One of the biggest advantage of riding to work is the flexibility in breakfast choices. No longer am I confined to the route of LRT or just the food stalls within walking distance of the office. All I need to do is to leave home half an hour earlier, and so that’s what I often do these days, exploring breakfast places around KL in the wee hours.
old uncle’s been preparing wantan mee for a while now
The area behind Berjaya Times Square is one of my favorite places to explore. Being one older part of town, it’s littered with many old school eateries.
And it was by random choice that I ended up at this nameless kopitiam at Jalan Brunei just behind the Caltex gas station. Business always seems pretty brisk in the morning, so I thought I should give it a try.
There is only a stall operating in the morning, offering wantan mee and sui kao mee.
The wantan mee (a tad under RM 5) comes with everything you’d expect in a plate of wantan mee and some. There’s wantan, minced meat, spring onion, charsiu, pickled chili, and even lard. It can take 10-15 minutes before your plate of wantan mee is served, the noodle is springy, the combination of various pork ingredients work their wonders, and is everything you’d want in a wholesome hearty old school breakfast.
the sui-kao (dumplings) are very yummy as well
Their sui kao too are of top quality, packed with black fungus, minced carrot, pork, and prawns.
If you are a fan of wan tan mee or sui kao mee, this is a place to check out. I’ve been back several times since.
Address: Ban Lee Hin Kee kopitiam Jalan Brunei (behind Caltex) Pudu, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.137286, 101.711544
Seems to be like Xmas was just a couple weeks ago, and all of a sudden we’re faced with Chinese New Year in only about a month’s time. The thing that I like about Chinese New Year (since angpow money is now in negative territory) – Yee Sang and Chinese New Year dinners!
Chinese restaurants around the country are busy preparing Chinese New Year menus just about now, and we’re lucky to be invited by Siobhan to sample a few dishes from Ritz Carlton’s Li Yen and JW Marriot’s Shanghai restaurants.
Li Yen at Ritz Carlton and Shanghai at JW Marriot hotel
Li Yen serves traditional Cantonese cuisine, the variant of Chinese food that is more prevalent among the high end Chinese restaurants in Malaysia, while Shanghai restaurant, like the name suggests, entice customers with traditional Shanghainese dishes.
As per usual YTL standards, both restaurants are tastefully decorated and provide excellent ambiance. There are also private dining rooms in addition to the common dining hall.
Prosperity yee sang with abalone, with Siobhan & Haze (at Li Yen)
We started the night with my very first Prosperity Yee Sang for 2013, and this one comes with a touch of luxury with abalone slices instead of of the more common raw salmon. The ingredients were fresh, and it sure tastes like CNY is just around the corner. Li Yen also provide you with those extra long chopsticks, real handy when it comes to Lou Sang time.
double boiled chicken soup, stir fry prawn with supreme soya sauce (at Li Yen)
When it comes to traditional CNY Chinese course dinner, I always love to start with a bowl of good soup. Li Yen didn’t disappoint. The double boiled chicken soup with dried scallop and Chinese cabbage was one of the best I’ve had. Subtle, sweet, it gives you that homey warm, comfort feeling.
The stir-fried prawns with supreme soya sauce too was a top notch. Huge fresh prawns completely shelled (they should do this more often, I don’t want to deal with the shells), the seasoning isn’t over powering and you can eat it on it’s own. Sweetness of seafood complimented well with the hint of saltiness from supreme soya sauce.
braised Shanghainese pork, xiao long bao (at Shanghai)
After the three dishes we moved to Shanghai restaurant just a short walk away.
Greeting us on the table were the beautiful braised Shanghainese pork, xiao long bao, and the traditional CNY dessert – glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds.
The braised Shanhaginese pork looks a bit like “tong por” pork, but in truth it’s a more sophisticated dish. The bottom half of the dish is a mixtures of prawn paste, pine nuts, and vegetable. It was soft, succulent, and delicious. Would be even better with a bit of rice I think.
Xiao long bao here is top notch as well, with plenty of soup and skin that’s just thick enough to hold everything in.
pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds (at Shanghai)
We ended the night with pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds, they’re sweet and crunchy on the outside from the sesame. Perhaps not one of my favorite desserts, but it shouldn’t disappoint anyone who likes glutinous rice cake (I prefer mine deep fried between sweet potato, old school)
The set menus start from RM 1388++ per table of 10 persons, click on the link below to see the menus.
Steamboat has always been one of my favorite type of Chinese food. There are mainly two types of steamboat places around, ala carte/set, and buffet style. While some swear by the buffet places such as Yuen at Sunway, I actually prefer the former version more. I find it usually a lot less stressful, and you don’t ever get the feeling of having to try to gorge yourself just to squeeze a bigger bang for the bucks.
Xin Chun Steamboat – Pulau Ketam style
A couple weeks ago I joined the guys at a simple dinner at Xin Chun Seafood Steamboat Restaurant at Kota Damansara. The place was pretty busy when we got there, the tables inside the restaurant were all filled up, and there are even tents set next to it shop filled with even more diners.
a glorious pot of steamboat
Since we aren’t exactly teenagers in puberty anymore, only three single set of steamboat is ordered (RM 13.50 per set). The set comes with prawns, dumpling, fish meat, pork ball, fishball, tofu skin, corn & carrot (to sweeten the soup), vegetable, egg, noodle, and a few of those other fishball lookalike thingy.
dumpling, steamboat set, condiment, pork slice
For good measures, we also ordered a plate of sliced pork and dumpling.
The most important ingredient at these Pulau Ketam style steamboat places is the sambal, and it doesn’t disappoint at Xin Chun. The sambal’s spicy and flavorful, if you like a bit of complexity, add the fried shallots in it.
While the soup isn’t as great as the one with herbs at Damansara Village (extra charge of course), it holds up on its own pretty well. The ingredients were good though, I particularly like the sliced pork and their very yummy dumplings.
Hoho steamboat is probably one of the earliest “pulau ketam” type steamboat in town, it has been operating for so long that Kim said her parents actually dated there. It is then safe to say that this place has been in operation for well over two decades.
Hoho steamboat, established since forever
Housed at the same premise as the pretty well known Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo at Segambut just a stone’s throw away from the intersection of Jalan Kuching and Jalan Duta, the restaurant is converted from a former Bungalow with ample parking space. There are tables inside the building, under the tin roof (with fans and ample lights), as well as under the moon light. The usual ingredients for pulau ketam style steamboat.
steamboat set, deep fried dumplings, bacon strips
Most of the porkgang and two extra guests braced the traffic last Friday evening for a good steamboat meal thanks to the suggestion by Cheesie.
For the eleven of us, we ordered steamboat set for nine pax that includes dumplings, pork balls, fish balls, fish noodle, tofu, prawns, vegetable, tofu skin, eggs, noodles (yee mee), mee hun, quail’s eggs, and fish cubes.
Kim and Cheesie doing the hardwork
We added a couple plates of deep fried dumplings to munch while waiting for the soup to boil, and they are actually rather delicious.
Other extra orders we had were clams (to make the soup sweeter), quail’s eggs (cos Eric has low cholesterol), and of course, extra pork balls and some raw bacon. Hoho is one of the very few steamboat places that offers bacon strips, the concept is a bit new to me as I usually like my bacon fried, but the boiled version is actually pretty nice too.
Haze is a very happy girl. Jac doing the “cooking”
Due to a bit of miscommunication, we ordered both tomyam and clear soup for our pot. While the tomyam soup turned out to be pretty tasty, I usually prefer to have only the clear soup. Having the pot split down the middle with two soup base that has very different tastes is usually not a great idea as they tend to mix up quite a bit when boiling.
The sambal supplied by Hoho steamboat is rather potent and fragrant too. To me a pulau ketam steamboat is never complete without good sambal, and this place does not disappoint when it comes to that.
Though not the absolute best out there, the combination of price (less than RM 25/pax with drinks), taste, and experience does make Hoho steamboat a place worth visiting. By the way, they have the best URL too: steamboat.com.my
Address: Hoho Steamboat
67, Jalan Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur GPS:3.180645, 101.677523 Tel:+603-6252 6473
I usually make it a point to not review the same restaurant more than once, but when Kong called me up and told me about the hairy crab menu at Dragon-i, temptations got the better of my crab/crap policy.
The first time I had hairy crab (Chinese mitten crab 大閘蟹) was at Restaurant King Crab almost 2 years ago. It gave me a impression not entirely unlike the first taste of foie gras, the roe/juice from hairy crab has a very unique richness and taste.
The hairy crab set menu goes for RM128 nett, not for the faint hearted
Hairy crab served at Dragon-i is harvested and air flown weekly from Tai Lake, China. The season starts at around September and runs through December every year.
The set menu is priced at RM 128 nett per person (min 3 pax) with six dishes – steamed Shanghainese hairy crab, steamed Shanghainese crab roe dumpling (xiao long pao), double-boiled superior chicken soup with fish maw & bamboo pith, sauteed fresh vegetable with crab roe, yong chow fried rice, and sesame dumpling with ginger soup.
the crab is steamed and then masterfully prepared for your consumption
As with most classic Chinese dinners, we started out with the double boiled superior chicken soup with fish maw and bamboo pith. The soup was subtle yet sophisticated, I really love the big slab of fish maw and different texture given by the bamboo pith. Adding a little bit of soya sauce makes it rather tasty.
Next up was the sauteed vegetable with crab roe, a simple and unassuming looking dish that turned out to be very good. The richness and crab roe balanced by fresh green vegetable that is sauteed ever just slightly. A very good combination.
Dragon-i’s famous xiao long pao was served next. Only this time they’re topped with crab roe much like the style more associated with Japanese food. I particularly like the tiny tray with a handle they used to hold the xiao long pao, even the ginger in vinegar is meticulously chopped. Every strand is equal in length and width.
cheesie showing the xiao long pao topped with crab roe
Yong Chow fried rice was served just before the hairy crab itself. Although a relatively common fried rice dish you can find basically in any Chinese restaurant in Malaysia, the fried rice at Dragon-i was something else. Prepared by chef Kung Yu Hung who is actually from Yangzhou (that’s Yong Chow in Mandarin) itself, the rice is fried with bits of char siu, egg, green onion, prawn, and of course, hairy crab meat. It is on par with the excellent fried rice I had at Elegant Inn.
chef Kung Yu Hung, KY, glutinous rice dumpling with sesame
The main dish of the day, hairy crab, was up next. Simply steamed with no extra ingredients added, the crab is then prepared by our very professional server. The shell is opened, each leg is then cut and the crab meat pushed slightly outwards, the pincers too were cracked for easier consumption.
We had a male crab of about 200+ gram (female for the roe, male has more meat) each. The “kou”, technically not roe since these were male crabs, was supremely rich and savory. They are similar to “kou” found in the mud crab we are more familiar with but several order tastier, for the lack of a better description. The meat too was sweet and very delicious.
Kong (left) and fellow comrades who enjoyed the lunch session
We capped the day by having sesame dumpling with ginger soup as dessert, the ginger soup was something good to wash the tongue off any lingering seafood taste, and the sesame dumpling was rather good too.
Overall it was a very satisfying food review session that was only made better by the company we were with. Meena (who was shortlisted on Nuffnang Awards for best food blog), KampungboyCitygirl, fatboybakes, Cumi&Ciki, and more were there and everyone had a great time.
6 Jalan PJU 7/3
Lot 136 & 137, 1F
Mutiara Damansara, PJ, Selangor GPS:3.157699, 101.611540 Tel:03-7728 6888
The hairy crab menu ca n also be found at Dragon-i outlets located at Pavilion, Mid Valley, 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid, and Queensbay Mall in Penang.