You might wonder how I’m gonna write a whole post on a bowl of beef noodles…
Truth be told, I did too at first. But damn, they were good noodles!
Since arriving in Malaysia I had been pretty spoilt for choice when it came to food. From the amazing barbeque chicken on our first night, to my Japanese teriyaki kebabs in the Red Garden food court in Penang, I was absolutely loving the cuisine and making the most of Malaysia’s melting pot of influences. On this night in Kuala Lumpur however I was flying solo due to Chelcie not feeling particularly well, and as such only wanted to grab some cheap and cheerful dinner before going for a bit of a wander around the city.
As I headed out of our hostel (the excellent Back Home), I caught a magazine article pinned on the wall talking about a very old and very famous beef ball noodle shop just down the road on the intersection of Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin and Jalan Tun H.S. Lee. This was all the encouragement I needed to go and check it out.
With no more than a five minute stroll from the hostel, I was at the legendary Restoran Soong Kee. After peeking my head in the door I ambled around feeling a bit nervous about seating myself in what was a real old-school Chinese noodle restaurant, filled with middle-aged Malay working men. But my stomach spoke and I decided to bite the bullet and pulled up a pew in the corner.
Proudly making my order for a “bowl of beef noodles”, I felt more than a little bit out of place, but then realised this sort of atmosphere was exactly what I wanted to experience whilst travelling. I was properly immersed in a place that was undoubtedly a staple of the working day of many Malay locals. My awkwardness at being the only white person in the restaurant quickly wore off however when my selection arrived less than two minutes later.
I was presented with a generous helping of juicy beef balls in broth, alongside a bowl of steaming white noodles topped with diced pork. The smell was exquisite, and I armed myself with my chopsticks and got stuck in.
Now it must have quickly became obvious to the staff that I wasn’t the greatest chopstick user, because they soon brought over a fork and spoon, but dammit if I was going to eat in this restaurant like a local, then I was going to use chopsticks like a local. On the plus side, my lack of chopstick cohesion probably contributed to my meal lasting a lot longer than it should have, which meant I got to savour my beefy bowl for longer.
To sum up, the generous helping of noodles were light yet tasty, the diced pork was rich and full of flavour, the beef balls were tender and juicy, and even the broth – which I’m not normally a fan of – complemented the beef balls well and wasn’t slimy like some are. And the best thing about the meal was the price, which all in was… Five ringgit!
If you’re in Kuala Lumpur you really should get yourself down to Soong Kee and try this delicacy. The place has a long reputation for a good reason, and it was easily one of the best budget meals I’ve had whilst on the road.
Restoran Soong Kee can be found at 86, Jalan Tun H.S.Lee, 56000, Kuala Lumpur.
What’s the best budget food you’ve had whilst on the road? And where did you find it?