I am extra picky when it comes to Penang food found outside the state – whether in a hawker center, cafe or restaurant. Most of them are just bad if compared to the real deal, which is understandable so I have always distanced myself from such places. So, are there really no good eateries in Klang Valley to cure the homesickness of Penangites? Well, there is one called Gurney Delight Cafe at Kota Kemuning.
The menu features all the familiar Penang’s signature specialties such as Assam Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Char Koay Teow, Curry Mee etc and they are reasonably priced @ RM5.50. Well, except for a few that are more elaborate.
The Hokkien Mee (also known as Prawn Noodle in the rest of Malaysia) is a must try here, true to the authentic Penang style where the soup is already mildly spicy on its own – so tasty we slurped up every last drop. Price wise it is more than reasonable considering the generous amount of toppings that include some pork ribs as well.
2nd must try – Hokkien Char, something that is underappreciated outside Penang. So far as reputation is concerned, this dish is equivalent to the KL’s Hokkien Mee, which kind of explains why they don’t do well in each other’s territory. Seasoning aside, both of them actually share quite a number of similarities since they are of Hokkien origin. Taste wise, Hokkien Char emphasizes more on the seafood flavor and the quality of sambal belacan, whereas a good Hokkien Mee is usually judged based on the ‘wok hei’. Regardless, they must be topped with ‘chee yau char’ and eaten with a dollop of sambal (the soul of the dish) for maximum enjoyment.
Said to be prepared with a guarded family recipe, the Fried Jawa Mee came looking different from expected, as it is clearly not fried in anyway. In fact, this should be called just Jawa Mee. Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the tangy and savory tomato gravy, I couldn’t give it a full mark because one important topping that makes the noodle is missing – crispy prawn fritters.
Look wise the Penang Curry Mee is promising and has all the essential ingredients especially coagulated pig blood. But sadly the soup falls short compared to the real thing, somehow something is missing and I can’t put my finger on it.
You can now get your Assam Laksa fix here. I would prefer it to be slightly spicier but that is just a matter of personal preference.
Spicy and Sourish Garoupa noodle @ RM7.90 is one of the latest additions to the menu. The easiest way to describe the taste of this dish would be Fish Head noodle without milk, or Tom yam noodle without chili paste. Maybe you already know this, the restaurant that popularized this ‘Penang Tom yam’ in Penang is Wong Zhao Jun. The fish slices are fresh and as you would have expected, the light and clear soup tastes appetizing with a pleasant lemongrass aroma.
Most of the food we had are good but first let me set the expectations straight, especially for Penangites reading this. It will be impossible for anyone to replicate the food quality of the hawkers from Penang because they are masters of their craft who have spent decades perfecting one particular dish. And if you are wondering why there is no Char Koay Teow being mentioned here, that’s because I don’t think it is worthy of a recommendation, yet.
Gurney Delight Cafe
15G, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla U31/U,
Kota Kemuning, 40460 Shah Alam,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS Coordinates: N3 00 19.8 E101 32 13.2
Tel: 03-5879 5112