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Yong tau fu, fried rice at corner coffeeshop

 | July 23, 2011

Hup Soon Restaurant can probably be described as first among equals.

FOOD REVIEW

SS3 in Petaling Jaya has a few choice spots for lunch that a select group of office workers know about. I am familiar with that section of PJ because a relative used to stay in that area.

A stone’s throw away from Jalan SS3/26 is a home for the aged where a dear old uncle used to be a resident before he passed away at the age of 95.

But it’s the Hup Soon Restaurant that I want to focus on in this instance. Hup Soon is one of the more popular restaurants in that slightly hilly area which is served by a few restaurants.

One reason why this particular coffeeshop is crowded during lunch time is because of the yong tau fu stall at the front of the premises.

By the time we arrived for lunch, the stall was already close to selling its last few remaining pieces of yong tau fu which have not been gobbled up by eager customers who were there about an hour ahead of us.

The deep fried pieces of yong tau fu that I had selected didn’t look as if they were the finest on this side of PJ but we were so enthusiastic about this stall that we didn’t mind.

Just a few fu chuk pieces, some brinjal and a few skinny pieces of yew char kueh were on our table. As I have mentioned, the stall was on the verge of cleaning up for the afternoon.

Ordinary dish

Earlier, I wanted to have Indian rice but that stall too was fairly popular and its home-cooked dishes were always in high demand. My arrival coincided with its “packing up” time.

That put an end to my original Indian rice lunch. I turned next to a woman who manned the fried koay teow and fried rice stall. Her fried rice is slightly above average but nothing to shout about.

Still, hers was way better than some places that I knew of but declined to mention out of personal ethics.

But I specifically requested a solitary fried egg be added to the plate of fried rice. There’s nothing like the ordinary egg to spice up an ordinary dish which many Malaysians are familiar with.

I am constantly surprised by friends who dine at five-star hotel restaurants and ask for fried rice, even if the meal is sponsored by a generous third party.

Generally, the trend, from my personal experience, is that young women will order salad dishes while the men would either opt for fried rice or fried mee.

Hence, whenever I have fried rice at a coffeeshop, I will always be reminded of those “Malaysian moments” at those posh hotels. Hup Soon Restaurant must have been in business for more than 30 years.

Perhaps the eating stalls in its premises have changed owners over the years but it has remained popular partly because of its high visibility from the road junction and good feng shui.

Western food

Besides the usual lunch dishes, there also western food items, chicken rice, prawn mee, yee mee, curry laksa and lam mee.

There is no shortage of customers for the three or four coffeeshops which are located within walking distance of each other. But Hup Soon Restaurant can probably be described as first among equals.

It is the favourite eatery for some family members who always point to this restaurant whenever we are passing by the place and it happens to be “makan time”.

One of the benefits of eating at Hup Soon is the ample parking space in the vicinity. Unlike other restaurants which constantly suffer from lack of parking bays, Hup Soon has the advantage of being near residential homes which share a large playing field.

The roads around the neighbourhood have lots of parking space at most times during the day. So if you find Hup Soon too crowded, there are the other three coffeeshops just around the corner.

If you have just about an hour for lunch, the importance of finding a parking bay for your car quickly takes top priority. Hup Soon has that crucial advantage. On top of that, a number of its stalls have reasonably good dishes.

There are also some excellent eateries within five minutes of driving time but familiarity with a particular eatery often takes precedence when it comes to chow time. It is what scientists call human conditioning. That’s food for thought!


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