I know Jalan Alor is popular, but I was still surprised with how packed it was on a normal weekday night.
There was so much energy in the atmosphere with lots of locals and tourists walking around looking for food, while anxious restaurant workers called out to them - trying to entice them to choose their restaurant over the many other eateries available.
(I remember there was a time when Jalan Alor was only be famous for a much seedier kind of business that served to OTHER kinds of human appetites... Am so glad that it has cleaned up its image!)
I meant to go to Meng Kee but forgot that it is closed on Tuesdays.... So, we ended up going to the brightly lit and super packed Restoren Chu Cha instead, situated a little further up the road (almost at the start of the street):
As with most of the other restaurants in this area, you can sit inside but most people choose to dine "al fresco" - seated at plastic tables spread across the sidewalk and part of the road... with the night sky as your canopy:
The rather fidgety waiter handed us a menu (A surprisingly well laid out menu! - decent photos, clear pricing stated and with descriptions in English)... and we scanned the wide range of fried noodles/ rice, tai chow styled dishes and many other Malaysian favourites they had to offer.
We ordered quite a few dishes - the Fried Kai Lan with Garlic (RM 6?) arrived at our table first:
Overall, it was ok - fresh stalks of kai lan coated in a fragrant mix of oil and garlic.
Next up was the Hokkien style fried mixed Meehoon and Mee (RM 7 per person - this is a serving for one person):
While I was kinda disappointed that there was no chuee yau charr (deep fried pork lard)**, I enjoyed this noodle dish as it had enough flavour and some wok hei (wok fried fragrance?).
(The accompanying sambal was also tasty)
(** Strangely, I went back there another night and there was chuee yau charr in the noodles.... Why the ingredients so inconsistent wan? Weird!)
Lastly, we had the Grilled fish (RM 11 for this/ RM5 per kg):
Hmmm. OK lah - unfortunately it was kinda overcooked and oily. Not terrible, just not good either.
Strangely one of my highlights that night was the Ice Blended Soursop Drink (RM 5?):
This refreshing sweet but slightly sour drink was perfect for that humid Tuesday night. :)
I guess the only downside of Chu Cha is that from what I can tell, this "restaurant" is more like a hawker centre where all the stalls have decided to work together (sharing a menu and wait staff)... While this gives you plenty of food options prepared by "specialists" (each stall owner), there is:
- the slight inconvenience of paying for each dish as it arrives, and
- the chance of erratic arrivals of your food.
(Just a small inconvenience, if you think about it, but just so you know...)
As mentioned before, there's a lot of other variety from all the different stalls at this "restaurant" (not complete list, but it's my best effort from what I scoped out that night):
- Fried rice/ noodles (eg. Hokkien mee, wat tarn horr, etc)
- Pan Mee/ Curry Mee/ Penang Prawn Mee,
- Char Kuey Teow,
- Misc. Chinese tai chow style chicken/ pork/ beef/ seafood/ vege dishes,
- Grilled fish/ shellfish,
- Fried oyster omelette (orr chien),
- Drinks and simple desserts (like Ais Kacang).
So, it's: Variety of Malaysian favourites under one roof, convenient location in the Bukit Bintang area, fairly reasonable prices considering its a tourist location BUT surrounding area can be jammed (it's where everyone wants to be!) and beggars and peddlers are quite prolific here - they are not aggressive but will generally approach all tables to beg/ sell stuff.....
Restoran Chu Cha @ Jalan Alor, KL
Opening Hours: 6pm till late (Closed on Thursday).
Address: Jalan Alor, KL
(PARTLY) NOT HALAL
(This is not the exact address, but hard to miss - brightly lit and within the first few shoplots of the Jalan Alor stretch... I hope this helps...)
View Larger Map
TAGS: Food, Blog, Weblog, Malaysia, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, KL, Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Alor, Restoran Chu Cha, Malaysian Favourites, Chinese, Hawker Stalls, Local Food