Food courts are hard to navigate. There’s way too much on offer, and there’s no way to try everything. Here’s just a few tidbits of my personal experience to Hai Kee Hawker Center Batu Pahat!
How to Eat Here
The hawker center’s opening hours are 10am to 10pm on weekdays (closed on weekends), but I personally wouldn’t recommend coming here for lunch. It can get really darn hot in the Malaysian heat, and there isn’t ventilation, so I definitely recommend coming here for dinner!
This is actually one of the bigger hawker centers I’ve personally been to. The way I see it, individual dishes here aren’t to popular, but instead, you should definitely go for a more ‘call dishes’ kind of style. What I kind of mean is, don’t come here and order chicken rice. Please don’t. It is much better to get a little taster of the different things on offer her, because there really is just too much.
I personally came here in a group of 4, and got to try quite a number of things here!
What You Can Find
Might as well try and sort the food out right now. You have a lot of things on offer here. For your individual/main kind of dishes, you have chicken rice and wantan mee mainly. I actually had a try of their wan tan mee, and it is actually REALLY interesting. I feel like it is one of those acquired taste kind of wantan mee, but it is quite addictive. It is somewhere in the middle of the hawker center and has a really HERBAL taste.
But it is unique, and hence, I personally think it is quite worthwhile to try it. It tastes fairly decent, and my group of 4 were relatively big fans of it.
Then, you have your tidbits kind of snacks. Those that are sort of like add-ons to the meal. Hai Kee hawker center boasts of rojak, sotong kangkung, carrot cake and oyster omelette (or 耗煎/orh jian). Didn’t try the rojak, but I feel like the carrot cake and oyster omelette were both a bit underwhelming. The oyster omelette - from Meng Hiang Oyster Stall - (ours was the big portion at RM12, the small was I believe RM8) is very starchy - kind of like fat starch balls, so I feel it left a lot to be desired.
The carrot cake (RM5) was okay-ish, but I kind of wish it was fried off for longer. But it has a clean, healthier taste, if that is what you guys are looking for.
The sotong kangkung was … interesting. It was personally a first try for this dish (to my recollection, but I definitely feel like I’ve tried it somewhere before). Was pretty good. The sotong flavours were nice, and it kind of is a variation of a regular rojak, but with kangkung and sotong. If you haven’t tried it before, I personally think that this was quite a decent dish.
My personal favourite from this hawker stall is the IKAN BAKAR stall! I don’t quite know the name of the stall itself, but it is basically a standalone stall when you go straight in towards the hawker center. So, you can basically can ikan bakar and lala (small mussels) here. We got a portion that ultimately totalled RM28 worth of lala and ikan bakar. They both actually taste REALLY delicious. And I’m not even that much of a seafood fan.
The only thing I would say is that they have 2 options for the lala - one is a small variation, and one is a big variation (talking about the size of the shells). I actually think it is very worth to go for the big one, even though it is double the price. The small one is a bit harder to eat, and can get tedious to search for the small pieces of meat.
It you came all the way down to the end wanting a short summary of what to eat, here it is! Basically get the ikan bakar and the mussels (lala) from the stall at the back. Get the sotong kangkung, because it is an interesting variation of rojak, and get the wan tan mee in the middle of the hawker center - just because it has a unique herbal taste to it!
A lot here are actually recommended by friends, food blogs and our grab driver alike, so you guys should definitely try them out for yourself!