It takes a good reason for me to wake up early on a Saturday morning and one of it is the lure of good food. I'm happy to report that the trip to Malaysia Boleh! (meaning Malaysia Can!) at Jurong Point was extremely worth the "all-the-way-to-the-west" long travel and precious "for-yummy-calories-only" tummy space. Some of my friends thought that I was in the neighboring country when my Instagram account began to get flooded with photos of delicious dishes best representative of Malaysia, but a stamp on the passport is not needed, all of it can be savored in Singapore!
While the concept of offering specialties from various states of Malaysia under one roof is not new, with Malaysia Food Street in Resorts World Sentosa being the first pioneering the idea, what's commendable is the efforts in which the owner, Mr Tan Kim Leng, has went into, in order to bring us the taste closest to the original stalls in Malaysia.
Spending time traveling up to states like Penang and KL to scout for delectable fare are common, persuading the hawkers to share their recipes and assuring them the secret will be kept to the best of business integrity are part of the norm, and stories like waking up in the wee hours in the morning to learn the technique of preparing stock for the prawn noodles are not unheard of.
Regular checks are done to ensure the standard of food remain consistent. Kim Leng even went to the extent of hiring mostly Malaysians to run the stalls, as he feels that they would be the best persons to know how their local food should taste and feel like.
Even though the food is difficult to be reproduced fully to its orgins as some of the ingredients are not available locally (such as pig blood which is banned), and authenticity will perpetually remain to be a highly debatable topic, the sincerity of Kim Leng cannot be doubted. He is genuinely serious about keeping to the original taste as much as possible and rates it as currently 80% there, while continuing to strive for 100%. His dedication are not without reciprocation as the crowds which throng Malaysia Boleh! are the best acknowledgement of its popularity.
It's common to see snaking queues at the ever popular KL Hokkein Mee and Penang Fried Kway Teow stalls, but other stalls are just as deserving of recognition. After trying most of the dishes out of the 17 stalls, I shall bring you my personal best 10 delicious food that I will eat again and again at Malaysia Boleh!
Best 10 Delicious Food(Listed in no particular order)
1. KL Wanton Mee 吉隆坡鼎記云吞面
It's easy to understand why this is easily one of the best dumpling noodles around. Cooked perfectly al-dente, the noodles were springy to bite and evenly coated in a lip-smacking dark sauce. The taste is superbly well-balanced, with pork lard added for extra oomph. I would have just eat this noodles on its own, but the accompanying char siew is too good to pass over. Each piece of nicely roasted pork boasted of tender and succulent meat. The minced pork filled dumplings, though a tad skinny in size, packed a powerful well-seasoned punch in every mouthful.
2. Penang Hokkein Prawn Noodles 檳城福建蝦面
Price: $3.50 / $5
A sip of its incredibly rich and robust broth with hints of spiciness had me immediately nodding my head in ecstatic realization that a decent version of Penang Hokkein prawn noodles is finally found. Made from prawn heads, pork bones and spices by boiling for hours, the soup was full of flavors and such a divine match with the mix of thin rice vermicelli and yellow noodles. Thinly sliced pork, shelled prawns, tender pork ribs, hard-boiled egg, crunchy beansprouts and aromatic fried shallots complete this hearty delight.
3. Sister Curry Chicken Mee 姐妹咖哩雞面
Comparatively of thinner consistency and without overdosing on coconut milk, the gravy of the curry chicken noodle is fragrant and utterly addictive. The thick yellow noodles soaked up the savory goodness brilliantly and bursts of gravy as you bite into the tau pok (beancurd puff) is simply shiok! Love the pieces of smooth poached chicken and the crunchy long beans. If this is enjoyable now, I can imagine how much more gratifying it would be when in cold rainy weather. Yummy!
4. Hong Kee Pork Noodles 雄记猪肉粉面
Price: $3.50 / $5
After the above heavier seasoned noodles dishes, the bowl of pork noodles looked deceiving plain at initial glance, but was exceedingly flavorful yet remained light and refreshing on the tastebuds at the same time. The kway teow (flat rice noodles) is specially imported from Ipoh, which explains its thin and silky texture. Generously brimming with minced pork, sliced pork, pork balls and pig liver, this is a highly comforting bowl of soupy noodles!
5. Petaling Street Famous Claypot Chicken Rice 茨廠街驰名瓦煲雞飯
Price: $5 / $8
As I was scooping out a portion of the chicken rice from the claypot, I was already intoxicated by the unmistakable distinct aroma of salted fish! With the rice evenly cooked and drizzled with a generous amount of dark soy sauce, generous pieces of beautifully-seasoned chicken and good quality Chinese sausages, not much can be faulted of this carbs indulging dish. This is definitely one of the better claypot rice I've ever tasted.
6. Penang Lorong Selamat Fried Oyster Omelette 槟城著名嘉嘉蚝煎
Price: $4 / $6 / $8
This rendition of fried oyster omelette is unlike the crispy version which I've love, but is just as yummy! The texture is more like scrambled eggs, soft, creamy, moist, full of egg fragrance, and coupled flawlessly with a right amount of starchy tapioca batter. Admittedly, I do not take too well to the texture and briny smell of oysters, so what draws me to the dish is the mixture of tapioca batter and undercooked egg. I did ask my dining companions if the oysters tasted fresh, and the answer was "yes". It looked plump and fresh to me too. So whether you're in for the oysters or omelette or both, this dish will be satisfying.
7. Kedai Kopi Seng Thor Lebih Carnavon Loh Bak 檳城油頭街卤肉
Price: $5 / $8
Deep fried food is something I can never resist! The pork is well-marinated with a right balance of five-spice powder, wrapped in thin beancurd sheet and deep-fried to a shade of dark brown crispiness. Loh bak may be categorized as a not-too-photogenic dish but nevermind that, what matters is its delish addictiveness which makes it so easy to pop in piece after piece into the mouth. Together with crunchy fried shrimp cracker, beancurd, fishcake roll, century egg and squid with accompanying spicy dip, it makes a great appetizer for sharing among friends. Okay, maybe you want it all for yourself :p
8. Penang Gurney Drive 98 Apom
Price: $2 (for 4 pieces)
Apom manis is a snack which I can't keep my mouth off as well. Imagine me polishing off 3 pieces of it after the full meal. Wah! The soft, fluffy pancake allured with its eggy fragrance, bits of shredded coconut hidden in the batter gave a pleasant surprise at first bite and increased love at every subsequent bite. Comes in flavors of banana, corn, peanut and kaya, these are best eaten as soon as they're freshly off the hot griddle.
9. Penang Road's Famous Chendol
The chendol at Malaysia Boleh! is a wondrous must-try. Finely-shaved ice is topped with homemade slurpilicious pandan-flavored green jelly 'noodles' and soft red beans, and tied together beautifully with the fragrance of coconut milk and divine sweetness of gula melaka. Thank goodness those factory-made neon colored jelly and cloying syrupy taste of low-quality palm sugar are not used. Though it may be just a simple dessert, the high quality of each ingredient makes it a most-winning combination. *Thumbs up*
10. KL Petaling Street Air Mata Kuching 罗汉果龙眼冰糖炖冬瓜水
Price: $1 / $1.50 / $2
The quintessential drink to order have to be this Air Mata Kuching. Made of luo han guo (arhat fruit), dried longan, winter melon and rock sugar, it provides a cool and refreshing relief to any meal.
You may find it questionable why I've left out perennial favorites such as KL Hokkein Mee, Penang Fried Kway Teow and Klang Bak Kut Teh in my best 10 list. Not that they don't taste good but I thought they can be better. Only with feedback will there be improvement.
While Malaysia Boleh! is a essentially a foodcourt offering affordable food to the masses, no expenses has been spared to recreate a Malaysia street food ambience, completed with numerous nostalgic elements. I appreciate the clean, air-con environment where I can enjoy my meal without breaking a sweat. The variety of food has much appeal, prices are reasonable and quality is very much higher than the usual run-of-the-mill foodcourts.
To you who may argue that the experience of savoring food from the original authentic stalls in Malaysia is incomparable, I must say I totally agree with your view. But how frequent can we travel simply to satisfy our discerning palates?
Malaysia Boleh! would be the express antidote if you have a constant craving for Malaysian food.
Also can lah!
Thanks to Kim Leng for his hospitality and Uncle Smart for organizing.
Address: #03-28 Jurong Point, 63 Jurong West Central 3, Singapore 648331
Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 10pm