Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kedai Kopi Shin Lok

It must have been somewhere after the Rawang exit that I began losing my bearing. Then, there were oil palm trees, oil palm trees, cows, oil palm trees and more oil palm trees on both sides of the expanding road. Along the way, the only thing that looked vaguely familiar (from food blogs, I think) was a signboard directing cars to Ijok for the infamous beggar’s chicken. At a certain T-junction, we turned left to Klang. I asked my cousin if we had made a wrong turning.

Kuala Selangor is the other direction, right?
Yeah. But we are going for some snacks first.
Ooohhh…What kind?
Woo gok and choi bao.
Huh? VEGETABLE bun? That good meh?
*Nodding* Mmm…very famous.

At first glance, the shop resembled nothing but a small town kopitiam where locals would come to chill. I imagined pairs of hostile, stinging eyes as we entered. Some would let out scary, evil grins that rivaled The Joker's (Jack Nicholson’s portrayal). Ahhhh, here comes a fat guy. He’ll make good filling for our steamed buns for months to come. But we must first shave him clean, like how we do wildboars. Somebody stop me from bingeing on AXN Beyond already!

It was nothing of that sort, of course. In fact, as I observed, patrons were an equal split between locals and tourists. The counter where orders were placed and delivered, was armed with mostly foreign staff of impressive agility. The crowd grew as we waited for our take-out and by the time we left, the number of cars lined by the corner lot had doubled.

Understandably, with slightly burnt hands holding the steaming hot buns and mouth busy chomping them, no pictures of the snacks were taken in the car as we continued on to Kuala Selangor. Now, skeptics (like myself) may ask how interesting can vegetable buns be? To add faux meat will be ridiculous. How about the inclusion of quartered, hard-boiled eggs then? Now that’s a thought! It definitely added a nice touch to the stewed, soft shreds of jícama (doesn’t that sound more sophisticated than our usual sengkuang-bangkuang?). Think popiah filling, only less complex. Encapsulated in a slightly chewy skin of flour, it was good, hot stuff. I can’t praise the buns enough. The curry version, on the other hand, paled in comparison, in terms of innovation and taste.

Apparently, the major attraction is the woo gok or yam puff. Soft and refined, the layer of yam was a marvel. To contradict that texture with a thin, crispy coat (thanks to the flour that bound the yam paste) that was not dissimilar to deep-fried batter, was excellent. Aromatic as well. The filling, which made up of minced chicken oozed moist from the combination of savoury marinate and juice from the meat. This classical dim sum was certainly worth the stop.

Re-steamed, the buns tasted as good as the ones we had that morning. This is one of those rare foods that I believe will satisfy everyone; be it healthy eaters or carnivores. And it makes one darn fine midnight snack too.

Hmmm...if only I remember how to get there and not end up in some twilight zone.

Kedai Kopi Shin Lok
1, Jalan Kenari 1
Taman Kenari Sungai Sembilang
45800 Jeram
Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: (+603)3264 7591


550ml jar of faith said...

Oh nooo you've just presented me a sure-fail challenge! Anything past Rawang that's not on the North South highway is a different planet to me altogether. But the wu kok looks like the stuff intrepid journeys are made for... OK, better get me an updated map then!

Selba said...

Those simple yam puff and bun really turned out so gorgeous and delectable through your camera! Amazing!!! But as it said... it's actually famous and satisfying, right? :)

J2Kfm said...

is that a cili padi or a french bean/long bean in the pau?

never knew Selangor also got Jeram. Near Kampar there's a Jeram, famous for the Lui Cha Rice.

qwazymonkey said...

This is one of those food places where you'll get to eat there once by chance, have no freaking idea how to get back and will be forever haunt you for the rest of your life!

CUMI & CIKI said...

i am SOOO hungry! better take me eat this week!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

for choi bao, i think i will pass la..

ai wei said...

i wan a Wu Kok!!! they look fabulous!

GFAD said...

Hahaha.. shave you clean indeed. Need a couple of parangs to do the job.. ;)

I love choi paos. Pity cars dun have memory of last place visited programmed in them.

jason said...

The pau sure fully stuffed!

backStreetGluttons said...

We remembered certain oil paper wrapped munchies like these in some small towns near the twilight zone off Venus Trek near Banting or issit Jugra maybe Tg Sepat also but more so for the shy pretty Boss daughter than the sticky pies. By golly some are truly unforgettable

Camemberu said...

I LOVE VEGE PAOS! More so than the big meat paos. Can't seem to find good choi bao in Singapore. Bleah.

Jun said...

this is late-- congrats on ur 2-yr blogging history! keep those yummy-looking pics coming!

sc said...

you had me at woo kok. i lurve 'em to bits and this ones looks like a gem! been years since i ate a vege bau..the carnivorous me always going for the sang yuk bau! :p

thenomadGourmand said...

aiyo Nic.. u dun hv GPS????

Life for Beginners said...

Damn. Woo kok. You have to know this is my FAVE dim sum ever right? *droooolssss at pics*

ling239 said...

pork free and still yummy right ?
i love the veggie baos....^_^

Nic (KHKL) said...

550ml jar of faith, definitely worth the trip, i'd say. as for the updated map, errrm, i was thinking if there's an easier way to get there from klang via nkve...hmmm, i'll try to figure that out.

selba, thanks! glad u liked 'em. :) oh yeah, i was a convert after tasting the vege bun and the yam puff! haha.

j2kfm, oh, that's long bean. thanks for the clarification! i musta been obsessed about the eggs to forget the bean! haha! ooohhhh....lui cha in jeram? blog about it, please!! :)

qwazymonkey, u r right, dude! and it makes us want to revisit our "nightmare" just to be tortured again and again...sigh, the things we do for food! haha.

cumi & ciki, me oso very hungry la..haha! hope to meet up with you before you leave this saturday lah. i cant believe i'm booked this fri..cis.

joe, i thought it was rather good. do give it a try la... :)

ai wei, i like the woo gork too! it's better than some well known dim sum restaurants, me thinks. :)

GFAD, haha, u r right lah! let's not forget the cans of shaving cream...haha! woah, u have good imagination la. i'm sure very soon cars will have memories. and GPS will be a thing of the past.

Nic (KHKL) said...

jason, yeah, i thought for the price, it was rather solid. healthy as well!

backstreetgluttons, gosh, those places that u mention sound really exotic and cool. and the pretty boss daughter, and shy. lovely. :) i need a travel guide now!!! hehe.

camemberu, i heard there's a good bao place in clementi. must get more info and go check it out d. i'll inform u if good, ya! :)

jun, awwww, thanks so much!!! i'll do my best! :)

sc, hi5 on the carnivour! but i'm worse cos i'm greedy too cos i like dai bao! haha! well, that's what surprised me. that i really enjoyed the vege bao!

thenomadgourmand, i got no money to buy gps la. all $$ went to my makans already. :(

kenny, omg, u soooooo have to check this out, man! hopefully i'll be able to find a shorter and simpler route there. then, u can go makan2 with the devil. letcha know if i find it, ya!

ling239, yeah, it was really delicious. for a meat person like me to like it really means something la, i guess...hehehe..go check it out! :)

Extreme Power said...

Very nice. Yummy...

Nikel Khor said...

great taste..