I was first introduced to Penang char kuetiaw when I was handling a project in Butterworth some years back. I had asked my secretary of a good place to have dinner one evening and she recommended that I try this popular char kuetiaw stall in Bukit Mertajam. I have never been to Bukit Mertajam before but I'm the sort of guy who's game enough to go exploring wherever there is good food to be found.
So armed with simple directions on how to get there, I took a drive to BM in search of the place. After a few tawafs of BM town, I found the stall. And yes, the char kuetiaw tasted good. When I got back to Kuala Lumpur, I found a few stalls around the Melawati area that sold similar tasting char kuetiaw but not as delicious as the one I had in Bukit Mertajam.
Recently, on Astro's Warung Kita programme, they showed a makan place at Taman Bunga Raya near TAR College that sells Penang char kuetiaw. It is called Mali's Corner. On one of my trips to KL last month, I tried to look for this place. I found it... but good lord, the queue to get your plate of the dish was so long! I was terribly hungry and could not afford to wait, so I had something else at another stall.
When we were in KL again last Sunday, my sister-in-law informed us that Mali's Corner has opened a new branch in Setapak Indah. We decided to give it a try.
The new Mali's Corner is a decent-looking restaurant within a row of newly-built shops at an area called Platinum Walk. There are a number of other restaurants on the same row, so you actually have a good choice if you fancy eating something else.
This new restaurant is more upmarket than the original establishment, which is really just a roadside stall. But they still practice the same system of self-service. You go up to the counter to place your order, wait for a few minutes for the kitchen to sizzle-up your char kuetiaw, collect and it bring it to your table. The price of a plate is understandably a bit higher now but not by much. A small plate costs RM4, the large plate costs RM5 while the special plate is priced at RM6.50.
We had the large plate. It tasted not bad at all... on par with what I had at Bukit Mertajam. Certainly worth the RM5.
Mali's Corner also sells nasi lemak with ayam goreng panas. I am told this dish tastes delicious too. I'll be certainly trying this out on our next trip to Setapak.