Since taking over vacant possession of our new home in Shah Alam, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time inspecting defects and monitoring the construction of koi pond version 2.
With the new place just a stone’s throw away from Klang toll, we’ve started exploring the eateries nearby, such as the few rows of old school restaurants and kopitiam at Taman Berkeley, an area that’s already a favorite among the locals.
Number One Claypot Rice, Taman Berkeley
When trying out a new place, the rule of thumb is just stick with the most popular option. In a kopitiam, the most popular stall, and in a makan area like Berkeley, the restaurant that’s most packed.
Going with this rule brought us to Number One Claypot Rice, a restaurant that isn’t really overly humble on their claim.
claypot chicken rice cooked from scratch
Like most claypot chicken rice places, the rice is cooked from scratch claypots of two sizes. A single portion is priced at RM 7, and bigger, double person portion at RM 14. If there’s 5 of you, 2 big and 1 small, you do the math, it’s pretty simple.
In the pot you get plenty of bite size chicken, chunks of lap cheong (Chinese wax sausage), and a small amount of salted fish.
I find the rice and chicken pretty much spot on, with the sausage having slightly tougher skin that I’d like, and the salted fish, well, is something that I’ll need to ask for extra the next time around (you can do that for extra RM 2). The crispy bits of charred rice are there for those who love it that way.
chicken soup in coconut, braised vegetable
To compliment the claypot chicken rice, we also ordered the coconut chicken soup (RM 7) and a side of braised vegetable (RM 5), there’s also option of herbal chicken soup, vegetable soup, or pork tripe soup (would be better I think!) to go around as well.
Everything came to be about RM 30 for the two of us, and the serving was certainly more than enough. Would go back again.
Address: Number One Claypot Rice Jalan Lang & Jalan Bangau (corner shop) Taman Berkeley, 41500 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.059943, 101.463137 Hours: Open for dinner, closed to Tuesday
A few weekends ago a few of us were invited to the recently refurbished Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant at Palace of Golden Horses for a food review session. The restaurant seats 120 pax with 5 private rooms.
Decoration oozes the concept of elegance and strength, with poise and beauty that is fitting of their symbol and name of the restaurant, Kim Ma translates to Golden Horse in Mandarin.
Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant, with Chef Roy Wong
The restaurant is led by Chef Roy Wong, the chef de cuisine who does not shun off from experimenting traditional Chinese cuisine with contemporary twist. Chef Roy started his career in 1991 at Frankfriut’s Dynasty China Restaurant at Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel, and has won multiple awards in the past 23 years or so.
amuse bouche, Chinese style, egg and baked oyster
We started the session with a couple “amuse-bouche” in the form of slow boiled egg and baked oyster. The egg was topped with a shimeji mushroom and a dash of truffle flavour, I love it.
The baked fresh oyster topped with mayonnaise and other ingredients, a rich and fresh treat.
signature dimsum, including steamed prawn dumplings with truffle
The two Signature dimsum were prawn meat and black mushroom topped with truffle, steamed chicken roll with morel mushrooms.
The prawn dimsum garnished with shrimp roe and spring onion, I really liked the extra character provided by the truffle. Classy and delicious. The combination of fried yam stick and beancurd with chicken also proved to be a good formula, it was good enough I didn’t miss the lack of pork in this particular dimsum.
The third dimsum we had was from their Healthy dimsum section – steamed angled luffa dumplings with superior broth. The texture of this dimsum was quite unique, and reminded me of fish maw to be honest, quite delicious.
deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste
Next up was a pretty fancy dish created by Chef Roy for the first time, deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste, caviar and served with homemade beancurd.
While visually I thought it looked like those fried ice cream, the taste couldn’t have been more different. The combination of grouper fish paste with braised abalone was superb, and I also really liked the home-made beancurd that was super soft. The caviar on top gave it that extra oomph as well.
However, the sauce used in this dish turned out to be too strong. It was fitting for the tofu, but overpowering the fish paste and abalone. Chef took our comments and promised that he will revise the dish.
more dimsum, village chicken broth with fish maw
No Chinese course meal is complete without soup, so for this purpose we were served the village chicken broth with fish maw. The broth is thick and has a slight creamy taste to it that can only achieve from steaming the whole chicken for hours.
The scallop and prawn dumpling in the soup was not bad either, but what I really love was that piece of high quality fish maw, with the consistency of foie gras, tofu, and beef tendon all mixed together. I can have this everyday.
congee with cod fish and century egg
Congee with cod fish and century egg is your usual dimsum style porridge, but this time with the higher quality cod fish instead of the usual unidentifiable “white fish fillet”.
Chinese style ravioli
Chef Wong then served us this perfectly East-meets-West dish – a Chinese style ravioli stuffed with minced chicken and topped with deep fried vege treated with charcoal powder. It was quite an interesting twist but ultimately I think a type of meat with more fat (ie: pork) would make this dish better.
double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly
Our dessert was double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly.
The chef combined three types of almond to create this dish – the “bei” (North) almond, “nan” (South) almond, and American almond. With the aroma of coconut and the sweetness of almond, this hot dessert proved to be a perfect ending to our meal.
A note for potential Muslim diners, this dessert comes with snow jelly, or hasma, which is a product from frog.
mentalist Zlwin Chew. performing every Thursday to Sunday
On every Thursday to Sunday, renowned mentalist Zlwin Chew performs at the Kim Ma and other restaurants at Palace of Golden Horses. I won’t spoil it for you, but the guy’s got quite an impressive array of tricks.
Address: Palace of Golden Horses
Jalan Kuda Emas, Mines Wellness City, 43300 Seri Kembangan Selangor GPS: 3.046927,101.709341 Tel: 03-8943 2666 Hours: weekdays 12-2:30pm, 6:30-10:30pm (reservation only). Weekends 10am-4pm
As a Chinese, we love our soup. Herbal soup, vegetable soup, pork, chicken, anything. While growing up, we always have some sort of soup, a vegetable dish, and a fish/meat dish for every meal. Now that I’m kinda all grown up and sometimes cook for myself, I try to replicate the same as well.
Here’s a super simple recipe for radish soup with pork ribs (feel free to substitute with chicken) that you can make at home fairly fast, and with ingredients that are fairly cheap, this dish was about RM 12 in ingredients.
ingredients – radish, pork ribs, dried cuttle fish, wolf berries
1 piece dried cuttle fish (or dried scallops, optional)
5 bowls of water
salt and pepper to taste
remove the impurities from the pork with a sieve or ladle
heat up water and add pork ribs, bring to boil for a bout a minute or two
remove impurities with a sieve or ladle, if you want a clearer soup, remove pork and start over with another pot of water
allow pork to cook in low heat for 30-45 mins
add cuttle fish, wolf berries, and radish
boil for another 30-45 mins
ready to serve, add salt and pepper to taste
simple homemade radish soup with pork ribs
The addition of dried cuttle fish really enhances the taste of the soup, and boiling the pork long ensures that you get it well soft and tender without also overcooking the radish.
Since there are only two of us and this recipe serves about four bowl, I tend to cook this for dinner and then have them again the next morning, be sure to boil it again before going to sleep (or keep it in the fridge) to prevent the soup from going bad overnight.
For more simple recipes from yours truly, click here.
It’s been a while since the last recipe post, so for this 1,500th post on this blog, lets take a look at the lotus root soup recipe, one of the easiest, homey soup to prepare. This is the same lotus root soup you often get at steamed soup & clay pot chicken rice places.
ingredients: pork (or chicken), lotus root, dried red dates
This recipe is for 2-3 bowls of soup, increase/decrease everything to suit your need.
one section of lotus root, shave off the skin
8-10 dried red dates
150 gram of pork (or bones, or chicken carcass)
water, salt & pepper for seasoning
cut into slices and serve
separately boil the pork for a minute or two to remove impurities
have enough water in the pot to cover all ingredients, boil in slow heat for 1-2 hours
Several weeks ago we were invited to Private Kitchen at Damansara Uptown. From the outside, this looks to be a very modest little restaurant not unlike many other eateries at the area – air conditioned, clean, and with a contemporary furnishing that seems to focus on function than pure aesthetics.
Private Kitchen at PJ Uptown
This is, however, not just another local restaurant. The kitchen is led by Chef Lam Fai, an experienced Hong Kong chef who was trained both in Western and traditional Hong Kong cuisine, and it is this unique background of Chef Lam that results in some rather creative dishes we sampled during this food review session.
While waiting for food to be served, we snacked off long spring roll with shrimp paste (RM 10). The taste of shrimp paste is not unlike shrimp balls, and the deep fried spring roll skin gives it some crunchiness. A different interpretation of spring roll, easy to eat off your fingers, and I believe, would make excellent beer food.
beef with strawberry sauce, shredded chicken and cucumber, soup of the day
Our first dish then, was shredded chicken with Private Kitchen “ma la” sauce (RM 12). The shredded chicken sits atop cucumber that’s seasoned with vinegar, a decent cold dish to prepare the stomach, but not one that I’m overly impressed with though.
Like any Chinese/HK restaurant, soup is a must in any meal. The soup of the day was carrot & radish with lean meat soup (RM 6). Very homey, flavorful, and certainly excellent value for money for this type of setting.
Then came one of my favorite dishes of the night – stir-fried prime beef fillet in strawberry & black pepper sauce (RM 28). According to the chef, the beef is prepared and tenderized using Western cuisine techniques, and he chose strawberry to add a different dimension to this black pepper beef dish after some experiments (Chef Lam jokingly said that banana wasn’t a good idea). The result was excellent, if you are “elite” and like to dismiss fusion food, this dish may very well change your stance.
HK style ginger chicken, panfried pork chop with lemongrass
Hong Kong style sand ginger chicken (RM 25 for half bird) went through some half a day’s work of preparation (boiling in broth, preparing the skin with a bit of turmeric for that color, etc) and was delicious and smooth. I especially enjoy the ginger + spring onion sauce that came with this dish.
The next dish looks almost like mantis prawns, but was actually strips of pan-fried pork chop with lemongrass (RM 25). The pork carries pretty strong lemongrass and ginger taste, and tasted pretty decent with chili sauce, but I thought is one of the weaker dishes in this session.
typhoon shelter tiger prawn, sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce
No HK cuisine is complete without typhoon shelter dishes, and at Private Kitchen, we were served typhoon shelter tiger prawn (RM 38). The preparation method was as I remembered the last time I had typhoon shelter crab at Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas – plenty of garlic and chili, the aroma was superb, and the prawns did not disappoint. Now I wonder if this would be a good way to prepare squid, hmm.
Sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce (RM18) was our token vegetable dish, even though there’s pork belly in it. I thought it was slightly sinful, but pretty tasty though.
amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup, Portuguese style fried rice
Another soupy vegetable dish that we had was amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup (RM 16). Most of us would recognize it by the common name Chinese spinach. This is another very homey type of dish, a comfort food.
The Portuguese style fried rice with braised pork belly & seafood (RM 16) wasn’t a dish that looked very good in its presentation, it was sorta brownish overall with little color contrast, but don’t let the apparence fools you. The fried rice was very flavorful, and with prawns, squid, and pork belly, they didn’t skimp on ingredients at all. I had a bowl even though I was already stuffed by then, highly recommended.
deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce, typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop
The deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce (RM32) is another unique fusion food by Chef Lam that works well. The ribs were tender and juicy, and the slightly sourish and fruity salad sauce, while a bit unorthodox, worked well in this instance. I really enjoyed it too.
Our last “extra” dish of the night was a bowl of typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop in chili & garlic soup (RM15). This is a dish fit for single person consumption and comes with a generous portion of pork chop and the noodle in a soup that has some kick. I tried a spoonful (was stuffed already), and from what I could tell it was pretty decent.
Cheesie, chef Lam Fai, Suanie, Joyce, KY, Dennis & Evelyn, Haze
Most of the dishes we had at Private Kitchen were pretty consistent and for the lack of a better description – tasty. The prices are reasonable as well. The only downside of the place is, well, the location and challenging parking situation at times. Saying that this place is sort of a poor-man’s Elegant Inn would not be incorrect. Worth visiting though, for sure.
Address: Private Kitchen Hong Kong Cuisine 103 Jalan SS21/37 Damansara Utama (Uptown) 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.13451, 101.62378 Tel: 03-7728 8399 Hours: 11:30 am – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm, closed on Mondays