Klang is forever associated with bak kut teh, but if you dig a little deeper, this district at the West of KL also offers some pretty unique dishes you may not find anywhere else – such is today’s topic – Hong Ba (封肉)
158 Hong Ba, Pandamaran, Klang
While the main ingredient in Hong Ba is similar to bak kut teh, hong ba usually consists of the fatty leg part, and is stewed instead of cooked in herbal soup, resulting in a broth that’s thick and sticky, but without the strong herbal note.
According to my friend Jodie, the best Hong Ba places in all of Klang is the Restoran 158 Hong Ba at Pandamaran near Port Klang. It is located at Jalan Chan Ah Choo, the main road in which you can find over half a dozen bak kut teh restaurants, you know you’re at the ground zero of porky goodness when you’re there, there’s no mistaking it.
A meal for four, Hong Ba at center stage
Hong Ba is best consumed by 3-4 pax so you can share the entire leg portion that comes with ample amount of fatty & skin bits that are so tender and smooth. At 158, they also serve it with some “alkaline kuih” that goes well with those thick broth.
Like most hong ba places, they also serve stewed chicken feet and hard boiled eggs. However, I think the best thing about Hong Ba is the availability of those pork tendon, those texture are superb and with those broth, a match made in heaven.
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.
While home cooking is often healthier, cheaper, and quite fun on its own, I was quite ready to go out for a proper meal after months thanks to this Covid-19 era.
Hang Sing seafood restaurant, Pandamaran
So when Yann May came over to this part of town, we decided that dinner should be cooked by someone else, and in this case, one of the restaurants she used to frequent as a kid – Hang Sing Seafood Restaurant all the way at Pandamaran, Klang. Suits me just well since I do stay rather close to Klang itself, and limited movement control period means that traffic isn’t exactly too troubling.
tapioca noodle, sweet potato leaf, kung pao mantis prawns
After having our temperature checked and names signed into the log book, we were seated down on a rather large table to accommodate for social distancing SOP.
We ordered kung pao mantis prawn, deep fried calamari (squid), sweet potato leaf, and a rather large portion of prawn dish that’s a bit spicy and strong tasting, can’t remember the name if my life depend on it… these dishes were all rather delicious and we chowed them down like hungry teenagers.
deep fried calamari, err.. some sort of prawn dish
With the insistence of May, we also ordered fried tapioca noodle (in fact she even ordered another one to go for next day breakfast. If you love the texture of bubble tea, you’d love this dish, I am not a huge fan of those bubble’s texture, so you’d be right if you guessed that I did not embrace this dish.
Dinner came out to be RM 170 for all these and 4 glasses of kedondong juice. Considering prices of prawns, squid, and mantis prawns, I thought the bill was reasonable.
A couple weeks ago my friend Carol texted a question that I could say no to – it was something to the tune of “Wanna go have some crabs in Klang?”
And so, that’s how we ended up at Kali Little in Pandamaran.
Kali Little Restaurant, Pandamaran, Klang
Kali Little is located at the pretty old school area of Klang by the name of Pandamaran, which is pretty close to the jetty in which you can take a boat to Pulau Ketam. However, the crabs served here aren’t from that dirty little island, instead, they’re imported all the way from Sri Lanka, which explains the gigantic size.
Apparently, having crabs at Kali Little carries some sense of adventure, not only the location itself is a bit of a treasure hunt, the availability of crabs itself requires some element of luck.
In fact, when we arrived, we were told there were “no crabs” .. yet. Only after half way through our initial meal of lala meehun, salted prawns, and vege did the live crabs from KLIA came in. So do call in advance to avoid disappointment.
these were just medium size ones, carol showing the crabs
The crabs we ordered were of “medium” size, but they were actually already rather big for my standard.
While there are quite a few methods in which crabs can be prepared, the most popular choice here would be their signature salt baked crabs. This method retains the taste of crabs without introducing additional flavors that takes away the natural sweetness of these sea spiders.
And yes, the crabs were awesome, and we thoroughly enjoyed them to the fullest, it was just so juicy, sweet, and flavorful.
lala meehun, vege, salted prawns
The other dishes we had were pretty decent as well. The lala meehun was as good as the version at Heng Kiat, and those salted prawns were quite fresh and delicious as well. We did not order the popular porky dish (we probably should have) or those lala soup.
it’s certainly not cheap, but the crabs!
The bill came up to RM 281. Definitely not an “economic” meal especially for Klang standard, but we’d be laying if we said it wasn’t a satisfying dinner.
Hello everyone and welcome to the new Malaysia! If you’ve noticed that the left index finger of people in the video below seems to have a black stain, it was because this was taken just a couple days post election, the stain was from indelible ink used on voters. And yes, the government was changed in the most shocking and democratic fashion, a new beginning for the country after 61 years of single-coalition rule. This review marks the first entry post-new Malaysia.
Anyway, let’s get to Liang Li Grilled Fish.
Liang Li Ikan Bakar, at Pandamaran 168
Liang Li grilled fish is a small grilled fish, or commonly known as Ikan Bakar, stall in Klang that is ultra popular to the locals. But since it is located almost all the way to Port Klang area at Pandamaran, it is still relatively unknown to people outside of this bak kut teh birth place.
The stall opens at 5:30pm, and it is always wise to get there as early as possible, for after 6pm or so the queue can be quite long and often wait time can exceed one hour due to the fact that the operator only grills with a small cooking area and have everything made-to-order to ensure quality.
Liang Li Ikan Bakar, with yee mee on the side
For the seven of us, we ordered a couple pieces of stingray, a portion of squid, prawns, a barramundi (siakap), and cockles from Liang Li stall. Additionally, we also ordered fried yee mee and Hokkien mee from the “tai chao” stall, and a portion of oyster omelet from another stall.
barramundi, stingray, prawns, squid
All seafood except the cockles (bakar style) were marinated the same way, with a strong presence of kunyit and curry powder of sort over banana leaf. What really stands out here is how each piece is cooked just so to a really soft and tender texture with nothing being overcooked or under-cooked.
The balacan infused chili paste that is served with the grilled seafood was top notch as well. We were really happy with the quality here.
cockles, hokkien mee, oyster omelet
The noodles were competent dish as well, but I thought the oyster omelet was a bit of a disappointment, something I wouldn’t order again.
The meal came up to around RM 30 per pax, and I believe we will certainly return for more next time.
Liang Li Grilled Fish
Restoran Pandamaran 168
168, Jalan Chan Ah Choo, Pandamaran, Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.009372, 101.417521 Tel: 017-395 6257 Hours: 5:30 pm onwards