For the last 15 years or so, I tend to stay at the Ritz Carlton whenever I am in Kuala Lumpur.
Is it because of the luscious buffet spread? The 5 star treatment ? The butler service ?
Dei my real hotel is Win Heng Coffeeshop at Jalan Imbi.
At night I just go behind to Ritz to sleep.
Yes it’s that simple. There is this delightful Coffeeshop called Win Hen Seng at Jalan Imbi that sells all my local favourites during breakfast where I gorge my face.
Ritz Carlton, Westin, and Marriot Hotel are all one lane behind Jalan Imbi so these are my go to hotels.
Truth be told, the long street of Jalan Imbi houses 3 great eating places – Win Heng Seng coffee shop, my favourite Cze Char Cantonese dishes simple restaurant called Soo Kee (dinner or supper) and the Chinese restaurant that most Singapore tourists swear by called Overseas Restaurant.
Win Heng Seng are at one end (the beginning) of Imbi Road while Soo Kee and Overseas are at the other end (nearer to Berjaya Time Square and ParkRoyal Hotel).
But back to Win Heng Seng. This Coffeeshop houses about 10 stalls with an additional make shift nasi lemak stall just positioned outside the premises.
You are unlikely to meet Audrey Hepburn there but who cares about Audrey when there is Chee Yoke Fun and Char Kway Teow?
The prices by Malaysian standards are not cheap. The place is frequented by locals and tourists so the Hawkers there have elevated the prices to be like almost Singapore pricing ie about S$3 to S$4 on average for a dish.
Well we have only ourself to blame. Because wherever we go in Malaysia, Singaporeans behave like chicks. We audibly go “cheep cheep cheep” so the Hawkers got irritated and made it not so cheap over the years.
These are some of my favourite stalls:
Nasi Lemak Zul
This is a makeshift stall just outside the Coffeeshop but Zul the energetic nasi lemak brudder (call him “brudder” he’ll be happy), is a permanent feature here. And you can buy from him and eat inside the Coffeeshop.
He is touted to be Top 5 in Kuala Lumpur for nasi lemak.
I am not fond of nasi lemak dishes that has a chilli base that is too sweet and most of his dishes are a tad too sweet for me. But the dishes are tasty and rustic which I do find appealing.
The chicken is a little too kampong athletic and dry for my liking but they have chilli squid and curried kerang (cockles) which keeps me happy.
For a full sight of this stall see this video here.
Imbi Famous Pork Ball Noodle 燕美豬肉粉
This is touted to be the most famous stall in this Coffeeshop.
This guy explains why.
They call it pork ball but it taste a little like a cross between pork and fish paste. And it’s squarish rather than round. A little bland but otherwise quite nice and chewy and the soup is tasty.
They also put in thick slices of a liver like Chinese sausage which gives the soup a little kick.
And the dark sauced gravy with some minced pork in the noodle is a nice contrast to the clear soup.
It is not easy to find this sort of noodle in KL or asia for that matter so I guess it’s a must try if you do come to Win Heng Seng.
I also hear from reliable sources that some luminary in Singapore sends people to buy huge quantities of the pork ball from this stall to be hand carried back to Singapore.
So maybe they’re on to something, so worth a try.
Pig innards and porridge Stall
For those of you suicidal sorts like me who will occasionally hobble with gout ridden toes but can’t give up their pork innards like liver, kidney, intestines and other delights, this stall is for you.
I have two words for you – colchicine and arcoxia . Prepare these meds when you come to Win Heng Seng cos you are going into gout territory.
This stall is right next to the square pork ball stall and this guy serves nice chewy and chunky intestines, soft and pliable liver and suppliant yet crunchy kidneys.
Have all this with that Malaysian cut green chilli and it’s dope. Your toes will start to curl but who needs toes ?
You can have these in soup or with noodles, dry or soup.
Or indulge in the same in creamy porridge.
Mr Char Kway Teow
Ok I’m sure there is better char kway teow elsewhere in KL but this guy’s char kway teow is decent.
Yong Tau Foo Chee Cheong Fun stall
Whats there not to like ?
Braised bean curd skin, stuffed chillis, tofu – and they dress this ensemble unashamedly with a glorious sweet chilli and brown sauce.
It’s indulgent and old school nostalgic taste hits the spot every time.
This stall sells an assortment of noodles but it’s their curry noodle that I like.
The curry broth is thick and fragrant and this is half the battle won in any good bowl of curry noodle.
This stall is situated in the new extension of the coffee shop. Watch our for the boss lady who sits on her throne barking out orders and collecting money – that’s the curry noodle stall.
Restoran Win Heng Seng
Address: 183 Jalan Imbi
Opening hours: Daily, 730 am-2.30pm