Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ho Boh Hakka, Ping Wah Hainanese & Hoi Kee Henghua

Delving into the diversity of Chinese cooking at three eateries, starting with Ho Boh, a trove of Hakka recipes in Puchong.

I'm half-Hakka & completely love 'lei cha,' the mix of pounded tea, nuts, grains & herbs that's often considered an acquired taste. Ho Boh does a satisfactory version, costing a reasonable RM8 for a fibre-rich serving with brown rice & anchovies.

Green is good - Ho Boh also does 'lei cha'-style pan mee & fried rice; both taste more wholesome & nutritious than the norm.

Ho Boh isn't a vegetarian outlet though - there's fowl play afoot, from brown ginger duck to equally aromatic yellow wine egg

Abacus beads, another cornerstone of the Hakka culinary heritage, alongside lotus roots, a perennial family favourite.

Next up: I'm also half-Hainanese, which makes Ping Wah in PJ's Taman Paramount an extremely easy recommendation.

There's a feast of comforting soul food here - savoury braised potato with pork (RM8) to tangy fish maw with pineapples (RM12) & the piece de resistance, which you might spot on every table: Hainanese-style fluffy 'choy poh' egg (RM8).

Ping Wah's crispy village duck (RM24) seems a bit dry, but it does come in a hearty portion; meanwhile, the village chicken with crispy 'choy poh' (preserved turnip) is tasty but pricey at RM18 for a less substantial serving. The deep-fried senangin fish with ginger & soy sauce (RM4.50 per 100 grams) & fried bitter gourd are both serviceable.

Final stop: Hoi Kee, a Henghua neighbourhood restaurant in Taman Desa that gets exceptionally crowded in the evenings.

Oysters run riot on Hoi Kee's menu; have 'em with mee sua in broth (RM30) or fried in an omelette (RM26), both nutty & nice.

Claypot fish maw with stewed mushrooms (RM48) supplies steaming-hot, soupy nourishment for a stormy evening; boneless chicken wings stuffed with ham & mushrooms (RM15 for six pieces) are also delicious. Ginger fish head (RM38) Heng Hwa fried veggies (RM22) both taste encouragingly wholesome enough to endorse.

Ho Boh, 21A Jalan TK 1/11a, Taman Kinrara Seksyen 1, Puchong. Tel: 03-8076-8329
Ping Wah, Jalan 20/12a, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7875-8987
Hoi Kee, 16, Jalan 1/109e, Taman Desa Business Park, Kuala Lumpur.

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18 comments:

  1. Looks like many people are enjoying the food, Sean, and from your descriptions, the food sounds fairly good as well. :)

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    1. Linda: yep, these restaurants draw robust crowds and deservedly so :)

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  2. Wowwww!!!! No Foochow? Hehehehehe!!!! Hainanese, no chicken rice? The duck sure looks good though...but I'm intrigued by the chicken stuffed with ham and mushroom - usually, I would see thin slices of chicken and ham alternating, arranged on a plate and steamed. Would love to try that variation.

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    1. Suituapui: i should do an exploration of foochow etc next maybe, heh :D yeah, this variation was fun ... freshly cooked, very juicy :)

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  3. I love abacus beads, not many places do it well nowadays. Nice to see all these traditional dishes which are done well. :)

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    1. Baby Sumo: i must admit, i'm not a major fan of abacus beads ... maybe i haven't been to the places that do it really well so far ;) but yeah, these dishes would definitely please patrons who love time-honoured recipes :)

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  4. Can't imagine the taste of Lei Cha and Pan Mee lol

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    1. Ken: kinda an unusual combination, ya :D

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  5. Oh I love lei cha! Never realised it was Hakka :) It looks like a good one..

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: ooo, it's not too often that i hear someone say they love lei cha too, but it's really nice to hear that! :)

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  6. oh, thank you for pointing out that there are such places in KL! I've been dreaming about lui cha and heng hua noodles for a while. these are available everywhere in kuching, and my husband has been nagging me about not bringing him for lui cha while i was still in kuching. -_-

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    1. Sibu Food Diva: yay! hopefully you'll get some lovely lui cha and hearty heng hua noodles soon ... i think there are definitely at least two dozen places around selangor that serve lui cha, though some are more satisfying than others, i suppose :)

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  7. I tried lei cha once and (unfortunately) disliked it immensely. Hmm...Hainanese and Hakka...you come from two of my most favourite Chinese cuisines, the other would be Cantonese! :D

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    1. Contact.ewew: heheh, yikes, maybe it's time to give lei cha a second chance! i like how it has very pure and potently invigorating flavours :) heheh, i think my third-favourite might be teochew ... maybe! :)

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  8. Hoi Kee is one of my usual dinner place. We love the oyster omelette which is not filled with starch and the oysters are usually fresh. They used to be opposite Brickfields police station same row as Kheng Heong
    I've tried Ho Boh but it's not my fav place for Lui Cha, my fav remains to be the Hor Poh restaurant in Taman Sri Sinar. Try it sometime! The dinner crowd is quite daunting though, usually full before 7pm on weekends.

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    1. Yun Qi: oh ya, you described exactly what i like about the oyster omelette too! :)
      i've not tried hor poh, and it's a bit away from my usual haunts, but will keep it in mind, thanks! :D

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  9. Replies
    1. Rebecca: yay, we're in the same club! :D

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