I’ve lived in Puchong nearly all my life, but I still haven’t been to the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve. It’s a popular hiking spot on weekends, and there are usually loads of cars parked near the entrance. Just next to it is a row of single storey shoplots with a few cafes and eateries where visitors can go to for breakfast / brunch / lunch after their hiking excursion. One of these is Kai Xin Restaurant, which specialises in simple, homemade noodles. The place has probably been around for some time, judging from the faded signboard which we had to squint at to make out.
Typical of casual kopitiams, the interior is sparse and no-frills. While some customers seem to be hikers, judging from their attire, the rest are likely from the surrounding neighbourhood. The menu is limited, namely serving Wantan Mee, Pan Mee, Ginger Wine Noodles, Pork Trotters in Vinegar, Curry Noodles, Pork Noodles and Har Mee. You know what they say about good food spots though – quality over quantity!
The curry noodles are ‘Melaka Nyonya style’, according to the boss who took our orders.
Hawker fare is typically served in a sloppy mess, but this was beautifully presented and came chock full of ingredients: tofu pok, sliced egg, fish cakes, beancurd sheets and charsiew, topped with a dollop of spicy sambal. The curry offers a spicy kick, and you can really taste the fragrant flavours of lemongrass and galangal. Curry noodles in KL tend to be creamy and heavy on the coconut milk, but this is very clear and light.
Pan Mee is another one of the restaurant’s specialties. You can choose to have it in a soup, or dry / tossed in dark soy sauce. You can also pick from either thick, thin or hand cut noodles. Personally I prefer thick noodles as the extra thickness / bite just adds to that extra mouthfeel / al dente satisfaction! Both the soup and dry versions come with crunchy fried anchovies, minced meat and wood ear fungus.
Round off the meal on a sweet note with some sweet Chinese desserts, the likes of red bean soup, black sesame soup or barley with pumpkin.
Was surprised that our meal for four came up to under RM40 (inclusive of the desserts and 2 drinks), which is very reasonable by today’s standards. Each bowl of noodles is only RM6. Good cheap food in a casual setting – can’t really fault that! So if you’re hiking at Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, drop by Kai Xin for a nice and filling lunch. 🙂
KAI XIN RESTAURANT
No. 31, Jalan Wawasan 5/1, Pusat Bandar Puuchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Opening hours: 9AM – 3PM (Tues – Sun). Closed Mondays.