Despite having long known the existence of Hai Tao Ki at Alor Setar for serving one of the best Yin Yong and Lobak in the town, I have never been there physically. In fact, the exact location of it was never into my knowledge. However, on a random day my curiosity brought me here after following the cars driving by the empty lot beside Nasi Lemak Zam Zam. Curiosity never killed the cats.
Hai Tao Ki has an official name - Sudut Selera Tajong Chali. It is a traditional eatery which spanned across a large empty area beside it. There are many stalls here but my stomach had called a stop after Lobak, Yin Yong and Peanut Pancake. On a second occasion, I have allured to try their wantan mee and fried oyster omelette. After that, I was tempted to here again for their lor mee and char koay teow.
The plate above cost me RM 4.90, which was pretty reasonable. Only the lobak was worth mentioning as the others was mediocre.
They do have a variety of snacks for you to pick. This stall offers a good option for snacking after meal if you come in a large group.
Operation hours: 6:00pm - 1:00am (Closed every Tuesday and Wednesday)
The Yin Yong here does not come low profile. It has gained its reputation amongst locals but the fame rose after some media publication in 2015. Not feeling to left out from the public, I immediately ordered Yin Yong (RM 4.50) upon finding a table. They are operating on self service basis, whereby you tell your order and they will prepare for you within a second.
Within a second? I am not joking. This is due to the yin yong has been prepared and fried in advance. What the chef needed to do was pouring the starchy soup on it.
It was well fried to possess a decent wok hei but I still prefer char hor fun with added egg. Besides, I feel RM4.50 was slightly expensive to pay for a meal which was prepared in advance.
Operation hours: 6:00pm - 12:00am (closed on uncertain days)
The first stall upon entry to Hai Tao Ki was a peanut pancake stall and it lured my attention the moment I was leaving with the mountain load of prepared peanut pancakes. Thus, I bought a piece for RM 0.80 and it turned out to be quite delicious with crispy skin and nice peanut scent. I would love it even more if more peanuts are added. Forget about Alflatoxin.
I was informed later that the version of peanut pancake with eggs (RM 1.60) tasted better thus I gave it a try. True indeed, the egg layer actually acted like a cushion layer to the crispy skin, giving the texture of outer crispy and inner soft feeling. The aromatic peanut still the key to win my heart.
Operation hours: 6pm - 11pm (Everyday)
It was known to me that wantan mee in Alor Setar is slightly different compared to Penang in terms of noodles texture and serving style, but I never come across any decent one here till today at Hai Tao Ki. Surprisingly, the wantan mee here does not have wantan but it was served with char siew only. Well, the missing wantan is negligible because the wantan mee here really taste good.
The noodles are slightly thicker compared to the conventional wantan mee noodles we had in Penang, exhibiting a well biting sensation. The noodles were not entirely doused with soy sauce thus it was brighter in colour but the soy sauce does give a very aromatic scent to the noodles serving. Portion was relatively small for a small bowl of noodles, hence do order a big bowl if you are a big eater.
Operation hours: 6pm - 11.45pm (Close on uncertain days)
The fried oyster omelette (RM 8) was a mouthwatering dish. It has a balance between crispy and gooey fried oyster, by having the crispy layer at the perimeter of the omelette enclosing a gooey texture omelette at centre. It is one of the best fried oysters I have ever tried.
Besides that, the chef has introduced a "secret weapon" to their fried oyster. If you look closely, there are reddish colour stuff in the centre of the fried oysters omelette which was fried with the oysters. The chef only unveil it as a secret self prepared ingredients but it tasted like radish for me. It turned out to be an excellent combination for me, as it gives some biting jobs to be done when having the gooey part. For coriander leaves lover, chunks of coriander leaves are provided for you. The only downside was the relatively small oysters, which was a negligible factor anyway.
Operation hours: 6:30pm - 11:45pm (closed on uncertain days)
On my next trip, I stumbled across a crowd of people surrounding the lor mee (RM 3.80, big). Intrigued by the big crowd and my stomach was drumming hungry, I ordered a big bowl and was impressed by it. The starchy soup is not coagulated and retain its flow, and has a nice smell. The chef has also introduced some fried shallots to spice up the taste, and a generous number of chicken slices are given.
Besides, I found that yellow noodles here are slightly different. It does not have the bad boric acid smell and is more springy. Tasted like home made noodles to me or something was just wrong with my perception that night?
Operation hours: 6:30 - 11:30pm (closed on uncertain days)
The first stall upon entry into Hai Tao Ki is Char Koay Teow (RM 3.80), and the fragrance from frying it tempted me to order a plate of it. The flat noodles were fried using charcoal, infusing a great degree of wok-hei to the noodles. I have not really tasted a decent Char Koay Teow in Alor Setar until today at Hai Tao Ki, perhaps due to my limited exploration here.
If I were to nitpick, the plate of noodles were slightly overdose with salt (maybe due to lap cheong added) and the prawns were small. I realised the noodles being used is thinner than the usual one we had in Penang though. Overall, the bowl of char koay teow here do satisfy my crave.
Operation hours: 7:00 - 11:30pm (Closed on uncertain days)
It gets crowded easily at Hai Tao Ki as I was lucky to get a seat here. I am waiting for my next trip here. If you know any nice food here, please drop me a message so I could try them on my next trip!
Hao Tao Ki @ Alor Setar
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