Last year about this time, at home in KL after a month or so in the States, I wrote a sappy, albeit heartfelt, ode to Malaysia and Malaysian food. This time around, suffice it to say - it's good to be back.
After passing Saturday in an appetite-killing, jet lag-induced fog, I climbed back on the horse and rode it to one of our favorite KL wet markets. Though we'd wiled away countless hours roaming the aisles of Pasar Chow Kit we had never managed, until Sunday, to time our peregrinations to the opening hours of this perpetually busy bihun sup stall.
No non-vegetarian within whiffing distance of Pak Ngah's bubbling cauldron can help but be seduced by the meaty steam rising from the long-simmering beef parts within.
The broth's depth of color and mouthwatering fragrance promise much.
Each bowl delivers.
An order of 'special' means more everything - more stomach, lung, meat, and whatever the heck else Pak Ngah has chucked into the mix. The solids are fine, but it's really the rich, intense broth that's to die for. That, and the brick-red chile sauce in the squeeze ketchup bottles on every table. It's nothing more than dried chilies, soaked and ground to a paste - but also, perhaps, roasted to impart a haunting, sweet-smoky, almost Mexican ancho-ish essence.
Bihun sup. Not found in many an American market.
Welcome home, says Dave. Thanks, answers my belly.
Pak Ngah bihun sup stall, Chow Kit Market, 11ish to late afternoon.