Klang specialties – Bak Kut Teh, Kopi and Toast

Klang and Bak Kut Teh are synonymous. If you don’t live in the Klang valley, it is a real treat to eat Bak Kut Teh whenever you are in this region. Many lay claim to having invented Bak Kut Teh, but the origins of the dish as well as the name “Bak Kut Teh” (肉骨茶 which literally translates as “tea” pork ribs) is not clear. I think pork ribs soup, any form of it, would have existed long ago, as long as pigs were consumed, so in a sense it is pointless to argue who invented the dish. The name attached to it? Well, everyone is enjoying the fruits of this “branding”, thanks to whoever coined the name, so no point fighting over this as well.

One of the explanations given for origins of the name “Bak Kut Teh”, the Klang version, is that “Teh” is associated with the man who popularized the dish – Lee Wen Di (李文地). The last character of his name in the Hokkien dialect is “Teh”, and so the Bak Kut soup became known as Bak Kut Teh. Today, Lee Wen Di’s descendants are still running shops selling Bak Kut Teh in Klang. There are 2 shops within a stone’s throw of each other – Seng Huat (成发) and Teck Teh (德地). You would have noticed, and it is no coincidence, that “Teh” appears in the name of the shop “Teck Teh”. That’s because this was the original shop in which Lee Wen Di sold his Bak Kut Teh. Seng Huat was a spin-off from one of the 2 brothers who inherited Lee Wen Di’s secret recipe. By the way, this information is sourced from Axian, the famous Malaysian food TV program host.

Although derived from the same source, the Bak Kut Teh (i’ll use the acronym BKT henceforth) from these 2 shops are still miles apart. Guess who has the better BKT? Although Seng Huat gets more business, it is Teck Teh who has the better BKT. That is totally expected, since it is being produced at its birth place. Moreover, the son who continued operating the original shop (currently in the hands of the 3rd generation) after the spin-off incident was the one who was all along tasked to make the soup. The soup is the heart and soul of BKT.

Don't be put off by the dilapidated state of the shop
Don’t be put off by the dilapidated state of the shop
Almost illegible signboard
Almost illegible signboard

The broth you get at Teck Teh is oh-so-soothing. It is thickened by collagen, which is evidence of double boiling. The blend of herbs, garlic, pepper and sauce achieves perfect balance – nothing is overwhelming. If you were to ask me what characterizes the food of a 3 Michelin star restaurant, i’ll tell you it is how they bring complementing ingredients together to create a completely fresh taste sensory thrill. You no longer notice the characteristics of the original ingredients but focus on that of the new concoction. That is how i would describe Teck Teh’s BKT. Hands down the best herbal BKT (i don’t like BKT in any other style). If you haven’t tried this one, you haven’t tasted BKT.

The "normal" bowls consisted of mostly pig trotters
The “normal” bowls consisted of mostly pig trotters
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The “Bak Kut” bowl came with a huge piece of meat

Normally i wouldn’t quite like the sight of a thick layer of lard floating on top of a bowl of soup, but this broth was so good i didn’t care. You don’t get a lot of broth in the bowl you’re served, so every drop is precious. The “Bak Kut” bowl cost just RM2 more. It is much better value for money and I’d suggest you just go for that. The meat was succulent and not at all dry. Just perfect.

The big pot used for cooking BKT. Apparently we were the last few customers

We arrived 11+ am on a weekday. If you’re coming here you better be early to avoid disappointment. The shop is mostly patronized by senior Klang local residents. Unlike famous eateries elsewhere, you don’t get large crowds waiting in a queue here, which is a welcome aspect.

The shop owner who's a little reserved but not camera shy at all. He's been posing for photos for decades already probably.
The shop owner who’s a little reserved but very friendly. Obviously he’s not camera shy at all. Well trained over the years.

The last time i visited was almost 2 years ago. What i do each time is, i would dine at both Seng Huat and Teck Teh. If there’s one thing Seng Huat does better, it would be their rice. They do onion infused rice, whereas Teck Teh’s seems to be just plain rice.

Seng Huat, located right next to an overhead bridge
Seng Huat, located right next to an overhead bridge
Looks like ordinary rice
Looks like ordinary rice

This time round, the rice at Seng Huat didn’t seem much special. You can still smell the onion but taste wise it felt a little too subtle. Moving on to the BKT, the broth was much inferior to Teck Teh’s. In comparison, it was more diluted, less complex, felt like it was mass produced without as much care and with stronger than desirable herbal taste. The meat, though bigger in portion, was dry. On a positive note, you can order sides such as fritters, bean curd and vegetables which are not available at Teck Teh. I’ve decided, after this visit, that i will just stick to Teck Teh. If you are visiting for the first time, it is interesting to compare the two. I would suggest going to Teck Teh first.

Seng Huat's
Seng Huat’s Bak Kut Teh

Just a stone’s throw away in this oldest part of Klang town, you’ll find another gem serving Kopi, toast and more – Chong Kok Kopitiam (中国酒店). The Chinese name is intriguing, because it literally translates as China Hotel. This place has been in operation since 1940, and continues to attract visitors of all races, something rare in Malaysia.

Chong Kok Kopitiam
Chong Kok Kopitiam

The Kopi and toast at Chong Kok Kopitiam are truly outstanding. The kaya tastes different (probably made in-house), and you actually have to spread it yourself. You’ll just want to come back for more.

Excellent thick Kopi
Excellent thick Kopi
Kaya and butter toast
Kaya and butter toast

I was intending to visit another famed Kopi and toast place – Kedai Kopi Taman Eng Ann. I had it bookmarked in my web browser since a few years ago. Unfortunately, when i arrived there (15 minutes drive away from Klang old town), it was closed! I wasn’t too disappointed though, as i was already feeling quite satisfied for the day. I shall be back another time.

For your convenience, please find the location of Seng Huat, Teck Teh and Chong Kok Kopitiam marked out in the map excerpt from Google Maps below.

Klang

Pasar Malam walkabout

Pasar Malam, or night market in Malay, is popularly held throughout Malaysia. Roads are pedestrianized for one particular night of the week for the market, which, unlike the morning market, attracts a crowd that includes youngsters. December is a particularly good time to go to the Pasar Malam, I just discovered, because the weather is much cooler. In the warmer months of the year, you’d be sweating away when you visit the market.

Pasar Malam of SS2
Pasar Malam of SS2

The main thing that attracts visitors to the Pasar Malam is of course food.

Carrot Cake is a popular traditional mainstay in the Pasar Malam. I'm surprised that they have adopted hygienic handling methods.
Carrot Cake is a popular traditional mainstay in the Pasar Malam. I’m surprised that they have adopted hygienic handling methods.
Air Mata Kucing, or Longan drink, is a Malaysian specialty drink. No surprise to find it at the Pasar Malam.
Air Mata Kucing, or Longan drink, is a Malaysian specialty drink. No surprise to find it at the Pasar Malam.
Wai Sek Gai, or food alley, is a popular hawker centre in SS2. Coupled with the Pasar Malam, the food choices is enormous.
Wai Sek Gai, or food alley, is a popular hawker centre in SS2. Coupled with the Pasar Malam, the food choices is enormous.
I never fail to patronize this stall whenever I'm back in my hometown
I never fail to patronize this stall whenever I’m back in my hometown
Lok Mei Tong, or 6 flavour dessert soup, is what I go for each time
Lok Mei Tong, or 6 flavour dessert soup, is what I go for each time

The Pasar Malam has evolved over the years. The goods sold now is much expanded and includes many creative or even hipster stuff. I would say that the variety you find in a Pasar Malam now is even more than what you can find in the night markets of Taiwan. Malaysia boleh, truly.

One of the many Taiwanese style stalls found in the Pasar Malam these days. This one sells fruit tarts.
One of the many Taiwanese style stalls found in the Pasar Malam these days. This one sells fruit tarts.
Thai salt crusted grilled fish. This one falls under the creative category.
Thai salt crusted grilled fish. This one falls under the creative category.
Mobile phone accessories and gadgets are also a recent addition
Mobile phone accessories and gadgets are also a recent addition
Pickled plums and such. I think the Pasar Malam style of selling makes them look rather compelling.
Pickled plums and such. I think the Pasar Malam style of selling makes them look rather compelling.

Stalls that are the traditional mainstay since the creation of the Pasar Malam continue to thrive despite having a smaller presence, or so it looks.

Budget clothes
Budget clothes
Fruits
Fruits
Dried sundries
Dried sundries
Fashion accessories
Fashion accessories

This is just a very small sample of what you can find in a Pasar Malam. If you are visiting Malaysia, I urge you to make it a point to go to one, preferrably definitely on an empty stomach.

Kluang – where rail and coffee comes together

Kluang is a favourite stop along the North South Highway when i can afford the the 50 minutes, 38km return trip to Kluang from the toll plaza. I’m there just for one thing – Kluang Rail Coffee.

As the name suggests, they started off as an outfit selling kopi, toast and snacks at Kluang train station. The nostalgic wire gauze panels and the overall concept and connection with rail has made it a unique attraction. The food and beverages are no gimmick and are certainly the real draw to the never ending stream of customers.

Kluang station outlet
Kids love to see real railway tracks
Kids love to see real railway tracks
A very simple train station
A very simple train station

Continue reading Kluang – where rail and coffee comes together

Kulaijaya – escaping the causeway crawl

It goes without saying that traffic on the causeway slows to a crawl on Sunday evenings, when Singapore shoppers return home from Johor Bahru. I’ve been through the 2 to 3 hours ordeal before and will never want to repeat the experience. Instead of joining the queue, I prefer to stay for the night. Granted, the traffic into Singapore will be heavy in the early parts of Monday morning as well, so you’ll have to plan for the entry to be past 10am, which gives you ample time to enjoy breakfast.

When I’m traveling from KL (or basically anywhere north of JB) to Singapore, I will stay at Kulaijaya (specifically Indahpura). There is a Tesco where you can do grocery shopping, two malls – Aeon and IOI, as well as a handful of eateries and budget accommodations. This gives you enough to do over an evening and morning. The logical order is to go to Tesco, which is just 5 minutes from the North South highway Kulai Toll Plaza. Next, check in to your hotel. Depending on the time, you can either have dinner, then go to the malls, or vice versa. That will pretty much fill up your evening.

Tesco Kulai

I’m not sure why, but Beijing is a popular name for restaurants in JB. There is a “Peking Restoran” (not associated with the popular chain of Restoran Pekin in JB) just opposite Aeon mall that attracts a steady stream of local customers – I highly recommend coming here for dinner. They churn out really nice Tze Char dishes, and of course the price is very reasonable. Address:

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Pi Pa Duck, a signature dish
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Crayfish, an indulgence i won’t hesitate to enjoy while in Johor
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Gu Lao Rou, one of the many Tze Char dishes in the menu
Restoran Peking

For breakfast, we just go to Tea Garden, which is just across the road from Restoran Peking. This is one of those fast food style modern Malaysian coffee shop, the likes of “Old Town”. The Fried Bee Hoon and Mee are made to order, you can’t go wrong with these. The other types of food are mostly the mass-produced type, of which the Dim Sum section is the worst and should be avoided.

Tea Garden
Indahpura
Indahpura

When you are done with breakfast, you can just continue along the main road through which you arrived at Indahpura. This will take you to JB centre in less than half an hour (don’t forget to pump petrol on the way). This main road, the number 1 road, was the way to get to Singapore in those days before the North South Highway was built, so you can soak in a bit of nostalgia. I guarantee you that this is a very happy way of ending your road trip into Malaysia, rather than getting stuck in traffic on the causeway.

Best North-South Highway pit stop – Yong Peng

It almost seems unfair that the North-South highway is built right next to Yong Peng, and there is not just one but two entry points into or from the highway. This makes Yong Peng the no-brainer pit stop along the KL to Johor Bahru stretch of the highway, since you’re in Yong Peng town the moment you get off the highway, and you don’t even have to back-track to continue on your journey! Whether you are driving up or down, you can plan your meal time to be in Yong Peng.

I am no expert when it comes to culinary choices in Yong Peng, but I have been to, and can recommend two restaurants – Or Hwu (五湖) and Rong Cheng (隆城海鲜楼). Or Hwu serves traditional Foochow dishes, with the Foochow noodles being the signature dish. This is very similar to the KL Hokkien noodles (maybe it was inspired by this?). The gravy is so gooey and oily you’ll feel sinful eating this, but it is good and exactly how it should be. The pork balls are pretty good too. By the way, the lady boss is very friendly and she comes around to speak to you as if she already knew you.

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Foochow noodles
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Foochow pork balls

Rong Cheng restaurant is the one that gets our repeat visit, simply for the fact that their kitchen operates throughout the afternoon, even at odd hours when people would be having their afternoon tea instead of lunch. It is a full fledge restaurant that is big enough for hosting weddings. Their menu is very extensive, so you can order different dishes every time you come by. They do have Foochow specialty dishes too. Prices are fair despite it being a slightly more upscale restaurant in Yong Peng. They do accept credit card for payment, so you can feast here even if you are not carrying much Ringgit with you.

Rong Cheng Dish
You can order just about anything under the sky at Rong Cheng

Both restaurants are just off the main road, and here’s how you can spot them (images taken from Google Streetview). Update: the signage is now in black.

Or Hwu, on the left when going in south direction
Or Hwu, on the left when going in south direction
Rong Cheng
Rong Cheng, on the right when going in south direction

Yong Peng is also famous for fish ball (西刀鱼丸), but i’m not a fan of fish ball in general and have never been to any such eatery in Yong Peng, so i cannot comment on them. You can easily spot them off the main raod too.

Update 16 Nov 2017

It’s been some time since i last went to Yong Peng. I noticed that the town is thriving. For one thing, there are more eateries here than the other towns near the North-South highway.

If you are lazy, i counted at least 4 eateries not too far from the northern toll booth (Yong Peng Utara), just slightly beyond the long distance bus stop (which, if you’re driving, you probably shouldn’t be patronizing). Well, checking on Google streetview, there’s Restoran Kim Wah Ki, Old Street Seafood etc.

Anyway, during my KL to Singapore drive today, i decided to try some cheap food at the Banyan tree’s food court (榕树下). By the way, there were 3 trees in front of the food court and they didn’t look like Banyan trees. The Banyan tree could be more of a reference to Fuzhou.

Half the stalls were closed, including the famous duck noodles stall

As this is more of a hawker centre, don’t expect the quality of the food to be restaurant standard, but they do have a home-cooked feel. Since the duck noodles stall was closed, i ordered food from the other well-known stall, Li Xiang.

Red wine Mee Suah at RM 5.50. Quite gingery and a little sweet. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Duck noodles, served in a bowl rather that the usual plate when the stall owner saw that i had kids with me. This is basically the Yong Peng style Fuzhou noodles with duck meat.
Crispy Bee Hoon from the corner Tze Char stall at RM5. Does the job i guess.

Overall, if you want variety and cheap food (even though half the stalls were closed), i think Banyan tree’s food court is a good place. A lot of locals came to get take-away food, mostly patronizing the economy rice stall and Li Xiang.

I also decided to check out the shop that is famous for selling Kompyang in Yong Peng, Eng Hin. They sell a variety of biscuits, and also the flat Fuzhou noodles.

Located at the northern end of the main road in Yong Peng, you’ll have to make a U turn to get to Eng Hin if you came in from the nothern toll booth
The sweet and slightly softer biscuits on the left, and the original Kompyang on the right (which isn’t so hard actually)

Perfect weekend getaway in Johor

Pontian is about 1.5 hours from Singapore if there is no jam during border crossing. I initially wanted to go via Woodlands, but on learning there is heavy traffic at the causeway (through the LTA signboard), I immediately changed my route and headed towards the second link. I got my wife to verify via the webcams that the traffic was bad and indeed it was so. On the other hand, there was hardly any traffic at Tuas. Tuas is nearer to Pontian anyway.

I set my GPS to bring me to Kheng Guan Hiong, the Kopitiam that is a favourite among locals in Pontian. Unfortunately, the GPS coordinates didn’t seem accurate, so by the time I found my way there (with just a little bit of guessing) they were just closed (4pm). We went to another coffee shop (a modern looking one run by youngsters) and sad to say, we couldn’t tell the difference between the Kopi and Teh that was served. They were way too milky. The Kaya butter toast was cold and soggy. I think there’s no point for me to mention the name of this place. Continue reading Perfect weekend getaway in Johor

Planning for a weekend break in Johor

With the Ringgit at such a favourable exchange rate (3.088), there’s no better time to head to Johor for a short getaway. Not that there is much one can do in Johor, other than the obvious eating and shopping. I’ve gone through the list of attractions in Johor over and over again, but could not find much that could fill the time for a family with very young kids. When it comes to kids, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Legoland. Unfortunately my kids are still too young for Legoland, and besides, i think Legoland is only good for 2 or at most 3 visits. One will have to fall back on those attractions that have a natural lure, which, for me, invariably involves food.

The thing about food is, well, it’s everywhere, so that opens up limitless opportunities in terms of places to explore. If you think about it, more than anything else, sampling food connects you with the place where you are visiting. It summarizes the taste preferences of the people, it shows you the typical ingredients available, it forces you to interact with the people, and finally, the food becomes part of you.

For my upcoming trip, since I don’t wish to go far, I am planning to go to some nearby places i have not been to before – Pontian and Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest (depending on the haze situation) and also around Johor Bahru city. Johorkaki is the de-facto guide i rely on for tips on where and what to eat.

As i have said before, there isn’t much to see in Johor, but here is the list of places IMHO that I think are actually worth going to (I have not been to some of them)

  1. Legoland
  2. Islands off Mersing – Tioman, Pemanggil, Tinggi
  3. Desaru – beach that is not very far from Johor Bahru
  4. Gunung Ledang aka Mount Ophir – for outdoor enthusiasts
  5. Kluang – if you’re into coffee, the famed Kluang Railway Coffee is found here. There is also the Gunung Lambak Recreational Forest
  6. Kulai/Skudai/Johor Bahru – for food and shopping. There are also various hotels and resorts for those who just like to “vegetate”.

A love affair with Wonton noodles

Even though the interest in Wonton noodles may have faded in this age where foreign food is considered more hip, Wonton noodles will make a comeback some day, I’m sure. Think about the whole Wonton noodles eating experience for a moment: stuffing the skinny and chewy noodles into your mouth and slurping the soup that gets picked up together with the noodles, scooping up more soup to wash down the noodles, then eating, at regular intervals, the Wontons that pack an explosive burst of tastiness. The 3 elements combined gives perfect satiation. I especially love the light and crisp taste of the soup.

The best Wonton noodles has to be that from where it originated, from the Pearl River Delta region. Well, I’ve really only sampled the ones from Hong Kong and I must say, it is hard to beat. To me, the stand out feature of the Wonton noodles from Hong Kong is the soup. It has a very sharp seafood taste to it that you don’t get elsewhere. The noodles are also very distinctive – very fine and chewy. Unfortunately I don’t quite remember the Wonton. The same applies to all Wonton noodles I’ve tried I guess. I’m not particular about the Wonton as long as the filling isn’t too small and it doesn’t contain funny ingredients like water chestnut.

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The Wonton noodles from Mak’s Noodle (麦奀云吞面世家)

I couldn’t make out which ingredients impart the seafood taste to the soup. I Googled and found out that dried fish is one of them. I was so curious about it that i went to Victoria Wholesale Centre and bought dried fish the very next day. Well, i probably didn’t get the proportion right, but the soup i made does resemble the HK Wonton noodles soup somewhat. I will definitely try making the soup again – i’m imagining it will go well with HK style luncheon meat and egg noodles (港式餐蛋面), perfect for breakfast.

The Malaysian version of Wonton noodles is quite different, with slightly thicker noodles, and coming in both dry (which is usually the preferred one) and soup variations. They are very popular in the Bentong and Raub regions in Pahang. The main dialect group of the Chinese population there is Cantonese, which explains why. I had the priviledge of sampling the most popular Wonton noodles stalls from Bentong and Raub respectively, and they were fantastic.

I like the presentation by 开记云吞面 at Bentong, which makes it look very appetizing. Once you begin eating the noodles, you just can’t stop!

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The soup had resemblance to the HK version, though it was a little too diluted. It was satisfying none the less.

The noodles at 佈记云吞面 were even more chewy (or ‘Q’), and i dare say it was about the best i’ve had in Malaysia. Unfortunately, they ran out of char siew, and chicken strips were the substitution (still pretty good). The sauce was very tasty – it was more of fragrance than saltiness, and so it does not distract one from the quality of the noodles.

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wpid-dsc_0086_wm_600x397.jpgThe soup version was less impressive. It was basically chicken soup, which was a little boring. I’d suggest skipping this altogether.

佈记云吞面 is no longer located near the market (pasar). They are now located at the new food centre, at GPS coordinates 3.798236, 101.857382.

While you’re there, you should also try the bean curd from one of the neighbouring stalls. It is so silky smooth and soft, and comes with very nice braised sauce.

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Now, my stance on Wonton noodles with ketchup? No offence, but no, and no.

5 must-go food places when i’m back in my hometown

I think everyone will agree with me on this: food is one of the first things that come to your mind when you are back to your hometown. There are too much good food at my hometown – SS2, Petaling Jaya and the surrounding region. Think SS2 and some food places will come to mind – SS2 durian, Restoran Murni and Wai Sek Gai (为食街). If i had to shortlist the 5 places i won’t miss each time i go home, this will be it:

1. Lok Mei Tong (六味汤) from SS2 Wai Sek Gai (为食街)

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The double boiled longan based soup is oh-so-soothing, WITHOUT any further addition of sugar syrup when the Lok Mei Tong is put together. The dried winter melon and persimmon strips provide something crunchy and sweet to chew on while drinking the soup. Trust me, you’ll be fishing for these crunchy bits and you’ll down the soup in no time, craving for more.

BTW, the fried fritters from stall no. 1 is very good too.

Address: stall no. 4

2. Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉) in curry gravy from Hong Seng Coffeeshop (鸿诚茶餐室)

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The stall is at the very front of the shop, operating only during breakfast hours I believe. I have been eating this since more than 2 decades ago. The curry is thick and soupy, which is necessary for soaking the Chee Cheong Fun (abbreviated as CCF henceforth). It has a very rich taste without an overwhelming coconut taste. Ever since the introduction of CCF with curry soup, I started to like eating CCF, which wasn’t the case before when it was commonly eaten with dark sweet sauce.

Along with the CCF, one must order the bean curd skin (豆皮), a squarish piece that seems like a cross between bean curd and fried gluten (面筋). The bean curd skin is addictive to chew on, and it becomes even more tasty as it soaks up the curry. I have ever encountered the situation where the person ahead of me took five or six pieces (basically everything) leaving me with no bean curd skin!

Address: Jalan 17/29, Seksyen 17

3. Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉) in Penang sauce and Yong Tau Fu (酿豆腐) from O&S Restaurant (海天茶餐室)

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Yes, Chee Cheong Fun again! This time it is in Penang style dark sweet shrimp paste sauce. Despite how I dislike CCF in sweet sauce, the Penang sauce works like magic when paired with the CCF. The shrimp paste lends a luring complexity to an otherwise monotonous sweet taste.

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There is a constant queue at the Yong Tau Fu stall. I think the success factor is in the fish paste, which is tasty and firm like minced pork, not the soft white colour and bouncy type which I don’t really like. Needless to say, the bean curd used is also firm and fresh. It is served in some soup, which is unusual for Yong Tau Fu, and it’s actually quite nice to eat the Yong Tau Fu along with some soup.

Address: Jalan 20/14, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya

4. Char Siew (叉烧) and Golden Lava Bun (the best translation IMO for 流沙包) from Hee Lai Ton Restaurant (喜来登)

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The char siew is available exclusively during Sunday brunch, and it sells out quickly. Slightly charred but not burnt on the outside, with just the right level of sweetness applied; salty, tender and juicy on the inside. The choice of meat used is more fatty than usual, but if one forgoes being health conscious for 10 minutes, it will be 10 minutes of true bliss with the best char siew ever.

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This remains THE BEST golden lava bun (流沙包) I’ve had, where the ‘lava’ is runny and rich beyond description, and will truly drip (流) as promised.

Address: Level 3, Shaw Parade, Pudu

5. Roti Tissue from Original Kayu SS2

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The claim to fame here must be the roti tissue, which looks like it takes quite a bit of skill to prepare, and no, it’s not just a gimmick, it actually tastes good – crispy, caramelized sugar coated, rich margarine taste and balanced with saltiness.

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The roti boom follows the same formula as the roti tissue and, along with the lentil curry, is very good too.

Address: No. 64, Jalan SS2/10, Petaling Jaya

Honourable mention:

1. SS2 durian

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Durian tastes just the same regardless of where it’s sold, but SS2 became famous for its durian stalls, so much so that there are now purpose-built stalls for selling durians, replacing the temporary tentage from before. The prices are reasonable, and they continue to attract a continuous stream of customers.

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Above: Sultan on the left and Grade AA Mao Shan Wang aka Huang Zhong Huang (皇中皇) on the right. Even though Sultan is already pretty good, it is still far inferior to the HZH.

2. Restoran Chuan Chiew 泉州肉骨茶

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Having been to both the shops in Klang where bak kut teh is said to have originated, this restaurant is the one which we go to instead to have bak kut teh, partly because it’s easier to get to. Along the row of shophouses where this shop is located, there must be at least 3 other shops also selling bak kut teh. We have not tried any of the other shops as we have always been quite satisfied with this one. They have a unique dry version of bak kut teh that comes with slightly sweet thick dark gravy which goes very well with the meat, and with dried octopus imparting a nice fragrance. The soup is refillable and you will really want to drink the soup as it is a very tasty blend of herbs in thick meat broth (like in Japanese Ramen), without any overpowering garlic taste, and it’s actually not salty.

Address: 18, Jalan SS 14/2, Subang Jaya