Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hoi Kee in Taman Desa - well tasty Hokkien food!

Gwailoah, where's the food ah?

Scouting around for a venue for a gathering of our occasional Pork Luck Club of foodies, the Doc revealed that he had been recently reconnected with the Hoi Kee. 

One of the treasures of The Pines row of restaurants and a regular haunt of the Lenglui and I, it got lost when the DBKL came along and demolished the whole row about five years ago. We heard that the husband and wife team were still cooking but had no idea where they were. The Doc revealed that he had found out the new location off Jalan Klang Lama and that the food was still excellent. They focus on what is called the "Heng Hua" cuisine, which is essentially Hokkien style home cooked comfort food, the stuff that satisfies the belly and the soul. Also now got airconditioning. It was decided. We should all go eat there. 

The scrumptious Fried Chicken
And so it was that our Pork Luck Club gathered with our wines and glasses to taste the delights of Chef Thomas Yee at the restaurant. And delights indeed they were. Though the first delight was not from the kitchen. We actually started with the Doc's home made soup, a Pork and vinegar concoction in which he had reluctantly gone easy with the chili out of respect for the Gwailo. Very tasty, all sour and full bodied. Excellent counterpoint to the four bottles of fizz that had got popped and getting rapidly swallowed. We can be quite thirsty, the PLC.

Next out was the Deep Fried Chicken which went exceptionally well with some, er, chili and the hugely spritzy Dona Paula Sauvignon Blanc 2013 that YC had brought. Not as grassy or flinty as the New Zealand SBs tend to be, the Dona had a firm crunch of guava and a good hint of green pepper on the front end. The chicken was wonderfully juicy and succulent and the skin had a good oily crunch. The deep fried and equally crispy skinned Tau Foo followed fast (which again benefitted from a dab of the chili sauce) as did the magnificent O-Tien Oyster Omelette and then we were on to the Grouper. Perfectly steamed and soused with cilantro and spring onion, it was champion. By this time we were on to the reds, Tony's Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012 and the last of my Villa Maria Cellar Reserve 2008. Both were sleek and full bodied and fairly voluptuous with dark pepper cherry to the fore on both. The Villa Maria had slightly more fire and attack though both were totally enjoyable and light enough not to kill the fish. 

Remains of the Grouper
The star of the night was the braised Pork Trotters - dark rich sauce and roasted trotter braised for a couple of hours. O beautiful. Salivating now just thinking about it. Sucky gravy, next time must bring some crusty Baguettes to soak it up. And there will be a next time. My memories of Hoi Kee food include the Lemon Chicken and the fried noodles which were our staple orders. Have to see if it is as good as my memory says. Lot of good times at the old shack in Brickfields. 

We finished the night with a very pleasant Chateau St Michelle Merlot from Toru-san which paired nicely with the Trotters and toasted our first anniversary of the Pork Luck Club. Good fun group, the porkies. Know how to enjoy their food and wine. And so happy to have reconnected with the Hoi Kee. 

Braised Pork Trotters - total Yum. Needed bread to suck up the gravy
Restoren Hoi Kee Heng Hwa
16 Jalan 1/109E, Desa Business Park, Taman Desa
off Jalan Klang Lama, 58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 79818878

May checking out the Trotters
Just by way of post script, Lenglui and I had opted to go straight from the office for fear of Klang Lama traffic and headed for the RT Cake House in Taman Danau Desa to buy up some loaves of their excellent Walnut Bread. Toasted with a lash of butter, is a perfect partner for eggs or stew. Finding ourselves with an hour to kill we stumbled upon two wine resources. The first was the Wine Shop attached to the Sri Kota supermarket there. When we lived in Brickfields, the Sri Kota supermarket there was our source for wine in our early drinking days. We would buy up the Carlo Rossi for RM16.90 on special and guzzle and thought it was the total business. This wine store had some excellent selections and a wide range from First and Second growth Bordeaux to good value Chilean and Australian chuggers. The prices felt quite reasonable, not too far from what we get direct from the distributors. Have to come back and spend more time. 

The second wine resource was directly across the road from the Sri Kota Wine Store. It was called the Board Room. From the outside it looked like a pretty innocuous wine store. But at the back it opened out into a delightful lounge where couples could sit in relaxed splendour with a bottle of something from the well stocked wine fridge. They also serve snacks of porky bits. Manager Bibi shared some very tasty beef bacon and gave a free bowl of potato chips to munch with our very pleasant Prosecco. Wine prices were not unreasonable for takeaway, though they up the rate for those who want to drink there. Fair enough. We figured our Pork Luck Club should have a gathering there, either a full evening or as a meet up before going on somewhere. Only downside is trying to find parking close to the place. Everyone is constantly fighting to get in or get out of the area and double parked is the rule. Better to park out on the main road and walk in, which we did. Even so, a good find and one to which we will return. 

Chef Thomas and wife Ai Yan

Board Room
9-0-5 Jalan 3/109F Danau Business Centre
Taman Danau Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 79846380

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