It’s been a few months since I last went to Chinatown and it looks like a lot has happened. The wet market off Petaling Street is being renovated, a new international four-star hotel is being erected nearby and Peter Hoe has moved to the Row. It also looks like there is a new wave of restaurants and cafés that serve not only the specialty coffees now an integral part of the local foodscape but also delicious Malaysian food with a fresh and modern touch.
Chocha Foodstore (just like Merchant’s Lane next door) is one of those: a beautiful place where you can nourish both your tummy and soul. We tried the flat ulam pesto noodles, mango salad and duck with barley rice – all were delicious and beautifully presented. To accompany all this lovely food we sipped the house-brewed cold tea and admired the pretty courtyard surrounded by fragrant herbs.
Apparently these shop lots used to have a different kind, more seedy life, decades ago. I have already taken a few visitors here and they have been most impressed by both the food and the spaces that have been turned into restaurants with complete respect for the old – the worn walls ooze history!
The restaurant is well hidden and a bit off the most trodden streets. Keep on walking on Jalan Petaling after the market finishes, and look for a building that looks like this on the left side of the road, across the road from the building site of the Four Points: