Thursday, 10 April 2014

Mei Sin (Curry Laksa) @ Imbi

Mei Sin Eating Shop @ Imbi consists of hawker stalls, in a non-air conditioned coffee shop environment, that serve good and cheap food.

There's one stall that is 'reportedly' famous for its Dry "Hor Fun" which is a type of Chinese noodle that resembles "Kway Teow" but only thinner and smoother.  The dry hor fun is served with a rather wet black soya sauce and "kai si" (shredded poached chicken).  Though this was the reputed dish from this stall, I didn't quite share the same conclusion as some blogs as I found the noodles rather oily for my taste but, most of all, I found the taste of the noodles a bit 'odd' (but can't quite put my finger to it).

Instead, I prefer to order, not the norm, but the soupy version of the hor fun (with chopped chicken pieces) @ RM6.50 when I eat from this stall.  I find the soup light, clear and with a full-bodied chicken flavour (from all the poached chicken and leftover chicken carcasses, after the meat has been shredded, steeping in the stock).  Also, the soup is able to mask the earlier mentioned 'odd' taste of the hor fun.

I usually order it with chopped chicken rather than kai si as they usually give you shredded chicken breast (and I don't like breast!!).  If you ask for chopped chicken, you can ask for the parts you like and, with chicken pieces, you can taste the smoothness of the chicken.

The chicken rice stall, opposite the hor fun stall, is also renowned for its (white poached) Chicken Rice @ RM6.50 (drumstick part).  Normal chicken rice is RM5 for a single portion.  This stall was featured in Flavours Magazine's Top 5 list of chicken rice in 2012.  They use free-range "kampong" (village) chicken which is more flavourful.  Not overcooking the chicken ensure it stays smooth, tender and juicy...and it was all that! 

The "yau farn" (oily rice), on the other hand, was slightly mushy and broken and not the nicely separated grains of fluffy rice you come to expect.  However, I do like chicken rice in this colour (akin to the colour of clear chicken soup) as I detest the 'overly yellow' type.

You can also add on their "harm choy" (salted vegetables) and crunchy chicken feet salad, if you wish.  They also offer "char siew" (barbequed pork) just for more variety (it's no where near good though).  Still, the "hero" of this stall is, without question, the poached chicken.

The 'free' soup that came with the chicken rice (when you eat there) was surprisingly quite delicious (but not-MSG delicious), and if you want to "ta pau" (pack) the soup, they charge you 'extra' (RM0.50 I think) for the soup (that's a first).

Another stall that is also well known here is the "char kway teow" (fried flat noodles).  The flavour of this plate of Char Kway Teow (CKT) @ RM5.50 was quite decent even with the lack of "chee yau char" (pork lard bits) which is a key ingredient of a good CKT!  If you're trying to find the prawns in this CKT, that makes two of us. After digging and digging, all I could find was one measly prawn and cockles, bean sprouts (juicy plump ones which I like), chives and egg make up the rest of the ingredients (no Chinese sausage or fish cake slices).  Though, taste wise, it's pretty good but I feel they are rather stingy with their ingredients.  [#Tip: Just make sure you see the owner frying the CKT (before ordering) and not one of his workers.]

There's also a char siew/wantan mee stall, at this coffee shop, which used to be good when the 'old man' was manning the stall.  He has, however, passed it on to someone else now even though he makes his appearance every now and then (so order at your own peril or only when you see him).

This is my order of Char Siew/Wantan Mee, with additional 2 pcs of braised chicken feet, @ RM7.  The char siew is not too bad (though I've had much better) but the chicken feet is top notch!  I like this version of braised chicken feet because it renders a velvety, smooth chicken feet.  [#Note: The usual kind is normally deep-fried first until the skin is crinkly before braising.]

For even more variety, you can have the Pork Ball Hor Fun @ RM5.50 which turned out to be one of the lesser tasting stalls here.

Although the char kway teow, kai si hor fun and chicken rice are purportedly the more famous stalls in this coffee shop but, for me, the "curry laksa" (coconut-based curry soup) is the best noodle stall here.  This is indeed a 'hidden gem' as it's not covered by many blogs (as most of them write about the other 3 more 'famous' stalls).

My bowl of Wet Curry Laksa @ RM10, may seem pricey, but it's with 6 pcs of additional "yong tau fu" (for sharing-lah) like brinjal, bitter gourd, fu chuk (fried bean curd sheet) roll, meat ball.  It's simply 'out-of-this-world'....does it look good or what?  Just look at those juicy, plump blood cockles!

This is, by far, one of the best (if not the best) curry laksa I've had and my favourite one todate.  Absolutely great eaten with an added piece of chicken liver and heart!  The curry gravy has got 'oomph' with just the right amount of "santan" (coconut milk) and spice to add a distinct richness to the laksa.  [#Tip: If you want to eat a good curry laksa, you can't worry too much about the santan or the layer of chilli oil on top.]

They also offer a dry version which is just good.....and my hubby's favourite!  This plate of Dry Curry Laksa @ RM7.90 is with additional 5 pcs of fu chuk.

You can have your normal curry laksa which comes with usual stuff like chicken, cockles, tau fu pok (fried bean curd puffs), bean sprouts, etc. but I like mine "kar liew" (additional stuff) especially with added yong tau fu.  My family, on the other hand, likes theirs with added fu chuk.

Update: The curry laksa stall in Mei Sin has since moved to ICC Pudu.

My Personal Opinion

For the budget conscious, the variety of food offered by the various hawker stalls here are all above average (and some really good) and at reasonable prices.

Likes:  Without a doubt....the curry laksa is one of the best I've had!  Another favourite is the chicken rice and also the braised chicken feet (from the wantan mee stall).

Dislikes:  The place can be quite stuffy and the condition is not as clean as we want it to be (and, some days, it can even 'smell').....what to do, we're willing to overlook just about anything in order to satisfy our taste buds!

Mei Sin Eating Shop
No 16 Jalan Melati
Off Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur


  1. You are spot on about the dislikes. That's the reason I never went back there to eat after eating there once or twice.

    1. As much as I dislike the 'condition' of the coffee shop, I'm willing to overlook it coz I would do just about anything for good food!


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