Sunday 5 January 2014

Lot 10 Hutong, Kuala Lumpur

Lot 10 Hutong

Lot 10 Hutong is quite different from your average Malaysian hawker centre. Situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Bintang district, it is made up of a variety of eateries serving food from all over Malaysia.

What makes Lot 10 different is that in order for a stall to open there, the business must have a track record dating back at least 40 years; what you get is supposedly a collection of 'all-star' food stalls.

We decided to check it out..

The entrance to Lot 10 Hutong (down the escalator)

I often find myself slightly bewildered by the hustle and bustle of food courts, my trips usually resulting in the panic ordering of something 'safe'. This time we did a bit of research and went straight to a stall called Soong Kee, famous for its beef noodles.

The menu was pretty simple, and we decided to go for the signature dish - the beef noodles, which were Rm6 for a bowl (approx $2).

The Hakka-style egg noodles came topped with finely ground beef sauteed with garlic and soy sauce, and a small portion of pak choi. On initial tasting, the noodles were good but in need of a bit of a kick. Fortunately, as with many of the stalls in Lot 10, Soong Kee provides an array of Chinese condiments with which you can spruce up your food.

Following a healthy dollop of chili oil and a good mix, the noodles looked like this:

The resulting mix was heavy but hearty, almost like a Chinese spaghetti bolognese. The beef, being quite finely chopped, added flavour to the noodles with the bitterness of the pak choi cutting through the sweet chili sauce. It didn't take us too long to polish off the whole bowl, with only crispy scraps remaining. 

Overall - I'd give the dish a satisfying but perhaps not overly memorable 3.5 / 5

Finding a place to sit in a busy food court isn't always an easy task, so after we ordered the beef noodles I left Erin to guard our spot and looked around the other stalls to satisfy my craving for Chinese roasted meats. I didn't have go to very far before I found a stall called Roast Duckking.

Erin and I both have something of a weakness for Chinese roast pork, so I ordered the roast pork combo of crispy pork belly and bbq (char siu) pork belly, which came to a total of RM22 (approx $7).

Both types of pork were sliced quite finely, perhaps more so than we'd have liked, but the fat-to-meat ratio was perfect and the meat was well cooked. 

Both types of pork were very tasty. Our only gripe was that maybe RM22 is a little steep for quite a small helping of meat, similar sized portions in the Petaling Street area of town can be found for about half the price.

Overall, you can't really go wrong with well-cooked crispy pork - 3.5 / 5

After the roasted meats, it was my turn to hold the fort while Erin explored the food court for our final dish. After a few minutes of exploring, she returned with spicy hor fun-style noodles from a stall called Imbi Road Pork Noodles. The noodles, topped with minced pork and Chinese liver sausage cost RM9 (approx $3), and came with a side of soup with pork balls (which we didn't eat).

The hand-made rice noodles had a soft, bouncy texture, and soaked up the sauce as we gave the dish a good stir. As the noodles became increasingly soaked in the spices provided by pork, garlic and peppers, they became more and more enjoyable. 

After some mixing, and some more eating, the noodles looked like this:

 I found myself scraping the last remaining noodles and crispy pork pieces off the bottom of the bowl - always a good sign when we've already finished off two filling dishes.

Overall - A dish that just got better and better, would definitely order it again! 4 / 5

We enjoyed all three dishes we sampled in Lot 10, and will definitely be returning to try some more of the delicacies on offer. 

Chefs hard at work

A selection of Chinese buns
Chinese food / decor seems to be the dominant influence in Lot 10 Hutong
More stalls
Praise from the local press

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