Scenes From A Chap Fan Stall

11 April 2017

Economy rice, better known as chap fan, is one of Malaysia’s most staple cuisines. We check out Pudu’s Restoran 68 Mixed Rice to see what’s cooking.

It’s lunchtime and a line begins to build up at Pudu’s Restoran 68 Mixed Rice. Office folk and locals crowd the eatery, waiting for their comforting daily fix of white rice or porridge.

Mixed rice, or more commonly known as chap fan or economy rice is one of Malaysia’s most staple cuisines. Head to any neighbourhood, township or city in the country, and you’ll be sure to find a chap fan restaurant or stall at the entrance of a hawker establishment. For some of us, our childhood memories include various trips to the local chap fan stall, arduously selecting dishes with our parents who would remind us to “take more veggies, no luncheon meat!”

At Restoran 68, you’ll see a wide spread of cooked dishes spanning various meats, vegetables, eggs and tofu. The stall owner has also made motorised fans out of discarded CDs to keep flies at bay – a nifty contraption whose innovative variations can be found in different stalls across the country.

Sweet and sour pork, baked beans, stir-fried vegetables, braised tofu and steamed egg custard are some of the more popular chap fan selections among patrons. Reminiscent of Chinese homecooked food in Malaysia, chap fan is considered to be the perfect solution for a cheap, balanced and fulfilling meal during your one-hour lunch break. It’s a taste of home away from home.

Perhaps it can be said that there are two kinds of chap fan people: the venturesome patron who orders and explores different dishes everyday; or more commonly, the habitual human, sticking to the same three to five dishes because they evoke something more than just hunger – nostalgia.

Address: Restoran 68 Mixed Rice 12, Jalan Brunei, Pudu 55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Photos by Vincent Paul Yong

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