Before we get into more serious matters, a little backstory about my relationship with porridge. Growing up, the first thing most of us would often seek solace in when ill is a comforting bowl of porridge, am I right? So I never really viewed porridge as a viable lunch or dinner option on days where I didn’t feel under the weather.
So when word spread of a delicious bowl of porridge tucked in Petaling Jaya, I felt inclined to find out what the fuss was all about. When I first stepped foot into Kenny’s Food Cart, you can imagine my surprise to find a little brick stall. I later found out that this little cart resembled their old food stall in Taman Bahagia. How charming!
A little history lesson: Kenny’s Food Cart has been around since 1993. This was when Kenny’s father used to sell porridge at Alisan Road in Petaling Jaya.
When here, don’t forget to check out the daily specials written on the white board!
What I tried at Kenny’s Food Cart
Of course, I immediately went for the dish that placed them in the porridge map of PJ— the Signature Teng Chai Chuk Porridge (RM10.50). I’ll be frank— I wasn’t expecting much as my previous experiences with porridge were mostly just average. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term Teng Chai Chuk, it directly translates to ‘Boat Porridge’, originating from boat dwellers residing in Hong Kong.
And then what arrived blew my senses. It was a bowl of steaming congee artfully decorated with anchovies, peanuts, sliced century egg, crispy vermicelli, sliced fried fish paste and chopped spring onions. Even as I write this, I can vividly recall the smell of the crispy anchovies beckoning me to take a bite.
A spoonful of the porridge and I felt a sudden similarity to the Anton Ego flashback scene from Ratatouille. The silky smooth porridge, the crunch from the crisp anchovies and vermicelli and a bite of the roasted peanut. It felt like all the ingredients were in harmony to create the ultimate comfort food. The Penangite in me was overjoyed. The portion was plentiful but I found no issue reaching to the end of the bowl.
I also ordered a plate of the Fried Fish Paste (RM6) which came with a side of chilli sauce. Served straight from the wok, the deep-fried fish paste was the second highlight of the meal. One bite and I found myself finishing the entire plate with ease. It’s no surprise why it’s so tasty— the fried fish paste is made from scratch daily. I even took away a plate for a friend who agreed enthusiastically that it was simply addictive.
Next on the menu was the Signature Mushroom Pork Noodles (RM9.50) which came with a bowl of cabbage soup (which I was later informed was made from the broth used in making the porridge). If you’re not a fan of porridge for lunch, I highly recommend you get this.
The noodles at Kenny’s Food Cart come with a generous amount of minced pork, sliced mushroom, fried egg and topped with chopped spring onions. I particularly enjoyed the sliced mushrooms in this dish— it was so juicy and flavourful. I could not finish the entire bowl with the porridge sitting comfortably in me so I was definitely appreciative of the gesture of a bowl of extra sauce to take home with the noodles.
If I had unlimited space in my tummy, I would definitely try another favourite: Lardy Rice (RM7.50)— rice topped with the goodness of fried pork lard, minced pork and braised shiitake mushrooms. And Kenny’s Fried Chicken (RM5.50), which is a big hit amongst adults and children alike. Now doesn’t that sound simply wonderful?
If you’re reading this right now, I implore you. Head to Kenny’s Food Cart. The portions are generous, the prices are light on the wallet, and you’ll come out feeling all warm and fuzzy.
And to Kenny’s Food Cart, you’ve done what I thought was impossible: change my perception on porridge.
Expected damage: RM10 – RM20 per pax
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