As a Penangite travelling to the Klang Valley for the first time, I was perplexed by the definition of Hokkien Mee here. In the Klang Valley, hokkien mee or commonly known as tai lok mee consists of thicker noodles stir-fried with a silky, soy sauce base topped with prawn and pork. Frankly speaking I was never a fan… until I heard of a stall in Penang that sells tai lok mee giving the Klang Valley tai lok mee a run for its money.
Tai Lok Mee Chai Leng Park is one of the many stalls in this hawker area and it always seems to be crowded. The stall is not hard to miss with just 2 cooks toiling over their multiple woks and loyal Penangites around them.
What I tried at Chai Leng Park Tai Lok Mee
The stall only offered 2 dishes, Tai Lok Mee (RM7) and Char Hor Fun (RM7) or Wan Tan Hor or Kung Fu Cha, depending on the region you’re from. Given that those were the only options, I got one of each.
Despite the crowd, our food arrived in just 10 minutes. The char hor fun looked like a quintessential char hor fun: thick noodles and runny, eggy broth with glimpses of prawns here and there.
Even though it didn’t look astounding, the taste completely blew me off. So, in the Klang Valley, customers usually prefer yee mee as the carb for their hor fun but in Penang, we tend to prefer the thick koay teow noodles. While yee mee was an option at this stall, I went for the thick noodles, and what a welcome it was.
The broth coated the noodles perfectly and every spoonful was a warm hug to my tummy. The soup was eggy without being too decadent and all in all, was the perfect dish for dinner.
Now to the star of the dish, the tai lok noodles. My problem with these noodles was that they always tend to be overcooked which forms an unpleasant taste when eaten and the saltiness of the soy sauce tends to get overwhelming.
I was happily mistaken about this stall, fortunately! The flavours were subtle and yet strong enough for you to feel like you’re having a hearty meal. Based on what I observed, the cooks don’t blanch the noodles for too long so when eaten, the noodles are still yummy and chewy.
The tai lok was too good not to be slurped and devoured to the very last drop. My only gripe however was that the portion was a little underwhelming. Although, I guess you could justify it with its extremely reasonable price.
As a Penang boy who has had enough of Klang Valley tai lok noodles, this Chai Leng Park stall was a delightful find. At its affordable price, I highly recommend Klang Valley-ians to try these noodles and make their own judgments.
If you happen to find your way to Chai Leng Park, make sure to explore their various other culinary options ranging from ikan bakar to dim sum to even lok-lok!
Pro tip: Make sure to have some cash handy especially if you’re dining in.
Expected damage: RM7 – RM10 per pax
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