Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / traditional

Elegant Inn, unlike the slightly more famed Holiday Inn, is a pretty high class restaurant serving Hong Kong cuisine and not a hotel chain. This is among the things I learn from the invitation to the said restaurant at Menara Hup Seng a couple Saturdays ago.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
classy indoor as and alfresco dining areas at Elegant Inn

The invitation was extended by Millennium Associates, on behalf of Jeanette of Elegant Inn. Mellissa and I were joined by Jasmine (epicuriousgirl) and her friend Jess in this review session. The four of us were seated in a private room as the host insists that we be treated to a full dining experience.

Elegant Inn first started at Taman Connaught before opening this outlet at the heart of KL, explained Jeanette as she suggests what we should have for lunch.

yee sang
yee sang with all natural ingredients

Naturally, we started off with yee sang, the unique Malaysian Chinese New Year tradition. This was my 4th yee sang session and I was more than happy to find out that the yee sang here is slightly different. All natural and most importantly, fresh ingredients are used. Pamelo, raddish, cucumber, smoked salmon, crackers, jellyfish, etc. Auspiciousness in a slightly healthier style.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
Appetizer: soft shell crab, fried calamari, seared scallop on tofu

A huge plate of nicely presented dish was then served as the appetizer. There’s the slightly spicy soft shell crab with plenty of onion, a portion of salt and pepper calamari (椒盐鲜鱿),and four lightly seared scallops sitting on tofu.

Scallop is always one of my favorites. The combination of soft tofu and succulent scallop provided the perfect start for this meal. I had the calamari followed by soft shell crabs and they were both very good as well, one salty and crunch while the other spicy and fragrant. By now I was convinced we’re into something pretty special.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
double boiled soup

Next came the pretty impressive double boiled soup. Pork, ribs, tripe, shell chunks, phoenix claws, kampung chicken, scallops, and preserved vegetable boiled for 4-6 hours, the traditional way. End result is a bowl of very rich tasting soup with a hint of pepper and a mixture of sweetness from all the ingredients.

This soup reminds me of the one I had at Sheraton, they’re both at the same high level while not exactly similar in taste or ingredients.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
steamed Australian Jade Perch and stuffed chicken wings

Like any proper Chinese meal, we have fish next. Live Australian Jade Perch is not a fish commonly found in Malaysian restaurant unless frozen, Jeanette told us about one of her many expeditions in sourcing ingredients. The steamed fish was done just right with it’s smooth texture and sweet seafood taste preserved in a very light seasoning. I particularly love the fatty belly portion the waitress expertly boned.

Jeanette insisted that we should try their stuffed chicken wing, and so we did. The wings came out looking like what you would expect, and it wasn’t until cutting it open do you see the wonder of their culinary skills. Gone were the bones and replaced with a mixture of ham, water chestnuts, prawns, and more. Eight ingredients in total. The wings were rather delicious and probably makes for perfect beer tidbits.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
fried rice, bitter gourd with salted vegetable (ham choy), choy sum with waxed goose liver

Bitter gourd with salted vegetable is one Elegant Inn’s signature dishes, and that suits me just fine since I love bitter gourd. The very subtle salted vegetable taste blends with the spiciness of chili and the rather strong version of bitter gourd was very addictive to me, but I hazard it is not a dish for everyone.

The choy sum with waxed goose liver (腊鸸肝) was a very sinful dish. The wax meat tasted something in between dried meat and foie gras, with that sliver of liver bitterness and very rich texture and taste. You could almost feel your arteries contracting but it was impossible to stop having “just another piece”. To me, the choy sum was almost just an excuse to have this sinful ingredient.

Jeanette went into a long and elaborated speech on their dancing fried rice, explaining how they use 2 grades of rice kept in 2 different temperatures, and how the eggs had to be fried first, the wok washed and then top grade dried shrimps from HK fried next, wash the work again and finally add everything in while tossing the rice non stop till it’s cooked.

That just seems like too much work for good old fashion fried rice, and I didn’t see the point until I actually tasted the dish myself. It was simply the best fried rice I’ve had, you can literally taste the individual grain and the distinct flavor added by crab meat and bits of dried shrimps, eggs, and green onion. This is a must-orderdish.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
steamed brown sugar cake, mini egg tarts

As we start to wind down, Jeanette brought out some very tasty mini egg tarts and steamed brown sugar cake (malai kou in Cantonese 馬拉糕). They were both very delicious and properly made traditional Chinese pastries I wish I could have more. We finished them despite the already rather full stomach.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
mango pudding with milk, tong sui (糖水)with mochi

The lunch session was ended on a sweet note. We were served a couple bowls of tong sui (糖水), sweet ginger soup with mochi and the sea coconut with fungus and logan soup. In addition to that, we also had the mango pudding with milk that had chunks of mango in every scoop, just like the way it is supposed to be.

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
Mellissa, Jeanette, and Yours Truly

I was as overly stuffed as I was impressed with Elegant Inn at this point. It was one of the best lunch experience I’ve ever had in a Chinese restaurant. Quality of food as well as the ambiance were both excellent. I had no idea how much the meal costs and yes, the prices would be on the higher side but considering the experience and quality provided here, it will be well worth it.

Map to Elegant Inn at Menara Hup Seng
Elegant Inn is located at Menara Hup Seng.

2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.153034,101.70752
Tel: 03-2070 9399

Nasi lemak RA at Jalan Raja Abdullah is one of the original famous nasi lemak places in KL city, alongside with Tanglin and Antarabangsa (which I haven’t try). Of course, there are also the very good Jalan 223 and Seapark versions in PJ for those who doesn’t want to drive to KL.

I had the chance to try it out a while ago when Kelvin and I went to the city one particular weekend morning.

Nasi Lemak Jalan Raja Abdullah
plenty of dishes to choose from

There is always a crowd at this stall with customers arriving in their latest luxury Mercedes as well as the 12 year old Honda EX-5. At this place, you are treated the same whoever you are, line up and self serve.

The choices of lauk lauk (toppings) for the nasi lemak is probably the biggest here, curry chicken, deep fried chicken, beef rendang, tripe, lung, prawn, squid, fried egg, and so forth. Of course, peanuts, anchovies, 1/2 hard boiled egg, sambal, and sliced cucumber come standard.

Nasi Lemak Jalan Raja Abdullah
rendang, sambal, egg, excellent!

I had my plate with plenty of sambal, a piece of beef rendang, and a fried egg. The meat was very tender and the redang very flavorful, I also particularly like the fried egg that is done just nice with the yolk still half liquid, very sinful. The rice was warm and didn’t stick together, and of course, the sambal did not disappoint either.

map to Nasi Lemak Jalan Raja Abdullah
the nasi lemak stall is a short walking distance from Dang Wangi LRT

Despite being at a prime location, the price was very reasonable at the time of eating. The standard nasi lemak was RM 1.50, with extras ranging from RM 2 to RM 5. Nasi Lemak RA opens every morning and weekday evenings.

No. 15, Jalan Raja Abdullah
Kampung Baru
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.156649, 101.700965

Other reviews:
makan trip

Undoubted many of you agree that Penang offers the best hawker food in this country, the best char kueh teow, curry mee, prawn mee, and of course, laksa, can be found on the island. However, there are more than just these few offerings when it comes to Chinese hawker food, and there are certainly dishes that tastes better outside the favorite hawker food destination that is Penang.

Restaurant Chong Loy, wan tan mee
traditional set up with lots of combination of ingredients

When it comes to wantan noodle and various roasted/bbq meat items, some of the bests can be found right here in Klang Valley. One of my favorite places to have a cheap and good traditional wantan noodle would be Restaurant Choy Loy at PJS 10, situated just opposite Sunway Pyramid.

The first time I visited this place was actually in the previous decade when I used to stay at around the area. It was nice to see that the shop is still running and selling basically the same thing after I came back from the States.

Restaurant Chong Loy, beef  and char siu mee
roast pork & bbq pork, beef & innards, chicken feet & mushroom, roasted duck

The selling point at Chong Loy is the variety of traditional noodle and rice you can get. They have the classic wan tan mee with char siu (bbq pork), then there’s siu yoke (roasted pork), lap cheong (Chinese pork sausage), roasted duck, chicken, chicken feet with mushroom, and even beef including tripes. You can pick any combination to go with noodle in dry and soup version, or rice.

Restaurant Chong Loy, roast pork mee
look at the dude enjoying!

I have tried pretty much everything from this place over the years. While it might not carry the wow factor like siu yoke at Pudu or char siu at Aman Suria, everything do tastes pretty good and proper, just like how they should be. I particularly like the chicken feet with mushroom and the wan tan noodle with beef.

map to PJS 10, Sunway
This place is just behind Ah Foong bak kut teh

Jalan PJS 10/9
47800 Bandar Sunway

GPS: 3.076731, 101.603934

Some of you might recall that I absolutely love the popiah at Melaka that comes with the very sinful fried lard. Well, now I have finally found one worthy Halal version here at PJ thanks to Kelvin.

Popiah basah at seksyen 14, petaling jaya
the very old school food court

This popiah stall is located at the wet market food court next to the PJ Digital Mall at Seksyen 14, for those who are a bit challenged geographically, it is one street behind the opposite of the new Jaya 33 mall.

According to Kelvin, the popiah stall has been in business more than some bloggers have been alive. Still with the same owner serving the same very best popiah basah (wet spring roll).

Popiah basah at seksyen 14, petaling jaya
ahh, glorious popiah!

At just RM 1.00 each, the popiah comes with the traditional ingredients of bean sprouts, tofu, and I believe Chinese turnip (mangkuang), kunyit and perhaps a few more ingredients I can’t name. A sweet brown sauce topped the roll and you can have chili paste according to taste as well. I usually love mine a bit spicier than normal, I think it goes very well with the brown sauce. The juiciness and the satisfaction from this traditional snack is something worth way more than the RM 1 you have to pay.

map to digital mall at seksyen 14, petaling jaya
now you know how to get there from Federal Highway

The stall is open on afternoons, give it a try especially if you find yourself at Digital Mall.

GPS: 3.109652, 101.635863

One of the local delights that I enjoy eating over and over again is Yong Tau Foo, especially when looking for a fast and no frill meal with very little waiting time. I have traveled to quite a few places to sample the few famous outlets around Ampang and Segambut for this dish, but they remain a bit too far to go on a regular basis. I was delighted that the Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo opened a branch at Kelana Jaya, very close to where I stay.

note: this place is, unfortunately, closed. The original Ipoh Road Yong Tau Foo is still operating though. (see link above)

Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo, Kelana Jaya branch
clean and comfortable environment

Unlike the main branch at Jalan Ipoh, this place does not stress you so much on the parking situation. The restaurant, while not air conditioned, is pretty clean and comfortable. Crowd level was still quite small when I went on a weekday evening as I guess it has not been discovered by many casual diners yet.

Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo, Kelana Jaya branch
yong tow foo, paper wrapped chicken, and fried sui kao (dumpling)

I ordered my usual favorites, including chili, bitter gourd, okra, tofu, fried dumpling, and one of their unique offerings, the paper wrapped chicken.

Unsurprisingly, this branch lives up to the reputation of the original Jalan Ipoh main branch when it comes to taste. The ingredients are fresh and the fish paste stuffings firm and flavorful. Looking at their smallish kitchen, I am guessing that all the yong tau foo is probably prepared at the main branch and transported here daily.

Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo, Kelana Jaya branch
operating time and prices are all here!

Similar with many dim sum places, ordering is a simple affair of jotting down the number of pieces you want for each item and pass it to the waiter. Prices and opening hours are conveniently displayed on the wall, and of course, conveniently displayed here for you!

I think I’m going there again soon. 😀

map to Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo, Kelana Jaya branch
Ipoh road yong tow foo is located opposite St. Ignatius Church

No. 1, Jalan SS 4D/2,
People’s Park
47301, Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.113145, 101.600533
Tel: 03-7805 3308