Monday, 21 May 2018

Yong Len @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail

I was recommended to try the prawn mee here + I also read an article by Star Online of a 'as close as it gets to Penang curry mee' in the same shop, so I finally sought this place out one Sunday morning.

Occupying a corner lot, Yong Len @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail, has been around for decades, serving flavours of Penang.  As soon as you approach the coffee shop, you can see that it's super crowded with tables spilling onto the road.  Though the place was busy, we managed to secure table after only a short wait.

Well, I've come here specifically to try the most famous stall here....and that's the Prawn Mee @ RM6.  First impression...not great at all as the ingredients seemed to be haphazardly strewn all over the bowl. Obviously, their priority is not in the presentation but how fast they can put out a bowl.

Let me rearrange it for a better photo op.  Filled with the usual ingredients of prawns, lean pork slices, kangkung, bean sprouts and fried shallots (but no hard-boiled egg)...and served with a dollop of chilli paste that's hardly spicy at all (even though I dunked all of it in).  Although the prawns were smallish, they were fairly fresh and there were quite a few of them (as many as ten).  The fried shallots, in mashed up tiny bits, were obviously store-bought and they didn't taste as if they were of a good quality either.

As for the prawn broth, it was more savoury than sweet but lighter in terms of the rich crustacean flavours that I seek.  I suppose if you can't find a better prawn mee in the area, then this one will surely be a satisfying rendition.  But, of course, I've had better prawn mee (like this one and even this).

Equally popular here is the stall, Sally and Mom, which sells Curry Mee @ RM7 which my husband went for (obviously).  The bowl of curry mee came with only poached chicken (that was pretty smooth), fried "fu chuk" (bean curd sheets) and fried "tofu pok" (bean curd puffs) but missing the vital ingredient of fresh!  That aside, I could taste the coconut milk in the curry broth...but that was about all I did taste.  The consistency of the curry, with mild spiciness, is also not as thick as I would have liked and lacked the depth of flavour in a bowl of curry that I expect.  Suffice to say, it didn't meet my husband's high standards for a good bowl of curry mee.

The Wantan Mee @ RM6 tasted on the starchy side and the char siew...well, you can see that for yourself (in the pic above).  The only plus point was probably the taste of fragrant shallot and garlic oil in the sauce used to toss the noodles.

As for the wantans, I can see that there's more wantan skin than filling. ;P

For a neighbourhood like TTDI, the prices here are certainly very reasonable though portions can be a little small.  Since we weren't that full, we ordered a Char Kway Teow @ RM6 to share as I've read good reviews on it.  I was told it would be at least a 20-minute wait, so I had high expectations that this would be a very delicious char kway teow seeing that there was a long waiting period.

But I was disappointed when it came.  First of all, there was no fresh see hum (what CKT doesn't have cockles!) with only two smallish prawns and some slices of fish cake).  Secondly, the noodles lacked wok hei as they weren't fried long enough + it was also quite tasteless.  Maybe this was a one-off case where they rushed through the frying to catch up with the orders.  If they taste like this, I certainly wouldn't wait 20 minutes for it! >_<

I noticed a nyonya kuih stall at the front of the shop that also sells pre-packed nasi lemak, bak chang, dim sum, kuih bahulu, kaya and otak-otak, among other things, so I decided to pack a few types home.

I was instantly attracted by the pretty multi-coloured kuih angku of red, green, yellow, pink and grey (each with a different type of filling, I presume).

And then I saw these not-often-found grey-coloured kuih (that looked like some kind of black sesame glutinous rice flour kuih) which I recognised (coz I love to eat them but don't know what they're called) next to the angku kuih.  Are they called "chai poh" kuih (or "choy poh" in Cantonese)?

I got a red angku kuih (the only colour I'm familiar with), one of those chai poh kuih and a piece of "lor bak gou" (radish cake).  The radish cake was creditable seeing that it came from a nyonya kuih stall (I've bought worst ones than this).  Of course, it's nothing quite like the radish cake from a proper dim sum place.

The angku kuih, with a soft sticky glutinous rice flour skin and mung bean paste filling, was nice too but my favourite was the chai poh kuih with its deliciously balanced salty-sweet chai poh (aka preserved dried radish) filling.  These chai poh kuih are rarely seen offered in nyonya kuih stalls and I'm always happy when I find them.

The "lor mai kai" (steamed glutinous rice with chicken) was rather tasty too though the rice grains around the edges could be a tad more soft.  Still a more than decent lor mai kai.

The pre-packed nasi lemak packet wasn't too bad either...and it's available if you want a light nasi lemak.  I don't know the individual prices of these items as I paid one lump sum for all of them.  But if I had to guess, I'd probably say the kuih was about RM1.20, the lor mai kai probably RM3.50 and the nasi lemak maybe RM2.

The only one I know the price of was the Penang Otak-Otak @ RM4.50 (coz the price was clearly displayed at the stall).  Made with fish chunks, egg, coconut milk and betel leaves (daun kaduk) with aromatic herbs and spices, this Penang nyonya-style otak-otak was fragrant, soft and delicious.

The Kopi-O-Ping wasn't anything much, just drinkable, certainly won't make it on my list of favourite black coffees...haha! ;D

My Personal Opinion

Overall, I'd say the noodles here are so-so (at least those I've tried) and possibly a decent option for the folks of TTDI in this area.  But if put to the test with the many good noodles stalls in PJ, they probably wouldn't do as well.

The prawn mee is definitely the better bet here.  It's a decent tasting prawn mee but not one that would make me go 'wow' and crave for it.  If I live around the area, I probably won't mind dropping by for a bowl of prawn mee but, since I don't, I certainly won't come all the way here just to have it.

I came here for the iconic prawn mee but came out enjoying the nyonya kuih stall more.....hihihi! ;)

Restoran Yong Len
2 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7728 0376


  1. Hmmm... your posts recently have been reminding me of dishes that I haven't eaten in a long time (and now need to go find some).

    1. I'm wondering which local noodles you like the most.

  2. I fully agree with you that the Prawn Mee does not have good presentation. They don't bother to improve due to the long queues of hungry customers. I have been eating there since the 90s and the QC soup & messy presentation is still precisely the same. LOLOL
    I would definitely prefer others where their soup broths could be richer and spicier too. Anyway that place is very popular for the neighbourhood's convenience to have quickie meals where they could also enjoy the YTF and Nyonya Kueh stall. Their kuehs and pau dumplings are good. I often bought the kuehs for my office colleagues who loved them all.

    1. I've not tried their pau/s but I did enjoy their lor mai kai and kuih. Thanks for recommending this I have a nyonya kuih stall I can turn to.

  3. Too bad that the prawn mee and other noodles did not meet your expectations. At least you enjoyed the kueh. My fav kueh would be angku but it must be with mung bean filling. I dislike those with peanut or other filling.

    1. I've not eaten an angku kuih that has a different filling other than mung bean :)

  4. ooo, i've often driven past yong len, but despite having visited ttdi literally hundreds of times, i haven't explored the stalls here. guess i can skip the ckt too, but i do like angku kuih (it's one of my favourite kuih), so that would be my purchase :D

    1. You can find some decent nyonya kuih here =)

  5. High 5 to the love of that cai poh kuih! I always grab that whenever I go for "kuih shopping" LOL

    1. But that chai poh kuih isn't always available at kuih stalls though. :(


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