4 decade-old Sang Kee is located in a busy part of KL’s crumbling old downtown, away from the glitzy towers of the Golden Triangle financial district. Hidden in a warren of back-alleys, it can be reached via a small alleyway off Lorong Yap Ah Loy - just look for an old lady selling Swiss rolls filled with “kaya” egg custard from a cart located at the start of the alley.
Inside, Sang Kee purveys perhaps the best-known “sung har mein” during the day-time - it caters to the office crowd, so will start business around 11am and shuts down around 3pm on weekdays (closed weekends).
The second- and third-generation of the family which started the business now operate the woks, cooking their noodle dishes over high heat from both charcoal- and gas-fired braziers.
Sang Kee’s claim-to-fame is their braised freshwater prawns, cooked with scallions and ginger, thickened with beaten eggs, then poured over crisp egg noodles. Despite its 40-year pedigree, I find the rendition here quite salty and lacked the strong, assertive flavours I normally associate with KL-Cantonese “dai chow” cooking.
The other noodle dish we had, “ngau lam hor fun”, braised beef slices over flat rice noodles, fared better, but still lacked the depth of flavour I’d expected.
Overall, I’d surmise that one comes here to sample a slice of KL’s culinary history, albeit an overpriced one - MYR80 (US$18) for two persons, including iced soft drinks and a couple of slices of sweet papaya - more than exceptional cooking.