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I love myself a good afternoon snack, and when it comes to that, sometimes the options can be quite limited. There’s always the rojak, hipster cafe, and mamak, but if you want good old fashion Chinese snacks, well, they aren’t just as common. So it was quite refreshing to see that a such a place sprung up at Seapark recently by the name of Restoran Yuen Ting.

Restoran Yuen Ting, PJ Seapark
Restoran Yuen Ting, PJ Seapark

Yuen Ting is a bit of a throw back when it comes to a new restaurant, they offer old fashion deep fried Chinese pastry such as yutiao, ham chim peng, and a couple different soya bean products like soya bean drink and tofufar.

a selection of deep fried goodness & soya bean products
a selection of deep fried goodness & soya bean products

While the selection isn’t particularly extensive, the quality of product and value offered was more than decent. I liked that the soya bean drink has a bit of a gingery tint in the syrup supplied, which gives it a bit of extra complexity.

The taufoofar here is has a really smooth texture, a hallmark of any good taufoofar. Like the soya bean drinks, you can choose to have it with dark or normal sugar syrup, I almost always go for the dark version and did not make it an exception this time.

ham chim peng, soya drink, tofufar
ham chim peng, soya drink, tofufar

Overall, I’d not hesitant to return for a good & comfortable afternoon snack. While there’s no air conditioning, fancy decoration, or even IKEA sofa, this place hold its own among the newer establishments in PJ, and it is one that I believe will stand up to the test of time better than others.

map to Yuen Ting Seapark

Address:
Yuen Ting Restaurant
Jalan 21/17,
Seapark,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.109909, 101.621816 

New Boston is arguably the most popular “tai chao” restaurants in Klang, and one with a reputation to boot. It is this reputation that took me more than a year after moving to Shah Alam to finally give it a try.

What’s the reputation you may ask? They are two, first – the lala is awesome, and second, the queue is super long. As we found out, both of these claims are true.

New Boston Restaurant at Klang, wait and you shall be rewarded
New Boston Restaurant at Klang, wait and you shall be rewarded

It was a planned dinner with a bunch of relatives, so to avoid disappointment Haze went there just before 6pm (opening hours at 7pm) to start queuing, and within minutes there were already a couple other people joining the line.

We got our seats by 6:55 pm and made our orders about 5 minutes past 7 pm. To be fair, it took less than 20 minutes for our first dish to be served, which wasn’t too bad considering it was already fully packed by then.

If you arrived after 7 pm, chances are you may have to wait quite a bit before getting a table, and it’ll certainly be an exercise of patience to get your food. However, New Boston operates till about 2 am so if you come here for supper, it’ll probably be a more pleasant experience.

order your lala in abundance
order your lala in abundance 

The claim of fame for this place is the lala in superior soup (RM 24), and if you’ve already invested all those time in waiting, I’d definitely recommend ordering enough to go around. For the 10 of us, we asked for 6 plates, and that turned out to be just right. Some even suggest to order one big portion per person.

The lala did meet the almost impossible expectations, it was really fresh, juicy, and had just the right kick & slight spiciness from ginger, garlic, and chili padi to make any lala fan yearn for more.

The lala used here is what Hokkien refered to as “kap par”, which has a thicker shell but also more substantial & juicer meat, which I really enjoyed. For the “normal” lala in prepared in kam heong method, I recommend the version at Alisan street hawker at PJ SS4, available at night..

lala, claypot seafood tofu & vegetable dishes
lala, claypot seafood tofu & vegetable dishes

We had a full dinner with rice at New Boston, and thankfully most of the dishes here were also right up there in terms of quality.

Claypot seafood tofu came packed with a generous portion of goodness, while the greens had good wok hei and generous amount of garlic, which I really liked.

Fried Hokkien mee is another one of the more popular dishes here. It is very rich, dark, and came with enough lard to satisfy any Hokkien mee fans. One word of caution though, this should be consumed piping hot, a cold version of super rich Hokkien mee is usually not entirely too appetizing.

hokkien mee, steamed red snapper, ginger chicken, mantis prawn with oat
hokkien mee, steamed red snapper, ginger chicken, mantis prawn with oat

Another stand-out dish we really enjoyed from New Boston was their soya fried ginger chicken, it was absolutely spot on and went really well with steamed rice. I think perhaps their secret is the ginger, both lala & chicken utilizes a lot of ginger, and they were some of the best redetions of these dishes I’ve tried.

Mantis prawn with oats & steamed fish were decent dishes as well, but not up to the expectations set up by the wait time at this place.

Anyway, if you’re a lala lover, you owe yourself to try this place at least once. I will probably head back to this place again one of these day,s but most likely not for the busy dinner session.

map to New Boston, Klang

Address:
New Boston Restaurant
1E, Jalan Kapar,
Kawasan 18, 41000 Klang

GPS: 3.050331, 101.448086
Tel: 012-905 3523
Hours: 7pm to 2pm, closed on Wednesdays

A couple weeks ago we were invited to a food review session that promises a good dosage of “Dong Po” (東坡肉) pork belly, and since that is one of my favorite dishes of all time, it was an easy decision to not miss this one.

Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant, PJ
Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant, PJ

The restaurant is Secret Garden at Taman Megah nearby Wolf Modern Dining and almost a walking distance from our previous home in PJ, but alas, this time around it was a bit of a drive, which was fine for some a porking promise.

The restaurant is stunning, with vertical garden, beautiful wooden long table, and tastefully use of empty space. I’m going to go on a limb here to say that it is most likely attributed to the fact that the founders include an interior designer, a fine art illustrator, and a mural artist.

When the surrounding is awesome, appetite also increases, kan?

crispy fried prawn cracker
crispy fried prawn cracker

Anyway, let’s get on the food.

For the review session, we got to sample quite a few dishes from the menu, starting with the appetizer – crispy fried prawn crackers. This is not your typical prawn cracker, but rather thin layer of pastry stuffed with plenty of prawn meat in between, best enjoyed with a dip of Thai chili sauce. I had white wine to go with this, but beer would make for excellent liquid to wash this down.

home style Taiwanese chicken soup w pickled pineapple & bitter melon
home style Taiwanese chicken soup w pickled pineapple & bitter melon

Any Chinese restaurant worth it’s salt should serve up a decent bowl of hot soup.

At Secret Garden, the choice was a simple and comforting home style Taiwanese chicken soup with pickled pineapple and bitter melon. I love myself a good bowl of soup, and this version checked the box as well as any with simple everyday ingredients done right.

steamed free range duckweed fed chicken w homemade sauce
steamed free range duckweed fed chicken w homemade sauce

Up next was steamed free range duckweed fed chicken with homemade sauce. You can taste the difference in duckweed fed chicken meat compared to the normal wet market/hypermarket variety, the meat is firmer and the skin springier. With the condiments it makes for a good meal by itself with a bowl of rice.

signature Taiwanese style "dong po" pork belly
signature Taiwanese style “dong po” pork belly

Then came what I was here for – the signature Taiwanese “dong po” pork belly. I love this dish so much I actually remember where I had it the first two times – first at Chatterbox Bangsar Village, and then at Dengkil Seafood Restaurant.

If you love pork, you gotta try this dish named after the famous Chinese poet Su DongPo (蘇東坡) . The interpretation of this dish at Secret Garden is very, very good, and only made better when you have it with their super soft steamed bun. Can I get this combination for breakfast, please?

grouper fish head in yellow curry with fresh milk
grouper fish head in yellow curry with fresh milk

Perhaps to demonstrate the range of dishes this kitchen is able to come up with, we had grouper fish head in yellow curry with fresh milk next.

If really spicy and rich Indian or even Nyonya style curry is your cup of tea, this may disappoint, but if you enjoy milder curry with all the necessary ingredients with a much gentler assault on your taste buds, then this yellow curry may fit the bill. I’m a Penang boy who loves me some really spicy curry fish head, so it was just a tad underwhelming for me.

pan fried fresh king prawn with soya sauce
pan fried fresh king prawn with soya sauce

Pan fried fresh king prawn with soya sauce was my favorite seafood dish of the day. Instead of the usual tiger prawns or “meng har”, this version uses fresh water king prawns, which has big and juicy prawn head to suckle on (human cholestorel isn’t from what you eat, right?). I liked it, and wished I had some rice to go with this.

(btw I’ve published a recipe to my version here, if you care to cook your own)

homemade organic black soya bean tofu in pumpkin gravy
homemade organic black soya bean tofu in pumpkin gravy, & the hungry bunch

The last dish I got to try before we had to leave due to another appointment was the homemade organic black soya bean tofu in pumpkin gravy. I was told the tofu is made in-house, and it certainly tastes fresh as can be with the texture that’s almost like tofufar, it was nice, and pumpkin gravy certainly served as a good contrast to the salty and savory bits on top of the tofu.

our menu, and some live seafood for your picking too
our menu, and some live seafood for your picking too

Overall it was a more than satisfying dinner, and certainly an experience that is made unforgettable thanks to the beautiful dining area and excellent companions we had.

Secret Garden is current modelling the upper level and will be offering Private Dining. You give them a budget and number of pax, and the chef will come up with a menu from carefully chosen ingredients available. There’s currently no set price for Private Dining, I suppose the more you are willing to pay, the more exotic the dishes get.

Thank you Jessica for the invitation and for hosting us!

secret garden chinese restaurant, taman megah

Address:
Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant
家園私房菜 
7 & 9, Jalan SS 23/15,
Taman Sea,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.116306, 101.612408
Tel: 03-7887 6999
Site: secretgarden.my

The most popular Chinese dinner in Klang Valley is usually of the tai chao (大炒) variety, and while being able to order a huge variety of made-to-order dishes that comes out of a hot kitchen with plenty of fire power is neat, sometimes all you want is few comfort dishes to satisfy the hunger in relatively healthier fashion, such as those on the menu of Chia Yee Salted Chicken restaurant.

Chia Yee Salted Chicken, just opposite Da Tuan Yuan & Bandar Baru Klang
Chia Yee Salted Chicken, just opposite Da Tuan Yuan & Bandar Baru Klang

The restaurant is adjacent to the much more popular Da Tuan Yuan at Bandar Baru Klang, a stone’s throw away from Bukit Raja Jusco shopping mall.

The set up is clean, simple, and with minimum fuss. The menu consists of a few pages of choices with some pictures, and there are cutlery’s on the table, with urns of chili sauce strategically placed at a few condiment stations.

1/2 salted chicken, steamed egg, blanced choi sum
1/2 salted chicken, steamed egg, blanched choy sum

For the two of us, we had 1/2 a salted chicken (RM 20), a portion of steamed egg (RM 6), and blanched choy sum (RM 4).

The kampung chicken was smaller in size compared to regular variety, but is pretty firm, flavorful, and presumably healthier due to having less fat and perhaps lack of growth hormones. The steamed egg was done quite nicely, reminding me of the version we had at K.T.L Cheras, there’s a hint of sesame oil in the dish which I liked.

As for blanched choy sum, well, it provided sufficient fiber, vitamin C, and color contrast to the picture, so it did its job well.

simple comfort food menu
simple comfort food menu & decent pricing

Overall it was a simple dinner and one that I sometimes find myself cherish. This is a restaurant we will most likely revisit, since Haze is quite a fan of salted chicken.

chia yee salted chicken, bandar baru klang map

Address:
Chia Yee Salted Chicken
7, Jalan Tiara 2D/KU1,
Bandar Baru Klang,
41150 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.063555, 101.467506
Tel03-3884 4356

A user commented that ever since I moved to Shah Alam, there’s been an influx of Shah Alam & Klang food entries with very few on PJ/KL, so here’s one that I thought is quite timely – the HK style Yung Kee Beef Noodle at Restoran Kwai Hup, Pudu.

Yung Kee Beef Noodle at Restoran Kwai Hup
Yung Kee Beef Noodle at Restoran Kwai Hup

This is certainly not a new establishment, but one of the really popular hawker eateries that I found out only recently via one of my colleagues.

A bit of research revealed that the proprietor spent quite a large chunk of his life in HK and brought the recipe back to Malaysia. The result is a version of beef noodle that is just slightly different from what we are used too. The broth is a little closer to the tangkak version, while the meat and innards are “fall off the bone” soft.

the default mixed beef (牛扎) with soup
the default mixed beef (牛扎) with soup

Quite a few versions of beef noodle is available here.

Standard “ngau lam” style starts at RM 8 and comes with meat, brisket, and beef balls. Portion of beef is rather generous, and the melt in your mouth texture is really hard to beat. This place is becoming one of my favorites right after the first try, and I’ve returned for a few other visits since.

you can order just tendon, soft and tender tendon
you can order just tendon, soft and tender tendon

 

If you’re like me who loves really tender beef tendon, you’re in luck. RM 12 gets you a bowl of beef noodle with nothing but tendon cut in scallop size. Heaven on earth is what this is about, I had this on my first visit and will dream about the beef tendon every now and then.

there's also "American Fat Beef", Angus I suppose
there’s also “American Fat Beef”, striploin I suppose

If you want to get a bit more fancy, they have a RM 25 portion of “American Fat Beef 美国肥肉”, or striploin for your enjoyment. We tried this last weekend and thought while it was good, the striploin doesn’t separate itself as a much more superior product than their regular beef/innards, which was already very very good.

Additionally, I’ve read that they have Angus beef every now and then (especially on weekends) if you want to indulge yourself further more. Feel free to ask for recommendations.

For me though, I’ll be back for their regular “ngau lam” with extra tendons pretty often from now on, I suspect.

map to Kwai Hup kopitiam, Yung Kee Beef Noodle

Address:
Yung Kee Beef Noodle
Restoran Kwai Hup
24, Jalan Kancil, Off Jalan Landak
55100 Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.136191, 101.712989
Tel: 012-215 8009
Hours: 8 am to 2-3 pm