Chee Cheong Fun at Restoran Hai Keng Section 14
If you have never tried the Chee Cheong Fun at Restoran Hai Keng in Section 14, then this is one of the old-style steamed rice rolls that you are missing.
Please note that this is very old-school hawker food and not one of those new social media viral-type food out there. This is meant for true foodies or those who appreciate good food.
I’ve been eating Chee Cheong Fun for over 40 years now, and throughout the four decades, I have tried some of the best in Malaysia and some of the bad ones. But overall, most are quite decent.
The stall over here has no official name; therefore, it is just called Chee Cheong Fun stall at Restoran Hai Keng and not to be confused, there is another Chee Cheong Fun stall here which serves the Teluk Intan style Chee Cheong Fun and Yong Tau Foo.
Therefore, I have provided a photo below to identify the correct stall you should order from when you come here.
Hai Keng Chee Cheong Fun
Before I get into the review, let me share a bit of history about this CCF stall. Mr Lai Yew Kong originally started the business in 1968, which at the time of writing this, is a 53-year-old business.
Currently, the son Lai Kok Tho has taken over the Chee Cheong Fun business with another lady, I assume which is his wife. They offer ready-to-go packets or made-to-order on the spot.
The style of Chee Cheong fun is also based on the Madras Lane Chee Cheong Fun at Petaling Street hawker lane. Not to be confused, but this has nothing to do with the Penang Madras Lane, and this was actually named after the Madras Cinema that burned down in 1978, which is now the open car park near this hawker street.
Anyway, Mr Lai Yew Kong’s uncle is responsible for starting the Madras Lane Chee Cheong Fun, which inspired him to follow suit. And his steamed rice rolls are also a recipe from his mother, who uses only ground rice flour, which gives it a different kind of texture.
But overall, the actual style of this is the Kampar Chee Cheong Fun as the creator Mr Lai originates from Kampar town in Perak. This simply means that the CCF here is a hybrid from Ipoh to Kampar to KL and then to PJ. Wow, complicated indeed.
For the record, Mr Lai Yew Kong has an elder daughter who runs a Chee Cheong fun stall at Decades Cafe in Happy Garden, KL. This place was opened in mid of 2018 and serves a similar style CCF and with other condiments.
One of the unique CCF she sells is the Charcoal Chee Cheong Fun, which is strangely black in colour. This is something I have to try one day when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The unique recipe makes the Chee Cheong Fun a little sticker and not perfectly rolled compared to others. However, you must note the sticky texture as it is not something that many may appreciate.
The stall only serves steamed rice rolls with soy sauce, sesame oil, seeds, green chillies, chilli sauce and sweet sauce. Do not expect anything else here as this is old-school style Chee Cheong Fun.
They open from 7.00 AM till about 9.00 AM, that’s just two hours of work as they sell out really fast so if you want to savour this, please come before 8.00 AM.
I’ve tried this a few times and the last being today hence my writing this, and I still cannot come to terms with the stickiness of the Chee Cheong Fun noodles. Maybe after a few more times, my tastebuds will eventually accept it? Who knows.
The entire concept of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and pickled green chillies have always impressed me on how such a simple dish can be so meaningful. Well, there are, in fact, many types of Chee Cheong Fun out there, and each one of us will have our own favourites.
What Do I Think?
To me, the simplest style of Chee Cheong Fun is always the best. Not as a meal but as breakfast or a quick snack. So, this CCF from Hai Keng is rather different, probably due to the stickiness of the texture and the sourness of the pickled chillies.
The rice noodle is also much thicker than those thin-style ones, which I like, and this is because they are hand-rolled and hand-made daily. The next time I try this, I will add some sweet sauce to see if it makes a difference in the taste.
I also admire this stall because they still serve the CCF the old way, in a wrapped paper bundle. Something nostalgic that is hard to come by nowadays, especially in the urban areas of a city.
Anyway, this review is part of my Chee Cheong Fun crusade during the millennium’s worst pandemic, Covid19 and how the country has undergone numerous lockdowns for the people. This meant that I could only travel around a 10-kilometre radius to source food during the lockdowns.
On a positive note, I have explored numerous different hawker foods from around Petaling Jaya or PJ during each lockdown and discovered some old hidden charms were the bonus.
After all, we all need to eat and what more than exploring some of the best hawker food in PJ. I guess this was one way I use to cope with the boredom of being on lockdown during Covid19.
Where is Hai Keng Chee Cheong Fun Stall?
The stall is located at the back of the coffee shop and away from the other hawker stalls. See the photo provided above. The location of the coffee shop is also down the road from Digital Mall in PJ.
After passing Digital Mall on your left, just head on straight, and you will pass a long row of shop lots. When you reach the end just at the cross junction, Hai Keng is a corner shop adjoining some houses.
Chee Cheong Fun at Restoran Hai Keng
22, Jalan 14.20, Section 14, Petaling Jaya
Open: 7.00 AM to 9.00 AM
Waze: Restoran Hai Keng
Price: Small RM3.00 to RM3.60
Map to Hai Keng Coffee Shop
Again, you need to get here before 9.00 AM to try the Chee Cheong Fun, and I hear that sometimes, they sell out at 8.00 AM. Overall, during the Covid19 MCO3 phase, they may open a little later, so if you come before 10.00 AM, you may still be in luck.
I’ve been running around Petaling Jaya to find some of the best hawker food and putting my focus on some of the not-so-famous types of food. This means you will not see me reviewing the over-rated places like Village Park or Uptown Hokkian Mee, and so on.
Honestly, I have to highlight here that most people’s taste buds have really gone off in the last couple of decades, and this is rather alarming. When you tell me the best Hokkian Mee is from Uptown, I cringe, and when you tell me Aba’s Nasi Lemak in SS2 is to die for, I cringe even more.
Food has been a very subjective matter; hence there is no “The Best” out there. There is good food, ‘Can Eat’ food or hopeless attempts in trying. My mission is to share the food I discover, put in a little history and hopefully, people will look at the dish differently when they eat it.
I’m not a famous food blogger in Malaysia, but I hope to be a well-known food critic, and my opinions are all my own. If you find my other food reviews or articles interesting, please subscribe to my blog and hear your comments, good or bad. And remember, I am also human, and I make mistakes, so don’t throw me under the bus if you find a mistake.