Tag / lala
When it comes to Chinese tai chao restaurants, you often find very conventional names that usually involves someone’s surname or places of origin. XFrens Cafe & Restaurant though, likes to be a bit different, so I was looking at a map and this name came up, I’d have thought that they probably serve good pastry and maybe some warm pies…
Restaurant Xfrens, Subang Jaya SS18
Well, I have no idea what went through the owners’ thought process when they came up with the name, but we’re here for the food, and in this regard they definitely put in more thoughts than the naming exercise.
XFrens is located at Subang Jaya SS18, with few busy shops around the same short row of shop houses in the evening, parking your car is usually a relatively painless process. However, do plan to get there early as the place usually gets rather busy and fetch quite a long queue on weekend busy dinner hours. I’d say anytime before 6:30 or 6:45 pm and you should have a table immediately.
The menu at Xfrens is pretty comprehensive, with different sections offering dishes involving poultry, seafood, vegetable, tofu, and such.
For the group of 6 of us over dinner, we ordered five dishes to share.
“siong thong” lala, pumpkin tofu, paku with chili padi
Siong Thong Lala was a pretty decent dish that provides some spicy soup to open up the appetite, the shellfish was of decent size and freshness. Pumpkin tofu was one of their signature dishes, and one that provides a nice contrast in texture and taste, crispy on the outside with stronger tasting sauce, while soft and mild within.
I was also very glad that we ordered paku with chili padi, one of my favorite type of vegetable that should be more popular here (as they are in Borneo). This is one vege that I’ll order again.
garlic pork, teow chew style steamed red snapper
Garlic pork is another must-order at Xfrens, and it is what we’re here for. The dish was basically a dish of deep fried pork with many, many cloves of garlic. It was as simple as it was tasty, the combination was an assault to the senses in the best ways.
The last dish we shared was steamed red snapper teow chew style. This dish was executed rather well, with ingredients you’d expect from a typical toew chew steamed fish – tomato, tofu, salted vegetable, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and chili. I enjoyed this quite a lot too.
The dinner came to be around RM 40 per pax including drinks, a fair price considering the fact that we ordered quality fish as well as lala. Would definitely come here again.
51, Jalan SS 18/1b, Ss 18,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.072748, 101.584083
Tel: 03-5611 0488
Hours: Lunch & Dinners
Bak Kut Teh infused with seafood is not exactly a recent invention in the land where this uniquely Chinese-Malaysian dish originated, and of the various different variants of bak kut teh, it is probably the most rare, hence it is no surprise that many bak kut teh fans does not know about the existence of seafood BKT.
Yun Heng kopitiam, at Klang Utama
My love for seafood bak kut teh started with Ah Tao at Teluk Pulai, a place where I’ve returned multiple times. Sadly, Ah Tao returned to the maker this past CNY period and the place has been closed down (or on haitus) since.
This prompted me to start looking for another good spot to satisfy that cravings.
After a few attempts with limited success, I think I finally found one that’s worthy to be Ah Tao’s replacement in my book – the unassuming BKT stall at the corner of Restoran Yun Heng at Klang Utama (not far from another one of my go-to Hong Ba + BKT place – Swee Xiang)
fish head, and that glorious bak kut teh with lala
We went there last weekend when my brother was in town, and for the three of us, we had 1.5 portion of bak kut teh with lala, and another portion of fish head.
The bak kut teh soup really did hit the spot for all of us, it was a perfect balance of hotness, herbal note, and really strong seafood sweetness from the lala. They may not have the variety of seafood available as with Ah Tao, but lala is all you need, especially if it’s done as well as they did here.
fish head also had chicken feet in it
We didn’t plan to order the stewed fish head dish, but since they were a bit low on pork (we got there past 1:30 pm) and the owner suggested it, I thought why not?
The dish turned out to be pretty good in itself, it was another spicy dish but one with much thicker soup and slightly sweeter in taste. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, the chicken feet in the stew was very good too.
Overall damage was just under RM 20 per person, and I’m 100% sure I’ll be heading back there again for some lala BKT goodness.
Restoran Yun Heng
31, Persiaran Sungai Keramat 1B,
Taman Klang Utama, Klang
GPS: 3.083669, 101.407106
Tel: 016-272 0389
Of the 400 some bak kut teh places in Klang, one of the most unique offerings of them all has got to be Ah Tao Seafood Bak Kut Teh at Teluk Pulai, for this is the very place that the whole idea of having seafood in bak kut teh came into fruition… I think.
Updates 20/2/2017: Ah Tao has passed away and hence the place is temporarily closed until they figure out the way forward
Ah Tao bak kut teh is located at Beng Heong restoran, at the corner
If you’re looking for a sign that says “Ah Tao BKT”, you won’t find it. The stall is located within Restoran Beng Heong, on the same row of shop houses also include the original Teluk Pulai BKT situated in a stone’s throw away. Parking is usually not a very challenging task, but they do sell out by 10am or so on weekends, so getting there early is a must if you want to avoid disappointment.
glorious seafood bak kut teh, proper tea is a must
While they also serve “normal” bak kut teh in clay pots, the unique selling point here is their seafood infused BKT. If you simply go with seafood, they’ll include big prawns, lala, sea cucumber, fish fillet, and perhaps squid together with your choice of pork meat (I usually go for “tua kut” aka big bone, or “kahwan”).
Alternatively, you can also opt for crab, or just lala, just prawn, and so forth. I tend to think anything involving shells work best, such as lala, crab, or prawns.
prawns, fish fillet, and lala are among the extra ingredients
To make the herbal soup “compatible” with seafood and partly to avoid unwanted seafood smell, the soup is made spicy with quite a fair chunk of chili padi, so what you have then is a very unique taste of spicy bak kut teh. I love it, it was like BKT on steroid.
KY, Kelly, Haze
I’ve only been to Ah Tao a couple times since, but I figure there’ll be quite a few more future visits.
If you’re from the other side of Klang/Shah Alam or prefer to have this for dinner, Klang Coast at Bukit Tinggi serves a pretty decent version of seafood bak kut teh as well, supposedly manned by the apprentice of Ah Tao.
Ah Tao Bak Kut Teh
Restoran Beng Heong
Jalan Teluk Pulai,
Taman Teluk Pulai,
GPS: 3.040397, 101.434065
Tel: 03-3374 2630
Hours: Breakfast & Brunch
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Quite a few moons ago we went to do one of the more touristy things you can do in Selangor – firefly watching at Kuala Selangor.
To be honest, it was my first time doing that, and I had our Singaporean friends Angus & his girlfriend to thank for this experience. Funnily, the attractions closest to us are some that we often never bother to visit.
Firefly watching at Kuala Selangor
The tour is fairly simple, you arrive at around sunset, pay some RM 30 or so, put on your life jacket and hop on the boat. D’Tour is just one of the many operations that offers similar services.
The boat then take us along Selangor River to the area where the fireflies gather. It was quite a sight to see, the trees by the river were packed with fireflies that seems to blink in sync, like a single colored x’mas tree. Quite neat, and no, we didn’t get too many mosquito bites.
It was quite fun and anyone should at least try this once. The whole journey lasted around an hour or so.
D Tours Kuala Selangor
No 1. Jalan Bagan Sungai Yu,
Pasir Penambang, 45000 Kuala Selangor
GPS: 3.351486, 101.249347
Tel: 019-263 9123/017-639 5017
Kuang Wah Seafood Restaurant, Kuala Selangor
After the tour, it was seafood time, naturally.
This part of Kuala Selangor has quite a few seafood restaurants in operation, and many of them are seemingly packed on every weekends. We hop onto the one right next to D Tour – Kuang Wah Seafood Restaurant.
The set up is a carbon copy of many Malaysian seafood outfits – with plastic tables & chairs, and a wall of aquarium and fiber glass containers full with assortment of live seafood for your picking. The prices are also clearly stated.
deep fried mantis prawn, lala with superior soup, drunken live prawn
For the four of us, we started with deep fried mantis shrimp with chili and salt (RM 30). The meat was firm and rather flavorful, a good start.
Then it was lala in superior soup (RM 15). The soup was more spicy than superior, but does tick the checkbox somewhat.
Drunken prawn came in a clay pot (RM 30), and had some mushroom, green onion, and plenty of ginger strips in a soup base that I can’t stop drinking. It was quite awesome, and you can also definitely tell the freshness of the prawns by how sticky the skin is to the meat.
steamed 7-star garoupa, Sg. friends & Haze
Our main dish was the steamed seven-star garoupa fish. We chose the simplest of preparation method to enjoy the natural flavor of the seafood, and it proved to be good decision. The meat was smooth and sweet, with the superior soya sauce complimenting the fish meat perfectly.
Overall it was a pretty good dinner, our friends from Singapore certainly did not complain. I’d say that Kuang Wah offers very good value for money as well. The dinner came to be only RM 132 to feed four hungry adults, with each of us having a fresh coconut (RM 4.50 each) as well.
If I was at Kuala Selangor again, I’d certainly not minding coming back to this particular restaurant again.
Restoran Kuang Wah
No 1A, Jalan Bagan Sungai Yu,
45000, Pasir Penambang,
Kuala Selangor, Malaysia
GPS: 3.351753, 101.249370
Tel: 03-3289 6719