As a Penangite residing in Kuala Lumpur for the past six years, I’ve always been adamant that my little island dishes up two unbeatable things: nasi kandar and char kway teow. Call it fate, but I stumbled across a post online about a mouthwatering plate of char kway teow in KL cooked by a former Southeast Asia Dancing Champion. And that’s how the birth of ‘Dancing King Char Kway Teow’ came about.
Located near SS2, I met Bryan Ang, a former line dance instructor scooping the charred noodles into plates. We quickly got into talking— this 51-year-old single dad teaching dance for 20 years before closing down his dancing studio and opening up his char kway teow stall. Now on a good day, he serves up to 100 plates of char kway teow!
I ordered my char kway teow with duck egg (RM10.50) and requested for it to be cooked spicy. If you’re fine with the normal version with chicken egg, it will cost you RM9. You can also opt to add on the following: salted egg yolk, century egg, scallops or big cockles. You can also order the flat rice noodles or a mix with yellow noodles, for a textural contrast.
I watched enraptured as he skilfully added one ingredient at a time. Bryan tossed in juicy- looking prawns, flat rice noodles and yellow noodles, cockles, a few dashes of soy sauce and a spoonful of chilli sauce. After pushing the noodles up to the side of the pan, he expertly cracked a duck egg. Real skill! Finally, it’s topped with a handful of bean sprouts and chives.
What I tried at Dancing King Char Kway Teow
In less than five minutes, my char kway teow arrived at the table. Moist but not overly wet, the dish consisted of glistening pork lard, chives, bean sprouts, the signature charred marks on the kway teow and of course, juicy cockles.
The rain pattering lightly on the roof, the scent of smoky fragrance emanating from the plate, the sight of the juicy prawns on the noodles— I felt my heart beat distinctly faster as I picked up the chopsticks to dig in.
I had the first bite of the char kway teow and fell in love. The delicious smoky wok hei flavour clung onto the noodles along with the sweet crunch of the bean sprouts and duck egg. I loved how each mouthful of noodles was fragrant and indulgent— it made me want to go back for more.
I took a bite of the unbelievably crunchy fresh sea prawns and gushed. They were well fried with a gorgeous caramelised edge. The pork lard was plentiful and one bite took me back to my childhood days in Penang where I would argue with my brother over who found the most pork lard. If you love cockles as much as I do, you’ll be in for a treat. There’s no ‘raw bloody taste’ and it was a juicy treat each time I scooped one into my mouth. I cleaned my entire plate in less than 10 minutes. That was how good it was.
But I realised there was a key missing ingredient: the sweet caramelised lap cheong! My eyebrows furrowed. A quick chat with Bryan revealed that very few customers these days enjoy lap cheong in their char kway teow due to health concerns, but you can always get him to add it in for you. Relief washed over me.
If you’re grumbling that RM9 for a plate of char kway teow seems a bit overkill, be comforted by the fact that Bryan uses only quality ingredients like Ipoh bean sprouts, fresh sea prawns, juicy cockles and fresh green chives. And if you drop by his stall, you’ll definitely notice this sign:
“Dear lovely customers, our price increase is due to stuff prices increasing tremendously. If you are unhappy and want to compare, please compare the ingredients. Don’t compare a Proton Kancil to a Porsche.”
I admit this definitely made me chuckle. As a Penangite, I’ll always stay true to the fact that the best char kway teow lies in my hometown, but Dancing King Char Kway Teow definitely comes in a close second. Any dish capable of evoking such nostalgia is a winner in my books.
Expected damage: RM9 – RM12 per pax