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Tag / asam fish

A couple weeks ago I was invited to Di Wei Chinese Restaurant at Empire Hotel to sample their mooncakes for the upcoming Mid-Autumn festival as well as a few of their new fish dishes.

It was my second time visiting this rather classy non-halal Chinese restaurant, with the first time sampling some alcohol product that was never brought into the country commercially (Yuzu!), hence the lack of prior blog entry.

Di Wei Chinese cuisine restaurant at Empire Hotel, Subang Jaya
Di Wei Chinese cuisine restaurant at Empire Hotel, Subang Jaya

The restaurant is accessible from the hotel as well as directly from the top floor of the shopping mall. Like most Chinese restaurants, Di Wei carries a pretty decent selection of dishes, from bbq meat, traditional double boiled soup, dried seafood such as abalone and sea cucumber, live seafood, beef, pork, chicken, duck, beancurd, egg, vegetable dishes as well as fried rice and noodle.

On our review session, we sampled three new fish dishes as well as their mooncakes.

Braised Marble Goby Fish with Iced Beancurd and Pork Belly
Braised Marble Goby Fish with Iced Beancurd and Pork Belly

First dish was braised marble goby fish with iced beancurd and pork belly (RM 168++ per portion).

Marble goby is one of the most prized freshwater fish for its smooth texture and layering meat. The usual preparation method usually by steaming, but the chef at Di Wei decided to deep fry the fish and braise with special sauce with addition of pork belly and iced beancurd.

The beancurd, being frozen prior has many air pockets that soaks up the sauce, which makes for an interesting way to enjoy the dish. The fish did not lose it’s original taste with the deep frying process, but gained extra smoothness from pork belly. I love it.

Steamed Seabass in Assam Sauce
Steamed Seabass in Assam Sauce

Next up was steamed seabass in assam sauce (RM 122++ per 100 gram). It was basically a high class version of asam fish that is quite common in many Chinese restaurants, with seabass doing the major lifting in the quality department. This dish should be consumed quickly if served in the heated bowl, as the heat may otherwise overcook the fish over time.

Pan Fried Giant Grouper with Soy Sauce
Pan Fried Giant Grouper with Green Apple Sauce

Pan fried giant grouper with green apple sauce (RM 23++ per 100 gram) is a dish that may not get approval for giant grouper lovers who love to have this fish the traditional way – steamed with superior soya sauce.

I tend to agree, but pan frying the fish gives the skin a new and exciting texture to ponder about, with the addition of apple sauce making it pretty interesting. It is a bold attempt no doubt, but one that hasn’t surpass the traditional cooking method of this prized seafood yet, I’m afraid.

traditional baked mooncakes, RM 18-23 each
traditional baked mooncakes, RM 18-23 each

So then, lets move to mooncakes.

The traditional mooncakes from Di Wei we sampled are as follow:

  • pandan lotus single yolk
  • white lotus single yolk
  • black sesame single yolk
  • pure lotus single yolk
  • red bean
  • bamboo charcoal single yolk

My favorite being the bamboo charcoal and white lotus single yolk, and my complain is – why not double yolks? or even better, quadruple yolks?

snow skin mooncakes, RM 18-23 each
snow skin mooncakes, RM 18-23 each

As for snow skin mooncakes that are best chilled, we had the following:

  • snow skin white lotus single yolk
  • snow skin green tea single yolk
  • snow skin black sesame single yolk
  • snow skin bamboo charcoal single yolk

I like them all, but my favorites were black sesame and bamboo charcoal versions.

Di Wei's 3 meat platter
Di Wei’s 3 meat platter

Since mooncakes and three dishes of fish weren’t exactly fulfilling enough to our collective stomachs, we ordered Di Wei’s three meat platter as extra (small – RM40++, medium – RM60++, big – RM80++).

The BBQ pork (chasiu) was perhaps not the best I’ve had, but the roast duck very good, and roast pork turned out to be really excellent.

So if you’re into mooncakes, Di Wei offers some excellent choices, and for good quality fish in some non traditional cooking style, this is also a place you should check out.

Empire Mall map

Address:
Di Wei
L1, F20 & F21 

Empire Hotel, Jalan SS16/1,
Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS3.082109, 101.582716
Tel03-5565 1228

Whenever food and Klang are mentioned in the same sentence, the topic of bak kut teh is often inevitable, however, Klang offers more than just bak kut teh. Lets look at four different places you should check out if you’re at Klang, just in case you’ve just had your bak kut teh the day before.

Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih at Taman Berkeley
Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih at Taman Berkeley

Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih at Taman Berkeley is the most famous pan mee restaurant in all of Klang, the version here is slightly different from those served at other part of Klang Valley, instead of chilli paste you get chilli padi and soya sauce, and lettuce is used as vegetable of choice.

Expect long wait time as each bowl is cooked individually. Starting at RM 3.50 per bowl, this place offers great value too.

Fatty Mee Hoon Kuih | Address: 19 Lebuh Bangau, Taman Berkeley, Klang | Tel: 017-336 6183 | Opening hours: 10am to 10pm daily. | GPS: 3.060055, 101.463443

Peng Heong Hakka Paikut, love their sour & spicy vegetable
Peng Heong Hakka Paikut, love their sour & spicy vegetable

If pork ribs fancy you, Peng Heong Hakka Paikut will surely deliver. The corner shop not far from the central bus station at Klang offers one of the most delicious and succulent fried pork ribs you can find anywhere.

delicious pork ribs, asam fish, pork stomach soup, sour and spicy vegetable
delicious pork ribs, asam fish, pork stomach soup, sour and spicy vegetable

Their menu is quite extensive as well, I especially love their sour and spicy vegetable soup that hits all the right spots. Asam fish and pork stomach soup are two other dishes worth checking out as well. However, their bak kut teh is subpar, so don’t waste your time or stomach space for that.

Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Restaurant | AddressNo 2, Lorong Gudang Nanas, Off Jalan Pasar, 41400 Klang | Tel: 019-260 0855 | GPS3.048, 101.4448 | Operating Hours: brunch till late lunch

you don't have to go to Melaka for delicious pohpiah
you don’t have to go to Melaka for delicious pohpiah

Melaka is famous for many hawker delights, with one of my favorite being the pohpiah at Jonker Street, mainly due to it’s pork lard infused ingredients. So you can imagine I was more than happy to find out that you can find very similar pohpiah right at Eng Ann Hawker Centre, Klang, which neighbours Taman Berkeley.

the pohpiah is infused with pork lard and lap cheong too
the pohpiah is infused with pork lard and lap cheong too

There are two pohpiah stalls here, and both are comparable in taste. The ingredients include pork lard and lap cheong, which really gives this otherwise simple snack an extra kick. If you like the Melaka version, this one won’t disappoint.

Tan Kee Pohpiah or Eng Ann Pohpiah | Address: Eng Ann Hakwer Centre, Jalan Pekan Baru & Jalan Kawasari 8, Klang | GPS: 3.058001,101.460022 | Hours: lunch till tea time, daily

made-to-order black sesame glutinous ball with ginger soup
made-to-order black sesame glutinous ball with ginger soup

For after dinner dessert, head to Taman Berkeley again for some freshly made black sesame glutinous ball in ginger soup. This classic Chinese dessert Kedai Kopi Tech Le is pretty much made to order here with a choice of black sesame or as the ingredient. This stuff will clear up your sinus immediately. I love it.

Tong Kee at Kedai Kopi Tec Le | Address: Kedai Kopi Tec Le, Lebuh Bangau, Taman Berkeley, Klang | Opening hours: supper, closed on Monday and Thursday | GPS:3.060006, 101.464115

Klang is of course, most famous as the epicenter of bak kut teh, but hidden in this town that is notorious for producing a large number of ah bengs & gangstas is also a one of a kind restaurant that serves very unique pork ribs rice.

The restaurant is Peng Heong Hakka Paikut (or pai kuat in Cantonese, which means pork ribs). I’ve actually covered this place back in the first year of this blog, but since then, the little shack has moved into a big corner restaurant, and the menu has expanded too. So I suppose it warrants a rewrite. :D

Peng Heong Hakkai Paikut at Klang
Peng Heong Hakkai Paikut at Klang

The restaurant is situated just off Jalan Pasar, and unlike the old location, now there is ample parking. Furthermore, weather is not a factor anymore, the place is clean, well ventilated, and with good hygiene.

The menu is filled with picture and price for every dish, and ordering is done via wireless device from the server straight to the kitchen. If you think Klang is the backwater of Selangor, this might change your mind, might.

the all important pork ribs, succulent and full of flavor
the all important pork ribs, succulent and full of flavor

The star here is obviously the pork ribs. Priced from RM 8 to RM 20, they are succulent, sweet, and absolutely delicious. The ribs are mostly de-boned too so there’s plenty of meat in this plate of goodness. The taste is a bit strong if you have it as is, but with rice, it’s heaven.

chai buih, rice with dark  soya sauce, pork tripes soup, asam fish
chai buih, rice with dark  soya sauce, pork tripes soup, asam fish

Other than pork ribs, the chai buih is a must order. Take it as a Chinese version of kimchi, spicy, sour, and full of kick. Over here they have it proper, and anyone who loves chai buih shouldn’t ever miss this one.

The asam fish and pork tripe soup too are of pretty good quality around here, they make very good complimentary dishes and provides a good change of taste.

the drinks usually comes in big bottles to be shared, love the soya bean
the drinks usually comes in big bottles to be shared, love the soya bean

Missing from the photos is the pork knuckle in vinegar that we tried on another visit. It has some of the fattest pork knuckle in arguably the most sourish vinegar “soup” that I’ve tried. I love it!

We usually spend about RM 14-20 per person per visit. Pretty reasonable pricing for what you get, so don’t just go to Klang for bak kut teh ya!

Address:
Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Restaurant
No 2, Lorong Gudang Nanas,
Off Jalan Pasar, 41400 Klang
Selangor
GPS: 3.048, 101.4448
Tel: 019-260 0855, 012-236 9855

Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Restaurant

I discovered Restaurant Sing Kee in most unconventional way – while riding my mountain bike for the purpose of waist management (beats running IMHO, you get a bit of adventure thrown in), I found myself at Sungai Way and saw this restaurant that was full of people.

If a restaurant at an old neighborhood is packed, it is usually good, and many weeks later, Haze and I decided to pay a visit for dinner.

Sing Kee at PJ Sungei Way
Sing Kee at PJ Sungei Way

Sing Kee is just like any “tai chau“, with a huge variety of dishes on the menu. The specialty here though is their asam fish, a dish that we noticed on more than half the tables.

Since it was our first time here, I asked for the server to give us her recommendations. We ended up with asam fish, squid with salted egg yolk, and a plate of vegetable to go with two steamed rice.

the glorious asam fish - tilapia
the glorious asam fish – tilapia

It did take a while for food to be served, but at least the home brewed loh hon goh drinks accompanying our wait were plenty good.

Our food arrived.

The asam fish (RM 21) was almost a balanced meal by itself – steamed tilapia with brinjal, long bean, lady’s finger, onion, tomato, and red chili all in an asam soup base that strikes a perfect balance of sourness and hotness. The fish were done perfectly too, and despite a generally inferior species when it comes to taste, preparing it in this method clearly removes any muddy tastes that we sometimes associate with tilapia.

It was really one of the best asam fish dish I’ve tried thus far.

squid with salted egg, vegetable for vitamin c quota
squid with salted egg, vegetable for vitamin c quota

Our second dish was the squid with salted egg (RM 22). A dish not recommended for the weak hearted (or those with high cholesterol for sure). It was another win, squid that still retains some chewiness coated with generous amount of salted egg and breading for that extra savory taste. The only problem with it was that the portion should be for 4 pax, not 2.

Then there was the vegetable, which tastes like any normal vegetable dish. Nothing to see here.

Haze and I were positively satisfied
Haze and I were positively satisfied

If you’re looking for old fashion tai chau and a good plate of asam fish, you can certainly do worse than Sing Kee. I’m going to visit this place again when the asam addiction strike. Will try other dishes too.

P/S: I later found out that this is also one of Kerol’s favorite place, she is a picky eater.

map to Sungai Way Sing Kee

Address:
Restaurant Sing Kee
No. 28, Jalan SS 9A/16
Sungai Way New Village
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS: 3.086855, 101.62206
Tel:  013-217 7260, 012-380 3918

Olympus E-PL3

My ex-housemate, Kerol, came over last weekend to pick myself and Horng up for lunch again last Saturday. As usual, we were not able to come up with any suggestion that could satisfy the girl. At the end, she decided to drive us to one of her favorite lunch places at PJ when she used to work.

The little hidden food court at PJ state located right opposite the big police station (if you have an accident anywhere in PJ, you usually end up there).

Asam Fish at PJ State
old school food court ala Medan Selera style

The place is a municipal built public food court that reminds me of those at PJ old town (with chicken rice), Seksyen 14 (with popiah), and the nasi lemak Tanglin. With plastic tables and chairs affixed on the floor that was as trendy as it was unpractical, especially if you have a larger group of people visiting at the same time.

We located stall number 4 that says Mee Bandung Muar (no I didn’t manage to try their mee bandung, perhaps next time) without much trouble and ordered lunch.

asam ikan pari, telur dadar
asam ikan pari and telur dadar

They serve three different types of asam fish: kembung (hard tail), pari (stingray), and tengiri (mackerel). But for some reasons, everyone asked for the stingray that day, most probably due to the fact that we’re a bit lazy to have to deal with any bones. We also ordered telur dadar (Malay style omelet) and rice.

PJ State Malay food court
the food court is located right opposite PJ State police station

The asam fish itself was pretty nice but I thought it could be slightly more spicy and more sour. I think this suits the KL taste a bit more as compared to the northern version that tends to be a bit stronger tasting. Adding their kicap (slightly sweet version of soya sauce) made it taste quite a bit better though.

Overall, it was still a pretty satisfying lunch for only RM 6 each per person, including rice and egg. Maybe it’s time to try a bit more from the same food court.

Address:
Store 4, Mee Bandung Muar
Medan Selera, PJ State
Jalan Lampan 8/3,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.099046, 101.640412