Streetscapes: Foodie haven behind Kajang wet market

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 23, 2020 - November 29, 2020.
Among the weathered shoplots are a few popular restaurants that have  been operating for at  least 20 years (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Among the weathered shoplots are a few popular restaurants that have been operating for at least 20 years (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

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Jalan Changkat is an ordinary street in Bandar Kajang, Kajang. It is connected to Jalan Bukit and Jalan Jelok 10 and 1, and is surrounded by commercial shoplots. MKH Boulevard, a high-rise development, is located along the street.

Jalan Changkat is shaped like an “L”. The Kajang wet market is located on this street, near Jalan Jelok 1. Locals frequent the market to purchase fresh poultry, meat, vegetables and fruit. Opposite the market, along Jalan Jelok 3, are two rows of shoplots occupied by businesses such as banks, sundry shops, clinics and a computer store.

At the side where there is direct access from Jalan Bukit, the street leads to a stand­alone PappaRich restaurant, which has since closed down. Adjacent to the building is a small road that leads to two rows of old, 1-storey shoplots, best known to locals as “the shops behind the pasar”.

Hidden among these weathered shoplots are a few well-known, popular restaurants that have been operating for at least 20 years.

Christopher, who grew up in the neighbourhood, has been a regular at these eateries since he was young. His favourites include Ten Hup Chee Cheong Fun, Restaurant Lek KII, Restaurant Wong Kee and Chong Kee ABC & Mee Stall.

“Restaurant Lek KII used to be known as Restaurant Lek Kee, and moved to Jalan Changkat from Taman Kajang Utama. It’s right opposite Ten Hup Chee Cheong Fun and is known for its roasted and barbecued pork,” he says.

He adds that Ten Hup Chee Cheong Fun is a popular breakfast place that serves up the best Hong Kong-style chee cheong fun, also known as rice noodle rolls. “The restaurant owners hand-make the rolls, which are filled with either char siew or prawn.”

(Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

If roasted meats do not appeal to you, you can opt for traditional Teochew-style braised dishes at Restaurant Wong Kee. “The broth, paired with noodles and pork or innards, is really unforgettable and so delicious. But there is no signboard for this restaurant, so look out for stall B32,” Christopher advises.

For dessert, head over to Chong Kee ABC & Mee Stall. “It sells local favourite ABC with a scoop of ice cream. Other than dessert, it also serves dried chicken curry mee, which is flavourful and delicious,” he recommends.

Metro Homes Realty Bhd executive director See Kok Loong notes that there has been no recent transaction for the buildings along Jalan Changkat. The address of the main building here, MKH Boulevard, is listed as Jalan Bukit off Jalan Changkat.

Within MKH Boulevard, the current rental rate for a ground-floor shop with a built-up of 1,540 sq ft is around RM4,000. In 2017, a shop with a built-up of 1,689 sq ft was transacted for RM2.89 million while two office lots with a built-up of 1,749 sq ft each were sold for RM500,000 each.

“The biggest disadvantage of Jalan Changkat is its location, which is close to the Langat River. Due to the overdevelopment of Kajang and there being no proper drainage upgrade, the area is a flooding zone. The prospects are limited as there is not much development land and unless the flooding issue is resolved, it will remain the same,” says See.