Sunday October 18, 2009

Good food haunts at Sri Kembangan

IF there’s good food to be had, blogger boo_licious will not mind going out of her way to look for it. Lately, she has been talking about a Hakka restaurant in Seri Kembangan which is, to most KL city folks, well off the beaten track.

The restaurant, called Restoran Lek Lek, used to be famous as a tai chow place but has now gone upmarket. Once a Chinese New Village, Seri Kembangan, near Serdang, is becoming more urbanised and now has many of the features of a thriving town.

Salted Egg Yolk Squid

But as far as boo_licious is concerned, it’s the food that will draw her back here. “If I had a choice where to live, I reckon it will be Seri Kembangan. (The place) is a little off the beaten path but believe me, it is jam packed with loads of great food.

Predominantly Hakka, this small enclave has so many yong tau foo outlets that you’ll get your fair share of the fish-paste stuffed goodies. Then there’s the spicy soup that warms the tummy. It is also a well-known locale for simple Chinese food.

One of the famous places is Ah Lit or Ah Lek, a tai chow place that was blogged to death a few years ago after a Chinese newspaper highlighted it. While the tai chow place still exists, the person who started it has now moved and relocated all his talented chefs to another restaurant a little further within the village.

He’s also gone a little more upmarket, as it is now a proper restaurant. Nevertheless, the menu still has items like stuffed ma yau fish, where the flesh is removed with the skin left intact. The flesh is mixed with chopped carrots and coriander and subsequently stuffed back again. A dish that requires a lot of legwork, this was really good here, according to the blogger.

Claypot Fish Head Curry

The dishes may look simple but try them and you’ll realise that there’s more to them than meets the eye. For instance, the salted egg yolk squid looks very unassuming and you might even wonder if there’s any salted egg yolk in it. Take one bite and you’ll find the salted egg yolk evenly coats the squid that you won’t see it but you will taste the salty-sweet taste in every bite. The blogger declares that this is the best version she’s tasted.

“I also enjoyed their claypot curry fish head, which is packed with vegetables like brinjals, ladies’ fingers and tofu puffs. The curry was aromatic from the special curry mix and rich from the coconut milk used. Definitely a dish to slowly relish with bowls of hot plain rice! “

The traditional sweet and sour pork gets a new look here. Instead of the boring old cubes, the meat is sliced and it’s fantastic as you get crunchy bits coated with a tangy sauce, reports the blogger.

People in Petaling Jaya or Kuala Lumpur will probably want to know if this place is worth a weekend drive out. The blogger asserts that it is totally worth it as this could be the place for the best salted egg yolk squid: “I reckon I’ll be making a return trip here soon as I would love to see if the salted egg yolk crab dish is as good as the squid dish.”

Restoran Lek Lek is located at 12, Jalan PSK4, Pusat Perdagangan SK, Seri Kembangan, Selangor. Tel: 03-8941 3404. (Non halal. Open for lunch and dinner daily. To get here, drive past Seri Kembangan Village, the KFC, post office and Public Bank. Drive straight and you will see a Petronas on the left. Take the next right turn and the first right and you will find Lek Lek on the right, in the middle of shophouses.)

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