Decided go for something near Petaling Street today, away from the usual cafe scene and westernized cuisines. Somehow, I ended up near Merchant Lane ( Merchant Lane -Good Food amidst History) and Chocha ( Chocha Foodstore – Appealing surrounding, decent food ). It seems like they got all the goodies planted nearby – as in all within 5 minutes distance from one another. This side of Petaling Street sure is fast becoming a food paradise on its own, especially with these sort of eateries popping up rapidly.
This cafe is located next to another well known eatery – Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock ( Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock -My Tummy says it is Satisfied (smirks) ), which by the way, was full house. To keep up with the full house next door, it was smart of Old China Cafe to put their menu on display outside, not in that flimsy booklet kind of way, but more in a huge, easily readable kind of way.
As you can most probably deduce from the images above – this cafe brings you way back into the olden days – the colonial era. The surroundings oozes British/Peranakan/Baba feel. Ali Muthu & Ah Hock also oozes old school feel, I guess that is because this whole area of Petaling Street is basically a pre-historic site, mostly for its notability as a red light district but making it never the less prominent now. The difference between these two eateries is that while both managed to retain its old school glamour, it was retained in a different manner as evident from the crowd that frequents these cafe/restaurants. Ali Muthu Ah Hock appeals to the younger crowd, whereas the Old China Cafe is frequented mostly by the oldies, younger backpackers and tourists. Perhaps Old China Cafe appeals to this segment of people it allows for some history indulging and rewinds time. While Ali Muthu and Ah Hock is also old school, it does not exhibit the ability to be a time machine portal lol. This eatery oozes a more Malaysian-ized version of old school, perhaps an almost accurate depiction of how we ‘lepak’ back in the days , pure Malaysian style, not so much of a colonial era feel. It does not have the ability to bring us back in time with a feel like Old China Cafe does.
Nyonya Fried Noodles, 10.90 ringgit
This was some good stuff. I know it looks like just any other ordinary Chinese style Mee Hoon, I could not refute that, but this tastes even better. For those of you who likes their noodles a little dense, damp , wet and sticky – this is it. I like it that way, I hate noodles that are dry. While it is supposed to be fried – which naturally means it is the dry version to the wetter ones like curry me and etc, a little wetness would not hurt – which was exactly how this noodles turned out – YUMMMM! Another thing I like about this dish is that there was not an overwhelming amount of noodles as opposed to the other things on the plate. Many times, in order to safe cost, the cooks tend to put in a lot of noodles with measly and close to nothing bits of meat and vegetables. Why? because the noodles are cheaper than the other ingredients. This was not the case here. The ratio of the noodles to eggs, fish balls, chicken chunks, capsicum, bean sprouts were equal. Yayyy! Overall the noodles tasted as little spicy, a little sweet and a whole lot of yumminess. It also cost 10.90 ringgit, which I think is pretty generous for what they provided, but hey – I am not complaining! lol. This was a very satisfying dish.
Brinjal Belachan, 10.80 ringgit
This was another yummy dish. It basically consisted of a bunch of fried brinjals in belachan sauce. Belachan is part of a local dialect that basically means spicy scrimp paste. The combination may seem bizarre to some, but I love it. In this part of the world, belachan is used a great deal, with us being Asians and all – we love our spice and hotness, and belachan is the perfect paste to provide that.So, imagine soft and gooooey pieces of brinjal in spicy scrimp paste – doesn’t that sound yummy? It sure did taste yummy. I loved it.
Mee Siam, 10.90 ringgit
Between this and the Nyonya Fried Noodles, I prefer the latter a lot more. This noodle, the Mee Siam was pretty dry and tasted okay, nothing to brag about. It came with a lot of noodles, half of a boiled egg, tauhu, bean sprouts, scrimps and bits of omelette. It did not taste bad, it was okay, its just that after i have tasted the Nyonya Fried Noodles, this Mee Siam does not even come close to the glory of the fried noodles. It had a good combination of spiciness and sourness, but yea – i prefer the Nyonya Fried Noodles. This dish was not spectacular, I would not order it again.
**** If you are heading here for lunch, walk-in, be sure to get there early, by 12. By 12.30, the whole place was packed. Lets just say 1/4 of the crowd were walk-in and 3/4 of it were those who made prior reservations. Also make sure that you are free the next 1 hour or so, if you have an appointment to attend to in 30 minutes or so – do not eat here. I was one of the earlier individuals that visited this cafe that day, at 12 pm, still a lot of vacant seats, and my meals came after 25 minutes. Within that 30 minutes, the cafe was full house. I left after another 30 minutes and there were many tables still waiting for their food. So – keep yourself free for at least an hour if you want to head to Old China Cafe.
Would I head here again?
Yes, I would. I loveeeeeee the ambiance and the food was delicious. Would love to drop by and give their other dishes a go.
Address: 11, Jalan Balai Polis, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur.
Opening hours: Everyday, 11 am – 11 pm
Signing out now, Ciao.