Despite the name, you won’t find Auntie Chan in this restaurant. Instead, you will find Auntie Chan’s daughter, Shirley, who’s the one running the show here. An avid and passionate cook, Shirley explains that her mother used to operate a stall in Penang selling her famous duck meat koay teow th’ng. She recalls how her mother used to patiently fan the charcoal stove to boil the stock used for the noodles. It took hours and hours of boiling to achieve the right depth of flavours in the soup. Having learned all the secrets of not only the koay teow th’ng but other dishes as well from her mother, Shirley loves cooking those dishes for her family and friends.
Recently, she realized her dreams of opening her own restaurant and it’s only natural that her family’s favourite dishes are featured in the menu. The menu isn’t very extensive as Shirley prefers to focus on the items that are best loved. A wise decision, I would say. It’s always better to offer a limited range of good dishes rather than a whole wide range of mediocre items.
The stock for the koay teow th’ng (RM7.90) is boiled from pork bones and ducks for that added sweetness. Shirley and hubby James absolutely believe that charcoal fire provides the best result as far as soups are concerned and they do not compromise on this. The soup is left to simmer for almost an entire day to ensure that the flavours are thoroughly fused. No MSG is added – it’s not necessary, really.
Slippery smooth rice noodles, slices of duck meat, pig liver and home-made fishballs served with the sweet clear soup are perfect soul food… comforting and so satisfying.
Talking about “home-made” fishballs, yes, Shirley personally makes the fishballs herself at home and brings them to the restaurant every other day. It took her many persevering months to perfect the recipe. She uses “ikan taufu” to make them which can last for 1 day + 1 morning only as no preservative is used. By the afternoon of the 2nd day, any leftover unsold fishballs will be discarded. Such is the stringent quality control Shirley and James exert on their offerings. Each batch of 6kg ikan taufu yields about 3kg or 500 pieces fishballs only. I’m a fishball fan and Shirley’s fishballs are some of the best I’ve tasted – they are slightly bouncy, smooth in texture with the natural marine sweetness from the fresh fish used. Many a time I have been back to Auntie Chan’s Noodles Houses to have just a bowl (RM7.90 for 10 fishballs) of the fishballs only!
Penang Curry Noodles (RM7.90) here does not refer to the white curry version that’s popular in Penang. The curry here is of a more vibrant fiery red, thanks to the spices personally blended by Shirley. There’s a touch of Nyonya in the flavours – hints of galangal, lemongrass and turmeric are evident in the curry. Shirley uses a combination of milk and coconut milk for the curry to render it a bit more cholesterol-friendly, besides enhancing the flavours. Slices of chicken, shelled fresh prawns, tofu puffs, long beans and my favourite cockles top the bowl of divinely aromatic curry noodles.
If you are not partial towards chillies, the Minced Pork “Kon Lo” Noodles (RM7.90) are bound to delight. I had the loe shue fun (short rice noodles resembling “rat tails”!) and I must say the tasty minced pork went very well with the noodles. Of course, the serving of fishballs that accompanied the noodles was just perfect.
Taufu Pok (tofu puffs) in Soup and Deep-fried Taufu Pok (both at RM5.90) are stuffed full of fish paste. The fish paste for these is made from ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) and minced pork and they don’t stinge on the filling as the tofu puffs are stuffed to the brim. Have these as extras to go with your noodles or just eat them on their own, like I do!
To satisfy rice lovers, there are 2 rice dishes on the menu: Rice with Braised Pork Belly (tau yew bak) and Egg as well as Curry Pork Ribs Rice, both at RM8.90. I felt the braised pork belly lacked depth in terms of flavours as Shirley preferred to use a very simple recipe. The curry pork ribs (available only on Wednesdays), on the other hand, were cooked in a very hearty full-bodied home-made curry paste.
Lighter bites in the form of Lobak and Crispy Shrimp Pancakes, both at RM5.90 are good if you just want to nibble on some snacks. Life is spiced with simple pleasures and that really personifies the simple lobak – crispy skin encasing sliced pork, onions, garlic and 5-spice powder flavouring the roll.
Crispy Shrimp Pancakes are what Shirley loves to serve in her house parties and I can understand why her guests adore this. There’s nothing not to like when you have a combo of tasty shrimp paste, aromatic chives and crispy popiah skin!
Generally, food in Auntie Chan’s Noodles House are delicious, cooked with passion and have that comforting “home-cooked” goodness. After all, the owners always maintain that they will only serve food that’s good and wholesome – food which they enjoy themselves and by their families. Hygiene and cleanliness are priority, too. In the recent water rationing exercise, they invested in stainless steel tanks to store water which is then filtered for the restaurant use. Prices are very reasonable considering the taste, quality and efforts taken to ensure clean and comfortable dining.
Effective from this month, Auntie Chan’s Noodles House will be open at night! Business hours are from 8.30am till 3.00pm and from 6.00pm till 9.00pm. Now that’s great news because now I can just pop over for my favourite fishballs whenever the craving hits, even at night!. The restaurant is closed on alternate Wednesdays. Do call up and check which Wednesdays though.
Auntie Chan’s Noodles House
28 Jalan Anggerik Vanilla M31/M
40460 Shah Alam
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