I have always heard people telling me there is a nice spicy and sour seafood rice noodle (bee hoon) soup located at Bayan Lepas. However, I couldn’t locate the place until recently. This place is considered a hidden treasure because it is hidden from the main road and public eye. However, it is not an unfamiliar place to people who work in Bayan Lepas/Bayan Baru area. For those who always browse the Internet, you will surely know where is Mun Lock Hooi Cafe.
To locate this place is not very easy and yet it is not that hard too. If you are driving from Bayan Baru to Sungai Ara via Jalan Tengah, at the end of the traffic light junction, you will see Chong Cheng Chinese School in front of you. Turn right into Jalan Dato Ismail Hashim. Keep driving for another 10 meters, you will see a small junction on your right. Turn into that small junction and you will see a small hut which is on your right hand side, that should be the well-known Mun Lock Hooi Coffee Shop.
This place is always packed with people during lunch time on weekdays and even though it is built with a huge zinc awning only with very poor ventilation, it does not deter the crowd from patronizing this place.
There are 2 chefs who were behind the scene. Although there were many orders, the waiting time only took less than 10 mins if you were there at the right time.
The surrounding of the coffee shop.
Sour Spicy Fish Rice Noodle Soup – RM5, the soup was cooked with plentiful of lemon grass, assam skin, tomato slices, cabbage, bird eye chili and sprinkled with some chopped coriander and fried onion oil.
The level of the spiciness can be requested. For those that love spiciness you can ask for extra spicy. For those non-spicy lovers, you can request for low or non-spicy. One thing I love about this sour spicy soup is the cabbage slices. The taste of the cabbage was so naturally sweet. It made me recalled the time when I was in Melbourne where I had one of the freshest cabbage and it was so sweet without any added ingredients. The sourish and spiciness of the soup make this food more appetizing. There are 2 selections of fish fillet, either fresh or deep fried fish. Both tasted equally good depending on your personal preference.
Fried Balacan Chicken Wings (3 pcs) – RM6, Each order consisted of 3 chicken wings in which they were cut into 6 pieces. The chicken wings were marinated with flour and balacan (shrimp paste) and deep fried till golden brown.
The aroma of the balacan filled the air just before it was served. The skin was so crispy and yet it preserved the juiciness and tenderness of the inner meat.
Kong Pou Mantis Prawn with Rice – RM5.50, the mantis prawn was battered, cooked in kong pou style, which included dark soy sauce, some dried chili, spring onions, onions and ginger slices.
The battered mantis prawn concealed the freshness of its meat. Also, the homemade sauce was slightly spicy which mixed very well with the meat. One of the great dishes besides the bee hoon soup.
Steamed Hor Fun with fish slices- RM6, the fish was cut into slices and steamed together with hor fun, together with ginger slices, some veggie, a few spoons of light soy sauce and some fried chopped garlic on top.
For those who do not prefer sour or spicy dishes, you can order this dish. The fish was very fresh and usually they provided grouper fish. The texture of the hor fun was very smooth. The gravy was not too salty and it was a nice dish to have.
Overall, this place serves nice food at a reasonable price. The sour and spicy bee hoon soup really tasted like Thai Style White Tomyam. Although the location is out of the main road and considered secluded, this place has never failed to attract people and many people had already blogged about it. There are plenty of car park just beside this building. The drawback is for those who easily sweat like I do, make sure you bring your own towel, else you will feel like in a sauna especially after the hot and spicy soup.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
|Price (more stars, more reasonable)|
Operation hours: 11:00pm – 3:00pm, Daily
Address: Opposite Sg Ara Police Station (Pondok Polis), Jalan Tengah, Sg Ara, Bayan Lepas, 11950 Penang.
GPS: 5° 32′ 5331.90″ N, 100° 27′ 24.08″ E