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
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.
Continuing with another cooking recipe since we’ve been actively cooking more at the new house, here’s how I made my version of clams with superior soup, a pretty traditional style of making clam that is pretty simple and yet tastes mighty good so long as the clams are juicy and fresh.
You can use lala or clams for this, do make sure they’re fresh and alive. Soak the clams in salt water for at least an hour or so to let it “spit out” any mud/sand, then rinse them thoroughly before cooking.
fresh clams, and the ingredients for superior soup
3-4 pieces of tongkuai
few small pieces of dried scallops
2 teaspoon wolf berries
1/2 bulb of garlic
5-6 slices of ginger
5-6 chili padi
2-3 cups water or soup stock
1 tablespoon cooking oil
soup cooked separately, then fry the garlic, ginger & chili first
boil water with tongkwai, wolfberry, and dried scallops, use soup stock if available
heat up cooking oil and fry garlic, ginger, and chili padi till fragrant
add clams and fry for a minute
add above prepared “soup”, and boil till all clams are opened
add some salt for seasoning
While the above pictures look pretty nice, the dish was a bit of a failure due to the clams we bought being not particularly fresh, I cannot stress enough that you really need good quality clam for this dish.
Kota Kinabalu, and many parts of East Malaysia for that matter, is famous for its seafood, and there are many restaurants to choose from. For a visitor, this can get pretty tricky as there are always those TSH (tourist slaughtering house) that one should avoid.
So on my trip to KK last year, I got the help from locals to suggest a good seafood meal. When both Joyce and Ben agreed that New Gaya Seafood is the destination fit for purpose, it surely can’t go wrong.
New Gaya Seafood at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Unlike some of the fancier seafood restaurants in the city, New Gaya is relatively plain. There’s no cultural dance or elaborate interior decorations, but there’s plenty of live seafood to choose from, with simple dining area that’s complete with plastic chairs and relatively tired looking tablecloths.
We’re here for the food though, and so long it’s relatively clean, who cares?
Sabah vegetable, ostrich meat, tofu in hotplate
To start with, we have something green in the form of Sabah vegetable (RM 12). While seafood is the main topic, if you’re in Sabah, you gotta order this. The vegetable has a very distinct sweetness that is absent in those you find in Peninsular, I highly recommend this.
Then there’s ostrich meat (RM 20) and tofu in hot plate (RM 20) to complete our non-seafood trio. All these dishes were very good and go along well with the garlic rice (RM 10 for 5pax) we ordered.
fresh prawns and clams
Then came the seafood.
We started out with 1 kg of live prawns (RM 48). To enjoy the freshness of these prawns in its most unadulterated form, we have them steamed. It was so succulent and full of seafood sweetness, it really is the best way to enjoy these prawns.
Then we had those thick shelled clams (RM 26/kg) prepared with minimal fuss – garlic and chives. Sweet and juicy.
steamed garoupa, more clams, soft shell crab, mud crab
Our most expensive dish of the night was the 1 kg steamed garoupa with superior soya sauce (RM 90), as with everything else, freshness is key and this fish was alive prior to us ordering. I think that garoupa at this weight is pretty much perfect when it comes to the texture of the meat.
We also had the shellfish (RM 22 per kg) that you eat by twisting out the meat with a pick. This was steamed and went really well with the supplied condiment.
these were not all the dishes we shared at New Gaya
No seafood dinner is complete without crabs, and for this purpose we had 1 kg of deep fried soft shell crab (RM 78) and another kg of mud crab (RM 38) prepared with salted egg yolk. These dishes did not disappoint either, though I probably like the mud crab to be prepared a little less dry or perhaps have them baked or steamed instead.
Joyce, KY, Maha, Raj, Ben, Choo, Michelle, Vicky
Overall it was a great dinner with very good company to boot, we ended up splitting the bill at just over RM 50 per person. If you happen to go to KK, eat where the locals choose to eat and you won’t be disappointed. New Gaya seafood is definitely one of those destinations.
Address: New Gaya Seafood Restaurant Lot A & B, Wisma Lucky Centre, Jalan Kianson, 88450 Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah GPS: 5.988415, 116.138549 Tel: 088-385 020 Hours: 11:30am – 2pm; 5pm – 10pm
I first came across a dish similar to this at Restaurant City Star at Dataran Prima, and what initially caught my attention was the Chinese name of the dish “肥水不流别人田”, which literally translate to “fertilized water doesn’t flow to other people’s farm“. It was basically steamed prawns atop of “tongfun” soup.
raw seafood with herbal soup
A couple weeks ago, my ex-colleague Kelvin reminded me of this dish again when he tried it at a restaurant, and so I thought to myself, why not make it at home? It is after all just steamed seafood with herbal soup, can’t be difficult.
So I did, and here’s the recipe you can try out. Feel free to substitute the seafood to your choice, and for that matter, different soup will work too.
steam the seafood for 15 minutes, add green vegetables in the last 3 mins
2 big prawns
2 medium size squid (clean properly)
1 crab (cut into halves)
herbs (you can get them in packets)
chicken carcass (or pork bones)
mushroom & vegetable
and… enjoy your dinner – steamed seafood with herbal soup
boil the herbs and chicken carcass for at least half an hour to one hour
place fresh seafood on top and use the same soup to steam it for 15 minutes
add vegetable to soup and boil for another 2-3 minutes
ready to eat!
Yeap, it’s that simple. What you’ll get is herbal soup that has enhanced seafood flavor, and steamed seafood that has a bit of herbal taste to it. I really liked the combination and will be looking to do more of this!
It’s the weekends, start cooking!
P/S: I didn’t clean one of the squid’s ink sacks properly hence the slightly darker shade of soup, but that didn’t stop me from eating everything! Also, thanks to Joyceanne for the giant prawns.