A living heritage that is Kwong Wah Ais Kacang

A living heritage that is Kwong Wah Ais Kacang

Long before bingsu and kakigori became a thing, there was ice kacang. Some 65 years later, Kwong Wah is still going strong with its iconic ice dessert. Its new 3,000sq ft cafe in Pavilion Bukit Jalil is testament to its heritage, catering to a new generation of fans, seating up to 100 pax.

Having started as a drinks stall in PJ Old Town in 1958, Kwong Wah spans 3 generations from Chong Yok Wah who opened the stall, to his daughter Chong Swee Eng and husband, Wong, and now, their daughters Teng and Mun. Their parents ran the show until they retired in 2015, and then the girls reinvigorated the brand into a modern dessert shop at Section 17, PJ, in 2017. 

Going into Pavilion Bukit Jalil, they enlisted partner Winnie Goh for their new mall outlet and introduced a full fledged menu. Beyond their signature Ice Kacang, Cendol, and popular Nasi Lemak, Ikan Bilis Bun, Gula Melaka Coconut Bun and Gula Melaka Mini Chiffon cake, there are rice and noodle options as well. The Gula Melaka is sourced from different places for the best flavour and fragrance in desserts and cakes. 

Right, the food – the mini Gula Melaka Chiffon cake – the size of a CD – carries a delectable note of palm sugar at the finish. I usually don’t like coconut bun but this I like – different from commercial ones, rich, buttery and fragrant. The fragrance of the rice is apparent when eating the Nasi lemak and the sambal is from Winnie’s family recipe. Good flavour, with a touch of sour (from tamarind) though I would have preferred it to be spicier. Lovedthe crispy springroll which was still juicy inside, and it went beautifully with the homemade sweetish chili sauce. Ipoh Chee Cheong Fun was not bad, though the sauce was a tad sweet. Pickled green chili at the side and crispy fried shallots on top would have been perfect.

For mains, the slippery smooth Ipoh Kway Teow and flavourful slurp-worthy broth passed Ipoh-girl @hooikhaw tastebuds. Crowd fav Mee Mamak, laden with taufu pok, cuttlefish, potato and half an egg, was a good blend of sweet and salty, and had enough wok hei going for the dish. Reminded me of dry style Penang mee Jawa. The Chicken Chop was sizable with crispy skin and meat still moist underneath, though the sauce was different from Hainanese style, more tomato-based and sweeter. Only thing was the Prawn Mee which didn’t quite cut it as the sambal lacked oomph and the broth lacked depth maybe coz it’s pork-free. 

Generally, Kwong Wah wins on all counts as it has tasty snacks for brekkie, tea or larger portions for those looking for main meals. Well, almost, as I wish it served hot drinks, even if it’s Chinese tea, as you need more than ice to wash down the food, and mineral water is no fun. Definitely worth a second visit, and more…  

Add: Lot 3.104.00 & E3.104.00, Level 3, Pavilion Bukit Jalil, No 2 Persiran Bukit Jalil 8, Bandar Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. t: 012-550 0975