Economy noodles, keng chey bee hon, keng chai mai fun – they are all the same description of this tasty breakfast that does not hurt the wallet. Cheap is the keyword here. The fact that they are then wrapped in old newspaper lined with plastic does not put off customers at all. It has been done like this for as long as I can remember.
One packet of economy noodles cost 30 sen in the good old days. That was like thirty years ago. It is RM1.50 now and is still one of the cheapest meals around. They go very well with condiments like pickled green chillies and garlic chilli sauce. Some stalls give tnee cheo (sweet sauce) which makes it even tastier.
On weekends and days when Wuan is on leave, she buys breakfast for me from the wet market in Pandan Perdana. I usually choose between koay kak and economy noodles. When I want something light, I go for economy noodles. Koay kak is only nice when slightly spicy – not a good thing for an empty stomach.
There are several stalls selling economy noodles but I only like a particular one because its noodles taste quite similar to the one I used to eat in Penang. My favourite is yellow noodles and bee hoon with pickled green chillies and deep fried tim chuk (dried sweet bean curd strips) which is crispy and fragrant. Tim chuk is not included anymore nowadays as it is expensive.