Believe it or not, I think we found the biggest, ‘commercially-sold’ old-world Hakka chun ken and pork meatballs in Sabah.
The word “jumbo” was probably invented to describe these thick, succulent, double-sized, quadrupled-thickness of what they serve you at most coffee shops chun ken.
Chun ken is a Hakka specialty meat roll hailing from the town of Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia. An oblong “sausage-like” pork roll that has been wrapped in a thin egg-wrap, they are virtually impossible to get outside Sabah.
In the old days, chun ken was painstakingly started with a chunk of pork shoulder meat and literally beaten to a pulp with a stick. Then the meat is lifted and slapped on the chopping board with a bit of corn starch, salt, and white pepper until it reaches the perfect bounce consistency.
We can’t tell you exactly if this is manually made, but it is pretty tasty, bouncy and has a good bite to it!
So where to go for these big boys? You want to head to Ho Yuan Restaurant at Penampang (behind Cempaka Square).
Ho Yuan also serves seafood noodle soups, including fishhead, tom yam, wat tan hor, and other noodle and rice dishes. Check out their menu.
Awesome as it may look, nothing will prepare you for the following.
Two rolls in a bag costs RM21 per bag (about 650 gm), and the meatballs cost RM16 for 1/2 a kg bag. Perfect way to wow your Hakka guests if you ask us!
Here’s how to get there…
HO YUAN RESTAURANT
Lot 1, Blk C, Tkt Bwh, Taman Hiburan, Jln Penampang Lama 88300,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Tel: 019-472-6818 (Pit Hin Chew – Ta Dau)
Directions: Ho Yuan is directly behind Cempaka Square. Turn left into Jalan Penampang Lama from the main road, and take the first right after that. It’s the only coffee shop in that block of shoplots.
Business hours: Breakfast and lunch
Note: Try to avoid Sundays. You gotta wait, wait, wait. For a table, for your food, for the bill!