When it comes to mamak mee goreng, Subang Jaya has no shortage of options, with a mamak shop at every corner. Finding a good mee goreng however is challenging, mainly prepared by expat cooks, from India, who come and go every couple of years. A mamak shop serving decent mee goreng may suddenly turn all salty or tasteless. Such is the predicament, especially for the “Penangite migrants” to Subang Jaya, who grew up spoilt with good mee goreng choices back in Penang.
In 2018, Penang’s most famous mee goreng stall decided to setup in USJ 2 after hearing about the Subang Jaya mee goreng dilemma. The Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng stall in Pulau Tikus, Penang has a long history dating back to the British colonial era. Today it’s manned by the 3rd generation of mee goreng cooks, Anwar and Ameen. Anwar, the elder brother, still operates the original stall in Seng Lee coffeeshop along Jalan Burmah in Penang. While Ameen, the younger brother, operates the Klang Valley outlets. Prior to that, the two siblings rotated annually to operate the Jalan Burmah stall, i.e. work one year, rest one year. In 2002, Ameen decided to move down South and setup shop in Sri Petaling and now USJ.
The USJ 2 stall was an instant hit and turned the sleepy Restoran Ehsan Maju into a bustling eatery. Han Tian Ding, a restaurateur friend from Penang, who has a fussy tongue for Penang food, was the first to sing praises of this stall. In his words “very nice, can recommend”.
When I dropped in to saviour the mee goreng, the stall was manned by a young man named Basheer, Ameen’s son. This makes, Basheer, a 4th generation mee goreng cook! He has been helping and cooking since the tender age of 8, and goes about chopping and cooking without breaking a sweat.
You would think a 4th generation business would have diversified. But, more isn’t always better, as the stall offers only three choices, mee goreng, mee rebus and rojak (also known as Pasembur). I tried all three items on the menu, and couldn’t help but notice that each of the three has distinctive tasting sauce. As it turns out, Basheer admitted the sauce recipes are secret and personally prepared by his father.
Other mamak stalls typically use soya sauce and belacan when preparing their mee goreng, Bangkok Lane instead adds their own peanut sauce kuah when frying the noodles. That gives the noodle a richer, gravy like taste. If you order the mee goreng sotong, you can expect a generous portion of squid.
The mee rebus is topped up with a prawn sauce and the usual tauhu, cucur udang, sweet potato, squid, bean sprout, eggs and of course yellow noodles. While the ingredients are fairly plain, again the prawn sauce was outstanding.
The rojak, made with a peanut sauce, was my personal favourite. The sweetness of the peanut sauce was just nice, and the ingredients fresh and crunchy. This rojak stands up to our famous SS15 rojak, with the potato, sengkuang, cucumbers and hardboiled egg.
Basheer admits the best seller is still the mee goring with even patrons packing to take on flights overseas. Price wise, if ordered plain, it will cost no more than RM6 per plate. Extra squid will cost up to RM8 per plate. This is fairly reasonable given the generosity of the ingredients.
Go before noon if you plan on lunch, to avoid the limited parking, the crowd and the heat. They open daily at 10am to 9pm every day except Mondays.
It’s located inside Restoran Ehsan Maju in USJ 2, corner lot next to the Petronas station (directly across from Damen mall). Waze to Restoran Ehsan Maju: https://waze.com/ul/hw281ru87d
Before leaving, I asked Bahseer if his father, Ameen, has retired. To my surprise, the father is now manning another Bangkok Lane stall in a popular coffeeshop in USJ 4. I guess Subang Jaya’s prayers for better mee goreng has now been answered.
The author, Adrian Lim, is a lifelong Subang Jaya resident, calls himself a makanthon-er who enjoys trying out new food joints. Do you have suggestions of interesting food places in and around greater Subang Jaya he can review? Drop us a line at [email protected] Reviews are unsolicited.