MEDAN Selera 333 in Jalan Ali in Muar is where you can find otak-otak char kway teow, which comes with a fried egg. The kway teow noodles go limp when you eat it, but burst with smoky sweetness, obviously the result of a hot wok.
The otak-otak screams of umami (savoury) flavours, not only of chili heat, but of lemony hits from kaffir lime and earthy-sweetness from turmeric.
The egg yolk runs when it is punctured and cuts through the ingredients’ oiliness.
At Kopi 434 Cafe in Jalan Maharani, visitors are hit by the aroma of coffee.
The cafe’s furnishing will take you back to the 1960s.
Displayed in the eatery’s cupboards are tea sets, coffee grinders, tiffin carriers and packets of coffee powder. Its menu has local and imported coffee, noodles and nasi lemak.
Try the mee siput, which is served in a ceramic bowl with decorative snails, or the otak-otak nasi lemak.
This dish is served with coconut-flavoured rice, otak-otak and fried egg. A spoonful of the rice with a piece of otak-otak tastes good.
The play of grainy and mushy textures delivers a pleasant mouth-feel against the spicy flavours. It gets better when you eat the three together as cumin, cardamom and turmeric run riot on your taste palette.
From the cafe, if you walk westward in Jalan Maharani to Jalan Yahya, there is a fruit stall that sells pear juice.
The next evening, on my return trip to Kuala Lumpur, we stopped at a mee rebus stall at the Jalan Maharani bus terminal.
The freshness of the ingredients and their contrast in textures make this a perfect dish.