Have you heard about the Dancing King Char Kuay Teow in PJ, which is apparently one of the best original dishes that has not lost its flavour and style? As you know, this famous Penang dish has been one of the top ten hawker favourites in Malaysia for a long time.
One thing I must comment on here is that there is no best char kuey teow in Malaysia; there are only good ones, which are subjective to everyone’s individual taste. So, my judging criteria are based on over 40 years of experience eating fried kuey teow from all over Malaysia.
Dancing King Char Kuay Teow
While people always try to compare the Penang Char Kuey Teow to one another, some will claim the ‘wok hey‘, some say the wetness, some the duck egg and so on. But in everyone’s book of good hawker food, each has their own personal favourite. But often, there are some hawkers that stand out from the others.
Brian Ang is one of them, as he has made quite a name for himself among the PJ people for his Dancing King Char Kuay Teow. His story is as classic as it gets, as this former dance instructor spent two decades teaching the ever-popular Line Dance at his studio before throwing in the towel and frying Kuey Teow.
Now, here’s the fun part which caught me off guard – Brian and I go back to our childhood days at Petaling Garden, where we grew up together playing at the local ‘padang‘, roaming the housing areas, and hanging out when we were kids.
Suddenly, 40 years later, I bumped into him at Restoran Sun Fatt Kee in SEA Park and wow, how times have changed! We still recognised each other and caught up about the good old days of Petaling Garden in PJ Section 5. Anyway, I’ll get straight to the food part, and no judgement.
I’ve always been on the lookout for a plate of decent char kuey teow (CKT), but honestly, it’s just hard to get nowadays. The Robert brothers used to be one of the powerhouses for this, but over the years, they have lost touch or slacked.
That other dancing kuey teow in Section 17 PJ is Robert’s brother-in-law, who does an entertaining show for his customers, but his food is just average and nothing to shout about. If you ask me, the lady in the opposite coffee shop fries better than that dancing guy. So, you can imagine my frustration in seeking out some decent CKT.
Honestly, I have never tried Bryan’s CKT before; therefore, in November 2023, I made that early stop at Restoran Sun Fatt Kee at about 11.30 AM and ordered two plates from Bryan. One was Kuey Teow Mee, and the other was just plain Char Kuey Teow.
Bryan asked me if I wanted the cockles (siham) cooked or added fresh after frying. Wow, this was something no one asks anymore from other sellers, so I went for the obvious – add them after frying. As it was early, both dishes came in under 10 minutes, and I liked that he fried them individually, which is how it should be done.
Char Kuey Teow Verdict
When the dishes were served, our eyes were fixated on the size and freshness of the siham! They looked like they had just peeled from the shells and still had that fresh, slightly bloody redness in them. Wow, I have not seen this in over 30 years in PJ; therefore, I knew I was in for an exciting treat.
So, when this is done, you quickly need to toss your CKT around and cover the siham so that the heat can blend it into the dish, thus giving that mild siham flavour in the char kuay teow. The prawns were also humongous, one of the largest I have seen in a hawker dish, and let me just say, it’s RM9.00.
Now, the chilli added was also mild and just right tasting as you could taste the overall wok hey in the dish. I don’t understand how some people can add extra chilli, and the dish loses its natural flavour. But I guess that’s the subjective part about people’s taste.
So, here’s the fun part – Bryan uses pork lard oil instead of regular cooking oil mixed with pork lard pieces (chee yau char), so this alone is another plus point as it gives out a very distinctive taste to the CKT, but not overdoing it where the dish may taste of chee yau char.
The bean sprouts he uses are also the Ipoh type, which is much fatter and juicier and compliments the dish. Oh, he did ask me if I wanted duck or chicken egg, and I chose chicken because duck egg tends to make the CKT a little more wet. Again, some people love that, but not me.
However, because this is the central region, most PJ or Klang Valley people tend to love those Chinese Croutons (chee yau char) in everything they order, so Bryan does put in a fair bit, which makes the end part of eating quite oily. I highlighted this, and he told me, next round, just let him know I want very little of the chee yau char.
Overall, I have to say that Bryan’s Dancing King Char Kuay Teow brought me back to a time before smartphones were around when food was in its glory days, foreigners were not cooking it, and people actually had proper conversations rather than looking at their phones all day.
This is also probably one of the last remaining original formats of char kuey teow here in PJ, and I have yet to find another similar to this. If you are reading this and know of another, please drop me a comment below.
But please don’t try to compare any cafe or restaurant like Little Penang Cafe or Madam Kwan because those are entirely different categories. If you are a true foodie, hawkers are your measuring points, not cafes, restaurants or hotels. If you go to Penang, you are not going to the E&O Hotel to order CKT, right? You head to Macalister Road, Lorong Selamat or Campbell Street to eat char kuey teow.
Dancing King Char Kuay Teow
Address: Restoran Sun Fatt Kee, SEA Park (Google Map Directions)
Landmark: Behind Maybank SEA Park, where Nasi Lemak Bumbung is
Hours: 7.00 AM to 2.00 PM
Closed: Every Thursday
Contact: Bryan Ang 011 3998 3557
Again, I’m just an average foodie who has been around Malaysia, exploring a lot of local hawker food, but hardly has time to write about it all. So, once in a way, I will take some time to do a quick hawker food review here.
So, if you are up for it, go and try the Dancing King Char Kuay Teow in SEA Park, Petaling Jaya, and you can be the judge of this popular hawker dish. To me, it’s hard enough to find a place that sells decent CKT, and please don’t tell me Restoran O&S has great fried kuey teow because that’s just over-rated and just normal only.