On days when the traffic is kind and the weather is fair and we are early getting to my workplace, there’s always a good chance that DL will be in the mood to detour to Taman Tun Dr Ismail for breakfast. Specifically, we’d head to Kedai Kopi Kuan Lee for my favourite KL-style chee cheong fun.
Coming from Ipoh where our CCF is always served plain and simple with a sweet red sauce, chilli sauce, a dash of shallot oil, a splash of soya sauce, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and pickled green chillies by the side, it took me years to get used to the KL version. The main difference is that the KL folks eat their CCF with yong tau fu! And mostly those are generic commercially-produced yong tau fu which can be found in every CCF stall in town.
Now this particular CCF stall in Kuan Lee does not really serve the most spectacular food, actually. Half of its yong tau fu offerings are those commercially-produced-types-found-everywhere. Stuff like those flat fried beancurd skins, fried beancurd rolls, squid balls, pork balls etc – you’ll find these in every other CCF stall in KL.
So what sets this stall apart from the others? What draws me back here again and again is the special array of their home-made yong tau fu. Yes, the bittergourd, brinjals, ladies fingers, green chillies and tofu puffs are stuffed with their tasty home-made fish paste and fried/boiled on-the-spot at the stall. I go for these, every time, all the time.
The other thing I like about this stall is that the CCF is served hot, or at the very least, warm. That’s because it’s dipped into hot water before it’s cut up and put on the plate. The sweet brown sauce is well-balanced and the chilli sauce is pretty good too.
But of course that one other factor which makes this a favourite spot for me is also the pleasant and friendly vendor who’s always cheerful and ever-smiling – someone who genuinely loves his customers. Now that is a sure-fire way to a good start to anyone’s day.
And this is why I loathe going to so-called famous food places where the food may stand out but the operator is arrogant like hell.
KEDAI KOPI KUAN LEE
18 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur
*Opens for breakfast & lunch only