Monday, 24 July 2017

Jia Li Mian Noodle House @ Pandan Jaya

I didn't know about the existence of a good curry laksa near me until I read about it on two food blogs.  If I passed by this place, I probably wouldn't have given it a second look.

That's because the signboard of Jia Li Mian Noodle House @ Pandan Jaya is written in Chinese.  In fact, I had to find out its 'equivalent' name in English from their facebook page for this blog post.  Since both me and my husband are fans of curry laksa, we just had to try this.

If you've watched the video (made by Ho Chak) posted on their facebook, you'll realise that they serve two types of curry noodles here, an authentic Penang version (referred to as curry mee) and a KL version (which we like to call curry laksa).  Even if you have not, no worries as the friendly boss will explain to you the two types available.

I wanted to try the Penang Curry Mee @ RM6.50 (small, RM7.50 for big).  When the bowl arrived, I found it topped with a sprinkling of finely shredded "bunga kantan" (torch ginger flower) and some mint leaves.  I know mint leaves are quite common in a Penang version of curry mee but wasn't aware that ginger flower was also part of an authentic bowl of Penang curry mee.  I thought it would be more common in a bowl of assam laksa than curry mee.  I'm sure they were there to add some freshness and to enhance the fragrance of the curry noodles even more, so I didn't mind it.

Although I placed an order for small, it was a big bowl fully loaded with ingredients of cockles, shrimps, cuttlefish slices, cubes of pig's blood, tofu puffs and bean sprouts.  So, if you're a small-eater, this bowl may be a tad too much for you.  The curry broth was exactly how I liked it...thick, fragrant and savoury with just enough of creaminess from the "santan" (coconut milk).  It's happiness in a bowl! ^o^

Of course, fresh plump cockles is a must for a successful bowl of curry noodles.  Just look at the size of these babies....happy days! ^_~

Then there are some not-so-happy days...that's when they look like this (I put it on a sauce plate to let you gauge the size)! T_T  The size is inconsistent...I guess it depends on the cockle supply and what they get.

And when it's a Penang version of curry mee, there must be the undeniable coagulated pig blood cubes. What a surprise it was when I got ones with a pretty design.....special edition?....kekeke! :D

My husband opted for the KL Curry Mee @ RM6.50 which comes with curry chicken, pork skin and tofu puffs but minus the cockles.  Ah well, to each his own.  And yeah, I wouldn't mind more cockles in my bowl but since he dislikes them immensely, he thinks they'd 'taint' the taste of his beloved bowl of curry broth! :P

You need to dunk in all the sambal to bring the curry broth to life.  Don't worry, even after adding all of it, the broth was mildly spicy.  I've introduced a lot of curry noodles to my spouse but most of them did not meet his expectations.  He has very high standards for curry.  So, I is this compared to your no. 1 favourite curry laksa (mine too) in Imbi?  His reply?....very close!  I was relieved that one finally met his standards.

On another trip here, I tried their Penang Assam Laksa @ RM6.50 (small, RM7.50 for big) filled with chunks of fresh "ikan kembong" (Indian mackerel), julienned cucumber, pineapple, onions and lettuce (but no "daun kesom" or polygonum leaves though), topped with finely chopped bunga kantan, red chillies, mint leaves and a crispy cracker (somewhat similar in taste to those you'd find in rojak buah, only thinner).

What is assam laksa without "har ko" (thick prawn paste)?  I was hesitant (at first) to drizzle all of it in but in the end I did.  The broth, with its slightly sour note, was just mildly spicy.  This broth was lighter than some I've had before and not as pungently hot, sour and spicy like the one from O & S (this could also be due to the fact that the broth did not arrive as piping hot as I would have liked).  Having said that, I prefer a less sourish broth but those who prefer a thicker, pungent and more full-flavoured broth may find this too light for them.

The first time I had the curry mee, I found it straining to finish the entire bowl and told them (when settling the bill) that perhaps it's too big a bowl.  This time, I noticed my husband's bowl of curry mee didn't seem as big.  They say be careful what you wish for (or maybe it's just my imagination).  P/S: I hope I'm not the cause of the reduced size...haha! ;D  But then I also saw 4 ladies at the next table ordering 2 bowls and asking for 2 empty bowls, so..... :P

For side dishes, they have only two...and we tried both.  Their Penang Lobak @ RM3 per piece (the serving here is two pieces) turned out to be really good too.  It's fried to order with just the right amount of five-spice that did not overpower the taste of the lobak (unlike some I've eaten that had too much five-spice powder).  Highly recommend it.

Their other snack is the Penang Otak-Otak @ RM4 a piece which is a Malaysian delicacy of steamed fish custard wrapped in banana leaves.

It's made with fish paste blended with aromatic herbs and spices (this one you can clearly see the small pieces of fish fillet), eggs, coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves.  This is a Penang Nyonya-style otak-otak, that's why it has the ever important "daun kaduk" (wild betel or pepper leaves) without which it's simply not an authentic otak-otak.

It arrived piping hot (I believe it's steamed to order) and the texture is very soft and delicious with a subtle hint of aromatic good! ^.^  Both this Penang Nyonya Style Otak-Otak and the Penang Lobak are certainly among the better ones I've eaten thus far.  You can take-away these in cooked form or fresh ones to be steamed and fried at home as and when you like.

You may want to try their signature drink, "Hor Ka Sai" (loosely translated as "sangat hebat" or great, I think). It's basically a mixture of kopi-peng (local black coffee with condensed milk) + Milo.  But since I'm not a kopi-peng or Milo person, I decided to skip it.  I'm more of a kopi-o-ping (iced black coffee, RM2) and teh-ping (iced tea with milk, RM2.20) kind of person.

My Personal Opinion

Besides curry noodles and assam laksa, they also offer Tom Yum Noodles, Fish Ball Noodles and Jawa Mee. The curry noodles here is definitely my preferred choice over the assam laksa.  This curry mee can give our favourite curry laksa a run for its money although it didn't knock it off its top spot in our books.  Plus the price for such a fully loaded bowl makes it really cheap.  

Make sure you order their two side snacks of Penang Lobak and Penang Otak-Otak as they're equally yum.

If you can't make it here, they've opened a stall in Makan-Makan by Parkson (on Level 3, Sunway Velocity Mall) since February 2017 under the name of Homey Curry Laksa (now that's a name I can understand).  They strive to give you the homemade taste (like your mom or grandma makes or use to make) in their curry mee, hence the name Jia Li Mian or Homey Curry Laksa.  Did they deliver?  For me, they did.

Jia Li Mian Noodle House
19 Jalan Pandan 2/2
Pandan Jaya
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-560 3879


  1. I'm glad you found very good curry mee/curry laksa near you. The noodles are really loaded with so many ingredients. I love cockles but I am not so sure about the coagulated pig blood!

    1. I'm not exactly crazy over coagulated pig blood either but will eat them in small amounts. I especially enjoy them in pig innards soup when they can be dunked in the spicy/sour chilli dip! ^_^

  2. heheh, cockles don't taint curry laksa! :D but i guess some things are a love-them-or-hate-them thing. for example, i hate lap cheong, and i genuinely believe the presence of lap cheong severely taints char kuey teow ;) looks like a place that's worth bookmarking ... the otak-otak sounds good!

    1. You're the exact opposite of my spouse. There must be lap cheong in his char kway teow for it to be rated good. Somehow the lap cheong brings some form of sweetness and fragrance to the CKT! ;P

  3. I've been away from over 6 week and you can't imagine how tasty all of this food looks! Malaysians sure do have flavour-packed recipes.

    1. Oh yes, many Malaysian dishes are known for its robust flavours...especially these two! ;)

  4. Wow! It is my lunch hour now and my hometown food photos are making me drool floods of saliva. I love that Lor Bak and Otak Otak so much. You are right that the 5 spices powder and daun kedok are the signature ingredients!
    Hey, being a Penang born, I am sure the ginger flowers were originally not part of the Curry Mee. Even the mint leaves appeared much later on and this ginger flower seems to be the latest top up ingredients!
    I do enjoy eating the KL styled curry mee and I am also anti-cockles like your hubby.

    1. So, is a Penangite saying he prefers KL styled curry laksa? ;) Actually, I've not seen ginger flower in a bowl of Penang curry mee other than this one.

  5. Both curry noodles look really good with all the essential ingredients, especially the Penang version because not many places give coagulated pig blood.
    The Lobak always my fav order whenever I saw it in the menu :P

    1. Oh, you love lobak? Then you should give this one a try (and the one in Hoe Fong at Seapark) ^_~


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