Siam Road Char Koay Teow

The famous Siam Road Char Koay Teow is just a mobile stall at the roadside of Siam Road (Jalan Siam), quite near the intersection with Anson Road (Jalan Anson). Operating for over 30 years at this very same location, the man behind this stall is well into his sixties (hereafter referred to as "old man" since nobody really knows his name), yet there are no signs that he will hang his apron up soon. Actually he does not use an apron, so that was just a metaphor.
The unassuming old man just an average Joe (Sr.) whom you encounter in a typical coffeeshop. Yet throngs of locals and foreigners alike flock to his stall whenever he is in business. The stall opens around 4:00pm till 8:00pm, but don't count on avoiding the "peak hour" because there is none essentially.
Unlike many of his counterparts, the old man uses charcoal instead of gas to fire his wok. The choice of charcoal may be for better food flavor, lower cost, or just because he likes to use a hand fan to fan the fire. Personally I have not reached a definitive conclusion whether charcoal or gas yields better cooking.

Despite the long waiting list, the old man is in no hurry to prepare his char koay teow. To maintain "wok hei" (镬气), he only cooks 2-3 servings at a time. His assistant helps to keep track of orders; not an easily task considering the number of customers and the fact that he does not write anything down.
Due to popularity, the old man's masterpieces are price-wise in the same league as Lorong Selamat's Char Koay Teow and Ah Leng's Char Koay Teow. A so-called large (大) serving of char koay teow costs RM5.50.
Take-away customers have the privilege of watching the old man at work along the roadside. Whereas for dine-in customers, there is an old coffee shop, Kedai Kopi Hock Ban Hin (福万兴茶餐室), just across the street.
The shop is usually full house whenever the stall is open. Not surprisingly, 99.99% of customers in the coffee shop are waiting for the Siam Road Char Koay Teow stall. In fact, the coffee shop seems to be taking advantage of the stall's popularity. The price of drinks is inflated compared to other similar coffee shops.
After waiting around 30 minutes (which is fortunate as some people reported more than an hour of waiting time), the char koay teow dish is finally served. The plate contains three large prawns, some cockles (蚶), a good amount of Chinese sausage (腊肠), chicken eggs, pork lard (猪油渣), bean sprouts (豆芽), Chinese chives (韭菜) and garlic. Regrettably, the RM5.50 "large" plate of char koay teow is what outstation folks call "kiddie size".
The flat noodles are indeed springy and delightful to the palate. "Wok hei" is definitely present in the cooking process. Spiciness level is considered moderate, right within my comfort zone. An unfortunate observation is that some flat noodles are still clumped together in neat layers, which begs the question what the old man is doing while "taking his sweet time".
The prawns are fresh and crunchy, but still inferior to Ah Leng's in terms of size and sweetness. On the flip side, this old man scores extra points with the use of Chinese sausage, a key ingredient which adds a new level of taste to the char koay teow dish. In addition, the liberal use of pork lard definitely contributes to the gastronomic appeal of this dish.
Siam Road Char Koay Teow lives up to its reputation with the generally satisfying taste. However the overall feeling is that the dish is way oilier than necessary. I opinionate that the outcome would have been better if less oil were used.
Overall, I still feel that Ah Leng's Char Koay Teow takes lead in the narrow race. Of course, this is just my personal taste.

Due to the long waiting time, it is quite unlikely I will return to Siam Road Char Koay Teow soon. Nor I will specifically recommend to visitors unless they have a huge reservoir of patience and plenty of time to kill.

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