‘Chap fan’ stalls offer a vast variety of cooked dishes that one can easily select to make a wholesome meal every day. – Pictures by Devan Manuel
By Lee Khang Yi
Monday, 01 Aug 2022 10:43 AM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Chap fan or economy rice always comes to the rescue when hard times hit.
Dining at the chap fan stall means you get your daily meal of rice with three dishes, namely a protein of your choice, vegetables and soup.
These sellers, usually housed in a coffee shop, will cook up an array of 20 to 30 stir fried, steamed and braised dishes that are changed on a daily basis. There’s also soup offered. Some stalls even offer free drinks.
You can easily rotate your choices to fit the whole week of meals, making sure you don’t tire of your daily meal. Maybe Monday is a meatless choice with just vegetables. Or Friday is fish with a favourite vegetable and soup. The possibilities are endless.
In the hands of a skilled cook, the dishes can have a homestyle air. Some sellers offer daily specials or their signature dish to entice customers.
I remember anticipating my favourite vinegar pork trotter from the chap fan seller near my old home. Without fail, I would make a beeline for the stall that day as I really enjoyed the well balanced dish with its tangy and sweet flavours paired with fall-off-the-bone meat and collagen rich skin. That would be the day, I would ask for extra rice to mop up the appetising sauce.
Select a protein of your choice with rice, vegetables and soup for your meal.
You can dine at the stall or takeaway the meal to enjoy it in the comfort of home. Some even opt for the delivery, where tiffin carriers are sent to the home for their meals.
For those who don’t have the time to cook everyday, the chap fan stall is a lifesaver. With food costs going up, the chap fan stall is also not spared as they have to also increase prices to survive.
Nevertheless, it still remains a much more wholesome choice. And if you’re a solo diner, it doesn’t make sense to buy ingredients just to cook one dish, when you can stretch your money more by dining at the chap fan places.
Hence I do believe, these chap fan stalls are our heroes as they help us through these difficult times.
In the spirit of “rakyat jaga rakyat”, we’d like to highlight these chap fan heroes to the public.
They will benefit from the additional customers and we in turn get to enjoy wholesome dishes.
For solo diners, it makes economic sense to opt for ‘chap fan’ rather than cook a meal at home.
Just email me at [email protected] to nominate your chap fan hero. Let me know why you think they deserve to be highlighted. It could be a small stall or even those large ones that occupy a whole shoplot.
As long as the food is tasty and the prices do not burn a hole in our wallets, it will be ideal. Also, let me know what their special dishes are.