Streetscapes: A pocket food heaven in Klang

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on July 22, 2019 - July 28, 2019.

The street scene of Jalan Gelugor

Lao Heong Bak Kut Teh Restaurant

The food court opposite Lao Heong Bak Kut Teh Restaurant houses various vendors including the well-known Jalan Bantai Char Kuey Teow stall

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Jalan Gelugor in Klang is an unassuming street lined with shoplots and old buildings, but it is known to locals for its food. Metro Homes Sdn Bhd director See Kok Loong points out that Jalan Gelugor is connected to Jalan Kepayang and Lintang Gelugor, which were called the banking streets back in the day.

During the 1970s to 1990s, the banking streets were important thoroughfares but, the streets are less relevant today due to online banking and the growing number of banks elsewhere.

Jalan Gelugor, although not as well known as Jalan Kepayang and Lintang Gelugor, is the go-to place for Malaysian comfort food such as bak kut teh, chicken rice and char kuey teow.

Among the few established eateries, the most prominent is a food court located opposite the Lao Heong Bak Kut Teh Restaurant.

The food court houses various vendors, of which, a pan mee stall named Kah Ping is a local favourite that has gained many online reviews.

The Jalan Batai Char Kuey Teow stall is the highlight of the food court. Tan Kar Ming, who is a Klang resident, has visited the stall often since its relocation from Jalan Batai in Damansara.

The stall owner, says Tan, is Eng Kim Soong or fondly known as Uncle Eng. He started his business in Seng Lee Restaurant in Jalan Batai. When Seng Lee ceased operations after the area was earmarked for redevelopment, Uncle Eng moved his business to Klang.

“These days, the cooking is done by his daughter or son-in-law. He only comes to man the stall occasionally,” Tan discloses, adding that the food court is also his favourite eatery as the food is delicious and quite reasonably priced.

“This is one of the few spots for Klangites to get their food fix as all the favourites are located here. To me, this is a small food heaven,” he adds.

Other buildings along Jalan Gelugor are Wisma Acmar and 3-storey shoplots that house businesses such as a clinic, locksmith and electric shop. Second-hand furniture stores can be found in a few single-storey buildings across the road from the shoplots.

However, due to the presence of new townships nearby such as Bandar Bukit Tinggi and Bandar Setia Alam, Metro Homes’ See says properties on Jalan Gelugor have lost some their attraction.

He estimates the value of a shoplot at about RM1 million, from RM600,000 in 2007 to 2009, while the rent for the entire building is around RM5,000 per month.

“Prospects for the street are alright because there is an upcoming light rail transit (LRT) station nearby. The area might see increased activity once the LRT station is completed,” See says.