Cockles. Kerang. Siham. Call it what you want, this precious ingredient is vital to a plate of char kway teow. And I absolutely adore cockles, whether it’s served raw, boiled, grilled— I have and will eat in any way. So when I came across news of Rasah Kuey Teow Goreng, a stall in Seremban which doused their char kway teow with cockles, I knew it was a calling from the CKT heavens above.
My colleague thought I was absolutely out of my mind to make the rather cumbersome journey from Kuala Lumpur— but for cockles, anything.
An hour and multiple tolls later, I parked my Myvi outside Pin Xiang Lou Restaurant—- the kopitiam which held the coveted cockles-covered char kway teow. The menu is pretty straightforward. You can opt between a small (RM8) or large plate (RM9). But I was not there for the basic kway teow— I was here for the big leagues. I pointed directly at the photograph of a Char Kway Teow with Cockles (RM15) and requested for it to be spicy.
What I tried at Rasah Kuey Teow Goreng
As soon as the plate of char kway teow hit the table, it all felt overwhelming to the senses. I couldn’t even spot the noodles as the entire plate was flooded in red, juicy looking cockles. And these weren’t your everyday tiny cockles— they were beautifully red, plump and from sight, you know they would have a good bite of them. Surrounding the cockles were strands of crunchy-looking bean sprouts, which comically reminded me of a halo ring. I read that the stall owner takes in 20kg of cockles daily. Impressive!
A little notice— if you’re uncomfortable at the thought of consuming raw or half-cooked cockles, just inform the stall owner that you would like them to be cooked along with the noodles.
As I dug my chopsticks into the plate of noodles, I had a stark realisation— there was no familiar appearance of the char kway teow essentials: the delicious sweet lap cheong or prawns. But I’d imagine it’d come with a hefty price tag if they included all those ingredients in. The noodles had a darker colour and from appearance and I could see a lack of the familiar charred-ness or wok hei.
First on the judging board was the pièce de résistance— the cockles. I popped one into my mouth and my oh my, was it a delicious treat! It was everything I’d hoped for and more. They were fat and undeniably juicy. I also appreciated how fresh and clean the cockles were— I couldn’t taste any grit or sand. Truth be told, these had to be one of the best-tasting cockles I’ve ever had in a plate of char kway teow.
Cockles inhaled, I moved on to the kway teow. As expected, the CKT didn’t possess a strong wok hei taste. But before you cry out “blasphemy”, I actually enjoyed the level of heat in the noodles. Usually when I request for my char kway teow to be spicy, the level of heat is always downplayed. However, this was definitely spicy but still flavourful at the same time. My companion attested to this as she wolfed down the kway teow. The portions were also on the generous side— we shared one plate and it was sufficient to tide us over till lunch.
As I swept the last few pieces of cockles into my satisfied tummy, I do admit this was one plate of char kway teow that could not be compared to the greats. However, it’s worth paying a visit to Rasah Kuey Teow Goreng for— purely for the cockles. So if you’re going to take a bite of the noodles and go on a rant about how it is incomparable to the ones dished out by the hawkers in Penang, this is not the stall for you.
But if you’re like me and have a fondness for cockles, then fuel up your car and take that drive to Seremban. For this is one memorable char kway teow experience you’ll never get in Penang. And this is a Penangite telling you so.
Expected damage: RM8 – RM15 per pax
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