MY QUEST for ‘Black’ Char Koay Teow continues and this time, it led me to Port Klang in Selangor.
Now, I’ve mentioned at least two stalls that serve this noodle dish in Banting and just when I thought that my search was over, two of my colleagues who reside in Klang made mention of a stall opposite the Rex cinema in Port Klang.
In its heyday, this township was the centre of boom times in Selangor.
But as time went by, the commercial district slowed down and it is slowly taken over by foreigners.
You will find more Bangladeshis and Nepalis here than the locals who had moved out to more affluend neighbourhoods and townships in the state.
Getting back to the Char Koay Teow stall, I was told by my colleague Frederick Fernandez that there is an old-timer who is still selling it at a food court.
So, with that as my cue, I took my wife Michelle and brother in-law Eugene on a Char Koay Teow hunt to Port Klang.
We drove from our home in Subang Jaya via the KESAS Higway to get to the hawker centre (GPS coords: N 03 00 168, E 101 23 929) which is located smack in the middle of the township.
It took some effort to locate this place and a telephone call to Frederick was what it took to get a fix on this actual location.
And right there at the left-hand corner, I spotted an elderly Chinese man in a white Pagoda T-shirt frying Char Koay Teow.
And on a placard placed near the entrance, customers were informed of pricing and opening hours of the stall.
I ordered a small plate of fried Koay Teow for my wife and a large plate of Koay Teow-Mee for myself.
A plate of Char Koay Teow costs RM3.30 for small and RM4.50 for large.
Now, if the Japanese Government can confer the title of ‘living treasure’ to Jiro-san, a sushi restaurant owner in Tokyo, I think the old-timer in Port Klang deserves the same.
In the Samo’s Book of Makan, the Ah Pek is a ‘Living Treasure’.
Why? Because he is doing something that he loves and is running out of time.
And on the Samo-scale, the Char Koay Teow scores a 9 out of 10. This is an all-time high score for a little stall in a town that most of us city dwellers have forgotten.
For the Black Char Koay Teow experience, I would recommend a KTM Komuter trip to Port Klang and if you use a folding bike, the ride is roughly about a 10-minute ride from the Komuter station.
If you prefer to walk, it would take roughly about 20 minutes to get there.