Amidst the humidity, chaos and a pinch of glum as a close family member was to leave for Manchester, came a plate of wat dan hor (hor fun with thick egg sauce) that was surprisingly good. Oh, we thought you were aware of their wat dan hor, said an aunt. Gosh, I felt betrayed. Lucky for them, it was not Hokkien Mee or else, someone’s head would have rolled that evening. Enduring the MSG and almost amateurish inclusion of mustard greens was not too difficult, given the good amount of wok hei (without being too oily) and silky smooth egg gravy that was just sufficiently starchy. It’s not easy to find gravy as golden as this, even at some reputable Chinese restaurants. What’s more comforting was when the first bite announced the right thickness of hor fun. Overall, no pickled green chillies required. And that’s a good thing.
I assume that I’d only been here once. Twice at most. Not that it’s bad, of course. In fact, the shed is usually packed to the brim come weekends. The dishes we had were rice-compliant – like the Taiwanese dish of three cups chicken, assam fish meat curry, omelette and the most exotic of them all, braised pig’s tail with peanuts. Despite my hair loss problem, I realize that one has to take life with a pinch of MSG. Let’s face it, the articial flavouring is now as mainstream as the internet. There are even grades to choose from too, apparently. What’s a broadband equivalent, I wonder. Oh, the point is, Yuen Kee comes slightly high on MSG.
The most anticipated dish was of course, the nicely rendered, chopped tails with softened peanuts to provide a good bite. The sauce was a typical oriental combination of soy, sesame oil and MSG. The same ingredients, when reduced further, drizzled with some fah tiu wine, sprinkled with more sugar and topped with basil leaves became the delicious coating for the three cups chicken. Power is something red, spicy, aromatic and sour – like assam fish meat curry. Usually filled with the goodness of fish cutlets and assorted colourful vegetables, it’s the all-time one dish wonder that guarantees a few servings of rice. Yuen Kee’s red snapper version was nothing short of power, except that I prefer thicker curries.
A quick inspection of the tables around me revealed a variety of dishes that looked interestingly dissimilar to what we would usually order at our favourite dai chow stall. Despite having partially moved to this part of KL for a few years now, I'm still learning about the food scene here. I drive pass Yuen Kee almost every weekend when I'm back in town. Looks like I should stop by for dinner more often. I wonder if their Hokkien Mee is any good.
Between Jalan Antoi Kiri and Jalan Kepong Baru
(Opposite Madrasah Al-Islah Ad-Diniyah)
Kepong Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
I don't get to do extended family dinners often and therefore, I look forward to the next one, which will take place in a few days from now. It's going to be a happier event of course, as compared to the one at Yuen Kee, because everyone's back in town for the lunar new year. I've not received details of the venue yet (knowing them, I bet it's going to be another dai chow joint) but I guess in the company of close relatives (oh, and alcohol), some overdose of MSG should be forgiven. Not sure if I'll succumb to the
exorbitant prosperous prices though.
This shot was taken after the ala carte buffet brunch at Jing and funnily enough, it reminded me of that old new year song about spring returning to the land with bees and flowers. Of course, one would have imagined more bees and flowers when listening to that song lah.
Here's wishing everyone a good year of the tiger and a restful holiday.