Nasi Ayam Kunyit at Auntie’s Kopitiam, Kuala Selangor

That Sambal.

Nasi Ayam Kunyit (Rice with Turmeric Chicken). A favourite dish of mine at the humble Auntie’s Kopitiam in Kuala Selangor’s old town.

For so many years, I have always stopped here for a Kopi-O or for a simple meal when I am on the way to the paddy fields of Sekinchan.

A ray of sunlight, reflected off my car’s windscreen, crept through the edges of the wax paper holding the dish; highlighting the sambal and part of the rice.

You may want to park your car strategically when doing on-location food photography. Heh.

What makes the food special here? The food is of Nyonya and Hainanese heritage. Two cultures famous for their unique cuisine.

The eponymous Auntie or Madam Foo told me she inherited the coffee shop from her Hainanese father-in-law and Baba mother-in-law 43 years ago.

The shop was founded 80 years ago under a different name. Madam Foo is assisted by a Malay chef in the kitchen now. No pork is served.

What I like even more is that the kopitiam is patronised mostly by locals. A Chinese contractor treating his Indonesian workers to a good meal after completing a project.

A multi-racial group of schoolchildren celebrating a classmate’s birthday. An Indian lady letting her young grandchildren try chicken chop for the first time.

A couple of Malay cops having tea with a Chinese farmer. I don’t know whether the cops are off-duty or in plainclothes. I can hear the chatter on their walkie-talkies.

A lone French backpacker with a Lonely Planet book in her hand. Auntie’s Kopitiam is in Lonely Planet and is highly rated in TripAdvisor, according to her.

For me, the clientele is its testimony. Such a wonderful microcosm of the people in this fishing, agricultural and tourist area.

Where exactly is Auntie’s Kopitiam? Map and directions:

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 320, f4, 1/60 sec.

#foodphotography #localfood #ayamkunyit #hainanese #nyonya #koptiam #kualaselangor #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss

Yik Mun’s Fish Steak

Giggling waitress said it was noni fish. Whatever that was, it was boneless and tasty. The jar is mashed potato and the bun is a man tou. Pic captured with Asus ZenFone 3.

Where exactly is Yik Mun Restaurant in Tanjung Malim? Map and directions here:

#yikmun #tanjungmalim #fish

Yik Mun’s Hainanese Chicken Chop

It is halal too. The jar is mashed potato and the bun is a man tou. Pic captured with Asus ZenFone 3.

Where exactly is Yik Mun Restaurant in Tanjung Malim? Map and directions here:

#yikmun #tanjungmalim #chickenchop

Yik Mun’s Hainanese Chicken Chop

Yik Mun kopitiam in Tanjung Malim was a popular stopover during the heydays of Federal Route 1. The Chinese steamed buns shop was an institution.

Now run by third generation descendents, the restaurant is located outside the old town. A shophouse factory in town churns out the assembly-line buns. They are no longer hand-made.

I didn’t order their famous pau (steamed bun) this time. It tasted lousy on a previous visit. Fortunately, the shop sells other local food including the famous Malaysian invention; the Hainanese Chicken Chop.

I am a bit OCD when I see salad dressing carelessly splashed all over the dish. The Hainanese chicken chop’s gravy is a speciality by itself. Typically, it has oyster sauce, HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce and blended secret ingredients in it. It must not be contaminated with Thousand Island dressing.

That aside, the chicken chop here tasted “so so” and the portion seems to have gotten smaller. At RM 14 ++, it is not cheap for a small town.

Nevertheless, the shop was packed when I was there. I guess a good reputation from the past can go a long way. Try it yourself and let me know what you think, if you are in town. Yik Mun is Halal.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1000, f4, 1/60 sec.

Sun Setting On A Rest House

The Tanjung Malim Rest House stands like a crumbling monument to an era long gone. There used to be a rest house in every town but only a few have survived or are still operating. Government rest houses are now mostly a British colonial day relic left abandoned and to fade away silently.

This one is unique as it is one of few with the original design from more than a 100 years ago. One of the last caretakers was a Hainanese. Not surprisingly, the rest house was well-known for the food he served.

During its glory days, this rest house not only served as a hotel (or motel) but also as a popular dining venue for royalty, other VIPs and room guests.

Now, the wooden structure is rotting away, the fittings stripped bare and creepers are encircling it in a slow strangle of death. Only thing that will probably remain is the eponymous Rest House Road it stands on.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/320 sec.