While doing grocery yesterday, I spotted some big and juicy looking shellfish available, and immediately reminded myself of those delicious steamed lala in New Boston Restaurant, a dish that I missed in terms of taste, but not so much in terms of wait time..
So naturally, I decided to get me some of those lala and attempt to recreate the same dish at home. I think I came pretty close, so here’s the recipe to share with everyone.
steamed lala as inspired by New Boston restaurant, Klang
lala – soak them in salt water for at least 1/2 hour to reduce chances of hanging sand/mud
ginger, julienne, as much as you want, old & hot= better
garlic, half a bulb, chopped finely
chili padi – chopped
Chinese rice wine
garlic, ginger, and cilipadi are crucial
fry garlic with oil until golden, set aside
steamed lala with ginger, cilipadi, and a couple tablespoon of Chinese rice wine
steamed only until shellfish are opened, this only takes a couple minutes or so
put fried garlic on top, add a bit of salt if preferred
served while hot!
The result turns out pretty well, could perhaps improved with better quality of Chinese rice wine, but so long as the seafood is fresh, results won’t be disappointing. Try it!
As far as food that we consume, crabs must be one of the stranger looking type isn’t it? I mean, they are basically sea spider with really tough exoskeletons and clamps that can snap off a baby’s finger. Once you get pass that (which most of us in Malaysia do), crab is perhaps one of my favorite the ocean has to offer.
Sheng May Restaurant, Pandamaran Klang
Earlier this year (when the world was still relatively normal, pre-Covid 2020), our collective cravings for crabs brought us to one of the more famous spots in Klang for a dinner in which this crustacean takes center stage – at Restoran Sheng May.
The place is one of those unremarkable house-turned-restaurant set up that are quite common in this part of Klang Valley at Pandamaran. Plastic chairs, zinc roof, and ceiling mounted fans, zero luxury, but adequate for a meal.
steamed crab, size – L @RM130 each
Crabs aren’t a certainty here (as with Kali Little, another great spot for crabs in Klang), call ahead to be sure, and even then you may need a little luck. We were semi-lucky to get fairly large sized crabs at around 900 gram each (RM 130 each).
sweet and sour crab, same size, same price
There are several ways to have them prepared, we chose steamed and sweet and sour. Both were delicious due to the freshness as well as how juicy and sweet the crabs were, but on hindsight, if you want the true taste of it all, steamed or salt baked would be my recommendation. Any sauce only serves as distractions to the main event.
tapioca noodle, meehun, mee goreng, Hokkien mee
As for other stomach lining dishes, we had fried tapioca noodle (a Klang specialty, imagine bubble tea bubbles but in noodle form), fried meehun, Chinese interpretation of Indian mee goreng, and this overly wet Hokkien mee. All were decent though I wouldn’t describe any of them to be outstanding.
steamed lala, fried baby octopus
Steamed lala with superior soup was spicy, fresh, and carries a strong flavor, as good as many of the other restaurants more famous for it. Fried baby octopus too was sweet, crunchy, and rather delicious, wish I had some rice with them though.
ginger chicken, sweet potato leave, green dragon vege, mantis prawn with dry cili
There’s also ginger chicken, while fragrant with its generous use of ginger, I thought they could take a lesson of how to chop chicken without resulting in so much bones…
The mantis prawn with dried chili (kung pao style) was an outstanding dish, combination of hotness from chilli, sweetness from onion, sauce, and the way they prepared the mantis prawn resulting a crispy outer layer while remaining juicy within, awesome.
this was the bill for 16 pax, RM 1740.50
Overall it was definitely not a cheap dinner but one that was very satisfying. We did end up ordering way too many crabs by making the dumb assumption that everyone needed an entire crab for him/herself, not wise.
If you’re a fan of big crabs, this is certainly a place to have them at “reasonable” price.
After trying the beef noodle at Lai Foong just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have dinner at KL the other day, and naturally the idea of having the lala meehun from the same kopitiam would be a sound one, and it was.
Lai Foong kopitiam lala meehun
The lala meehun stall usually operates from around 10 am in the morning and offers their various dishes, including Hokkien mee, lala meehun, and more all the way till around 8 pm.
I went there in the evening right, and with the restaurant around half full, the wait time was around 20 minutes or so. If you’re there at the usual busy lunch hours, expect to wait for quite a bit before your bowl of noodle is served. They do take their time to cook.
Luckily, the dish was worth the wait. Pretty good amount of decent size lala in a soup base that’s spicy from ginger and infused with decent amount of Chinese cooking wine, there’s also a hint of herbal taste to it as well, which I thought gives it a good depth.
makes for a sumptuous dinner
If you’re hungry for some soupy lala in KL, this stall at Lai Foong would be a good choice, but I’d advise avoid the busy lunch hours and you’d likely have a good experience.
Address: Lai Foong kopitiam 138, Jalan Tun H S Lee, 50050 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.145424, 101.696846 Hours: 10 am to 7-8 pm
Since I am somewhat known for being a bak kut teh lover (which I am), I suppose it is appropriate to not go too long between bak kut teh posts, so today I present you – Siong Huat Bak Kut Teh, at Port Klang.
Siong Huat Bak Kut Teh, Port Klang
As mentioned, this particular bak kut teh place is located near port Klang, so for those who travels from other parts of Klang Valley, it is indeed quite a distance. However, since the Federal Highway toll is dismantled, the journey cost RM 4.20 less, and so there’s no excuse to not do this.
Furthermore, Siong Huat also has a dedicated parking lot for dine in customers, which makes it that much more convenient.
Unlike many bak kut teh places in Klang that concentrate on either bowl type bkt (one where you specify just 1 particular cut of meat, served in bowl), Siong Huat offers claypot style bak kut teh in soup & dry versions, and also with options for seafood. On top of that, they also offer a variety of “tai chao” dishes.
bak kut teh does go very well with lala
For the 8 of us, we ordered a big portion of bak kut teh with lala (spicy version), a regular clay pot bak kut teh, a dry version, a plate of vegetable, and steamed garupa fillet with ginger. All of these to go with steamed rice, like god intended.
The seafood bak kut teh was served with a pretty generous amount of lala and chili padi. The cili padi is necessary in any seafood bak kut teh soup base to balance the seafood taste with herbal aroma. The version here is as good as others I’ve tried in Klang, such as Yun Heng’s lala bkt, or Klang Coast at Bukit Tinggi, but perhaps a notch below Ah Tao’s version (sadly he passed away). Definitely satisfying.
regular & dry bak kut teh, vegetable, steamed fish with ginger
The regular soup based as well as the dry bak kut teh were competent in their own right, with the soup version accompanied by pretty good tofu skin as well.
Additionally, their steamed garupa fish is a must order for those who love fish. The ginger was spicy, and fish tasted superbly fresh and done just right, goes well with steamed rice.
they have cendol with durian!
For those with some sense of adventure, Siong Huat also serves cendol with actual durian (RM 16 per bowl), a dessert fit as a meal on its own, and priced accordingly.
As for our over ordered meal, it came to around RM 40 per pax, including the pricey dessert. Worth it.
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.