Famous Yut Kee @ Dang Wangi – Hainanese-style Malaysian-Western food

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Window grill After my post on Chicken Chop – the quintessential Malaysian-Western dish, assorted people said that I should go try out Yut Kee’s. I’d always wanted to but never had the chance because I did not know how to get there. Yes there are maps and what-not, so it was just an excuse lah okay. Don’t really fancy KL traffic.

One day I just made up my mind to go. Looked it up on Google Maps, grabbed Kerol with me and off we went to Yut Kee along Jalan Dang Wangi. Turns out I’d passed by the corner restaurant and the road many times, not knowing it was Yut Kee or Jalan Dang Wangi.

In my defense, I am from Batu Pahat. This is only my 9th year in Klang Valley. I bet a lot of you don’t know where it is either, hah!!!

What can be said about Yut Kee that has not been said before? It is quite a well-known food establishment in town, rather historical and sentimental in a way because you seldom see such things any more. I think three generations of the Lee family has managed/ is managing Yut Kee since its opening in 1928. The business is older than my grandmother!

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Hainanese Restaurant

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Inside

At any busy period, Yut Kee would be flooded with waiting customers. The turnover is amazing. Tables are meant for sharing, which means you either strike up a conversation with your ‘neighbours’ at the same table, or carefully avert your eyes as to avoid small talk. It can be a bit awkward for us because we order so much food that people may think we’d been starved since the beginning of the century. Paiseh, heh.

Service is extremely fast. During our first trip there, our food arrived in less than 3 minutes. Nothing too complicated about putting a couple of pre-cooked chops on plates then pouring gravy all over them, eh? We were done with our lunch in less than 15 minutes. I suppose if you want food that is cooked to order e.g. fried noodles, your waiting time would be slightly extended.

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Hainanese Chicken Chop
Yut Kee’s Hainanese chicken chop

Both Yut Kee’s chicken and pork chops are served the same way – thick slices of meat drowning in brown gravy that has lots of onions (nice!) and contains Lea Perrins Worcestershire sauce (not so secret ingredient), and small sides of mixed vegetables and fried potatoes (yum!). I am in love with their brown gravy, it is superb and has a tangy feeling, leaves me wanting more.

The chicken chop (RM8.00) itself however did not impress. I found it a wee dry for me, and Freddy’s chicken chop wins hands down any time.

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Hainanese Pork Chop
Yut Kee’s Hainanese pork chop

On the other hand, the pork chop (RM9.00) was rather good. The meat was tender and succulent, not dry. It went better with the brown gravy than the chicken chop, perhaps of the pork’s ability to soak up more juice. I don’t know, I am not a food connoisseur, I just know that it was yummy and that I want more.

On my 2nd trip there, Horng and I drove in separate cars. No thanks to some public holiday, it took us more than an hour from PJ to KL. Since Horng drives a manual car, he sent me a message saying, “Later please order everything. EVERYTHING. Need to make this trip worth it. I lost my left foot already.”

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Stuffed Roasted Pork
Yut Kee’s roasted pork roll

So I did. We managed to get some of the roasted pork (RM11 or RM12, don’t remember) which apparently is quite a ‘hot’ item, and only available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I read somewhere saying that this is Aunt Margaret’s roasted pork, not that I know who she is. It’s special because the meat is stuffed with apricots, sage and pistachios before being roasted, hence bringing out the full flavours etc something about blending and yummy roasted pork etc.

Two slices of roasted pork roll served with apple sauce. Crispy and crunchy skin with tender meat to boot. I feel like I’m about to commit a cardinal sin here, but I have to say that it wasn’t really my thing. Horng really liked it though and evidently, so did many other people. I’m alone on this island here, it’s okay just give me my pork chop.

Yut Kee Kopitiam KL - Roti Babi aka Pork Bread

A Yut Kee speciality is their roti babi (RM7.50), literally translated as pork bread. A sandwich of white bread coated in egg then deep-fried, with the stuffing as follows: shredded pork, onions, lap cheong (Chinese sausages) and crab meat. It was my first time having roti babi, I heard so many good things about it that when I had the actual product, I was a tad underwhelmed.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad but I shouldn’t have bought into the high praises for Yut Kee’s roti babi. You know, talks of high heavens and pork orgasm, hah! But it’s definitely a must-try if you’re new to Yut Kee.

On my next visit to Yut Kee, I’ll try some of the local food as I heard they are pretty good. Lum mee, belacan fried rice, fried glass noodles etc.

Yut Kee Kopitiam
35, Jalan Dang Wangi, 50100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +60-3-2298 8108
Opens: Daily except Monday, 8am – 5pm
GPS: N3 09.371 E101 42.003 35
Click here for the Google Map

Famous Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles @ Taman Danau Desa, Kuala Lumpur

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - signboard I’ve never been a fan of fish head noodles or fish head curry. It has been stored in my list of disgusting food, and yes I know that it’s rather un-Chinese and un-Malaysian of me not to enjoy fish head anything.

In Batu Pahat where I grew up, we had fish head noodles Teow Chew-style: clear soup simmered with fish head, served with tomatoes and Chinese preserved vegetables and of course, rice vermicelli.

In Kuala Lumpur however, it seems that the soup has milk and in some places, Chinese rice wine in it. In the early 2000s, Jaime took me to Ka Soh near the Ritz Carlton, which was supposed to be one of the better fish head noodles around. It was my first time having soup with milk in it, very strange!

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - barley drink Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - cooking area
Barley drink and Woo Pin’s cooking area for the fish head noodles

Kerol persuaded me to try the fish head noodles at Woo Pin in Taman Desa, claiming that they have fried fish slices as well as fried fish head bits. In my naivety I believed her. Guess what? Yeap.

Woo Pin takes up a corner lot where you can see the signboard for Ho A One Seafood Steamboat Restaurant. I suppose the steamboat restaurant didn’t do well at all and so they just gave up, letting Woo Pin take over the space completely (noticeable from Woo Pin’s new operating hours that extends till 10pm).

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - fried fish head bits
Fried fish head bits at Woo Pin

From the stream of customers that they get, they prove that they deserve the space and additional operating hours. There were a lot of people waiting for tables, and they have a notice to remind customers that all tables are to be shared. Two customers alone at a table that can sit six? Nah, not at Woo Pin.

We had the barley drink (fu chok yee mai) at RM2 each. Apparently it’s very popular and I could see why: it was good! Barley, soft beancurd skin and ginkgo nuts to chew on while waiting for your food to arrive. Yum!

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - fish paste bihun
Woo Pin’s fish paste noodles/ bihun

The focus at Woo Pin is extremely clear, as evident with the limited menu. What kind of soup do you want – clear or with evaporated milk? What kind of noodles – rice vermicelli (bihun or mai fun) or yee mee? Fried fish head or boiled fish paste? Okay thank you.

Food took a while to arrive which was a little surprising because the ingredients were pre-cooked. All you had to do was to take a bit of this and that then stir it with some boiling hot soup and it’s ready to be served. Perhaps the wait was due to either, 1) to give the illusion that a masterpiece was being created, or 2) there were too many customers and not enough cooks.

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - fish head noodles
Woo Pin’s signature fish head noodles with milk

I had the fish paste noodles with evaporated milk in the soup. The fish paste was not bad, not particularly fantastic. The soup however was YUMMY! As you can see in the photos above, it has preserved vegetables for the salty taste, tomatoes for the sour taste, fried shallots and spring onions… gorgeous! RM6.50 per delicious portion.

Also the soup is doused with quite a bit of Chinese rice wine, blending well with the amount of evaporated milk. All thumbs up!

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - Kerol Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles Taman Desa - Kimberlycun
Kerol’s stim look from her lunch, and Kim’s red and drunk face

Perhaps the rice wine was a tad too much that day. Halfway through her noodles, Kim’s face turned redder and redder, and she was got a bit too happy. She went home, fell asleep and woke up with a hangover. And she would do it all over again!

I would too, but next time I’d order the fried fish head bits. That is the only way to truly enjoy and appreciate the soup. Of course I’d be hoping that my portion would not contain weird bits like the eye or brain or something bleargh.

Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles
Jalan 1/109F, Taman Danau Desa, Kuala Lumpur.
Opens: 7.30am – 10.00pm. Closed on Mondays.
GPS: 3.09832, 101.686503

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2010!

A quick one to wish all my friends Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Be safe and drive safe, have a good celebrations and holiday!

I’ll leave you with this Raya greeting from Belacan dan Paku, a duo of Mat Salleh who were volunteers in Sarawak for a year or so. Impressive how quick they grasped the Malay language, heh! Do check out their YouTube page to watch the rest of their video uploads.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab @ Desa Sri Hartamas, KL

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Desa Sri Hartamas Apparently spicy crabs are a major Hong Kong thing. It’s not a crab species, but a special cooking style from the Tanka people; something about living in boats as shelters during typhoons.

I do not know much about the history or popularity of spicy crabs as I am not into Hong Kong TVB dramas. Also I was not paying much attention to Eric, the manager of Causeway Bay Spicy Crab who told us the story of the restaurant’s origins. There was food on our table and I had to eat it. Priorities!

Three months ago, Causeway Bay Spicy Crab from Hong Kong opened its first international branch at Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. That’s Malaysia and not any other ASEAN countries! We should be gratified that we’re internationally well-known foodies!

Since I can’t possibly repeat myself throughout this blog post, I’m going to summarise everything that we had to eat at the restaurant with: it was good and you should go try it. Eric wasted no time in bringing out their signature crab dish, the…

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Signature garlic and chilli crabs

Authentic Garlic & Chilli Crab (RM80)! Crabs covered in a mountain of crunchy fried garlic, very aromatic and tasty! You can choose the level of spiciness that you’d like your crabs to be. We had it medium spicy which I thought was not very spicy (according to our Malaysian tastebuds) but a safe level to order. You can’t have it TOO spicy, else the taste and flavours of other spices would be drowned out.

According to Eric, they use 400g of garlic for every such crab dish. They easily use up 100kg of garlic every few days, for reasons you can see in the photo above! In Hong Kong they use Sri Lanka crabs, but here in Malaysia they get Sabah crabs, which are also big and juicy, yum!

When you’re done with the crabs, you may find yourself munching off the rest of garlic as we did. Either by itself or creatively combined with other dishes. Pure addiction, I tell you…

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Chicken Gristle, Squid with Salted Egg Yolk

Chicken Gristle with Chilli and Salt (RM16 for a Small portion as per photo shown). The gristle is yun kuat in Cantonese, otherwise known as soft bones or cartilage. When it comes to bak kut teh, I love the meats to be yun kuat because they are just so much nicer. I wasn’t so sure about the chicken’s as I never had it before. Not bad, the meat is soft and tender but I easily got annoyed with the cartilage itself. Didn’t stop me from eating.

Fried Squid Rings with Salted Egg Yolk (RM22 for a Medium portion as per photo shown). Absolutely fantastic, as how squid in salted egg yolks should be. Not too wet and not too dry; if you love this dish then you’d understand what I’m saying. Causeway Bay Spicy Crab’s squid in salted egg yolk is a close favourite after my ultimate favourite at Wong Ah Wah, Jalan Alor.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Duck's Tongue, Sauteed Frogs

Here are the things that I do not eat, the Duck’s Tongue with Chinese Chives (RM24 for a Medium portion as per photo shown) and Sauteed Frogs in XO Sauce (RM35 for a Medium portion as per photo shown). My dining companions loved them, so I suppose they were good. I saw in the menu that they have ‘Steamed Frogs in Lotus Leaf’, something that I’ve not seen before so it’s rather unique.

Among other ‘exotic’ dishes that I spotted in the menu: Sauteed Chicken Feet with Ginger Paste, Deep Fried Silverfish with Chilli and Salt and Crispy Pig’s Intestines (yum! I’m going to have to order this the next time I’m there).

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Crab Congee, Beancurd with Seafood

Crab Congee (RM80 for a Large portion as per photo shown). Rice congee is awesome. Rice congee cooked together with crabs defies awesomeness! Note that they are cooked TOGETHER, not separately then served together like a lot of other places do. Hence the rice bits soak up the crab’s sweetness = win.

Steamed Fried Beancurd with Egg White and Seafood (RM20 for a Small portion). Steamed then fried (? or the other way round?) tofu stuffed with mushrooms, prawns and scallops etc. Lovely, good by itself but it’s one of those dishes that taste better with white rice.

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab - Kim, ShaolinTiger, Horng, Suanie, Haze, KY
With Kim, ST, Horng, Haze and KY

Notes:

  • Air conditioning is freezing cold, which has been remarked to Eric. Makes the food go cold otherwise.
  • Order the honey green tea, it’s very refreshing!
  • They do not have dessert at the moment but sometimes the chef would come out with different things, which may be presented FOC to the customers. We had gui ling gao which was very nice!
  • Prices are slightly on the higher side, though the food quality is well-matched.
  • The restaurant is behind Souled Out, at a row of shops between 7-11 and a pub.
  • I’m waiting for my bro-in-law to take me there. Looking at you, Mister Hew!

It was a very good dinner, thanks for having us!

Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
26 Jalan 30/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +60-3-6205 2280
GPS: 3.16347, 101.64898
Website: www.spicycrab.com.hk

Things your aunt do when you have a milk moustache

If you ask me what’s the most awesome thing about having a nephew, I’d tell you that he makes an excellent blog post filler. Oh sure, family yadda yadda sister’s son yadda yadda.. but hey, I have no excuses.

In this case, it’s not even particularly clever. But that’s what fillers are for, eh? You know, those brain-drain times…

Ryan Got Milk