Little more better…

If this phrase is in Manglish, our Malaysian “mangled” version of the English Language, a close cousin to Singlish (Singapore English), it means that it would be better when there is only a little of something, that being the direct translation from Malay, sikit lebih bagus.

Of course, many would not agree when it comes to food in which case it would be the more, the better like the choices at the chap fan place here…

Hao Ke lai Cafe & Rest
*Archive photo*

…right next to the medical centre where my mum was warded before she passed away. We had to keep vigil at all times so this was a convenient place to go and grab a bite to eat.

Many have sung praises of the wide range of options at the chap fan (mixed rice) stall…

Hao Ke Lai chap fan stall

…at this coffee shop. You get to pick from over a hundred dishes, at least, but to me, the more there is, the more you will want to take and the more you will have to pay…especially for people like me with very low resistance and the tendency to take more than I should.

I did not want the ang chao pork…

Ang chao pork

…and opted for the sweet and sour…

Sweet & sour pork


I also helped myself to the roast pork…

Roast pork

…and the fried cangkuk manis

Cangkuk manis

…and for want of a bit of gravy on my rice, I took the drumstick from their chicken curry…

Chicken curry

A lady stood at the end of the line and I asked how much that would be. She said RM7.00 so I paid her that amount.

I took my seat at the table and ordered my usual kopi-o-peng to wash all that down and the guy, quite obviously the boss, asked for RM9.50 for everything. I told him I had already paid for the rice and he said, RM1.50 then. Huh? Was he asking me for RM8.00 for the chap fan? Ah well! Probably he or the lady had miscalculated – I guess it happens to the best of us and such things do happen sometimes. Ever so often, I paid a ringgit or more extra and thankfully, all those times, the people were honest enough to return the  excess to me.

The food was good but I do wish they would cover the cabinets – I am sure they have those sliding doors and let the customers slide them left or right to get what they want…or have somebody take them off like at the Malay shops when there are customers and put them back again once they are through. There were a lot of flies fluttering around over the food so much so that I was contemplating on going for something else instead.

HAO KE LAI CAFE & REST (2.292095, 111.836698) is located along Lorong Mahsuri 1B, off Jalan Pedada, in the block of shops to the left of the Rejang Medical Centre, main building.