miss the taste of their hometown.
Every week, a limited number of food items are offered. There's their signature ying yong noodles. You also have their homemade sambal belacan to accompany the noodles and fried snacks like their lorbak and hae jii or prawn fritters. There's also a Thai inspired pork curry and their kung pao mantis prawns.
You need to follow them on Instagram to catch when they open up their pre-orders. Usually this is done once a week.
So far, orders have been opened on Thursday from 5pm onwards. From what I understand, it's not fixed on that day as it's all dependent on the logistics schedule. If you don't want to miss out, just keep a constant eye out for the announcement that will be done via Instagram Stories.
I was lucky to get my order in even though it had sold out. After I contacted them, they checked if there were duplicate orders and helped me place an order via their website.
Delivery of my items arrived the week after on a Wednesday. This was handled by Lalamove and the delivery charges are charged separate from the price of each food item. The delivery schedule is spread over a period of three days.
For their signature noodles, this is available in a set of five packs for RM44.50. The mixture of kuey teow and bee hoon is fried over a charcoal fire and packed in frozen ready-to-eat packs. All you need to do is microwave the packets or like me, just steam them for a few minutes to get a piping hot plate of noodles.
When you plate up the noodles, you can smell the distinct charcoal aroma. I like how the noodles weren't too greasy and it was tasty on its own, just needing a little of their aromatic sambal. Even though the noodles have absorbed most of the starchy sauce it is served with, it's not too soggy. You also have tender pieces of sliced pork and pig's liver.
For the fried snacks, this is available for RM45.90 where it is enough to feed at least four to six people. Each packet has 10 pieces each of the lorbak, prawn fritters and the otak otak. It also has two small tubs of their chilli sauce.
Just defrost the items and fry them up in the hot oil. The lorbak has a mix of lean pork and minced pork, delicately scented with spices.
For the prawn fritters, these are studded with the tiny soft shelled prawns that are delicious with the mildly spicy chilli sauce. Even the mini otak otak bites were a fun way to enjoy the snacks as you need to unfurl each pandan leaf that has been deep fried.
Their kung pao mantis prawns (RM13.90) requires a little more work but you will be rewarded with a plate of deliciousness. The packet has the mantis prawns coated with a thick batter and a packet of the sauce.
Just pan fry the mantis prawns to get the coating to be crispy. You can fry up chopped onions, dried chillies and spring onions first before adding the thick sauce. Once the sauce is ready, gently toss in the fried mantis prawns to coat with the thick, slightly sweet sauce.