Chinese New Year is just around the corner. As we gallop our way to the year of Horse, why not treat yourselves to a great Teochew (Chiu Chow) dishes with family and friends. Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant serves one of the best Chiu Chow dishes I’ve ever tasted to date!
Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant is the “golden sister” of the renowned Pak Loh restaurant in Hong Kong, for authentic Chiu Chow cuisine since 1967 right here at Starhill Gallery. There are four dining areas present different dining settings. The striking red, gold and green colors are similar to the restaurant in Hong Kong, preserving the welcoming cozy atmosphere amidst the furniture especially brought in from China.
The VIP section, the private dining area, semi-private dining area and the regular dining area, each section offers a different level of intimacy as diners share a meal at the restaurant.
The restaurant has fancy Chinese interior and my favourite section is this dining area surrounded with tea.
Chef Alex Au Ka Wah is famously known as Wah Jai, hails from Hong Kong Island. He has been attached to Pak Loh Chiu Chow Hong Kong for more than 20 years! He started cooking Chiu Chow cuisine since 16. He assimilated a lot of his father’s expertise and as the years drew on, he was made aware of the well-kept secret methods of Chiu Chow cooking.
Double-boiled Shark’s Fin Soup with Free Range Chicken and Yunna Ham @ RM78
The cooking time for the shark’s fin soup came up to 9 hours in total and perhaps longer! There were two parts in preparing the soup, with the first part being the reduction of 6 bowls of water into 1 bowl for 6 hours and shark’s fin were added and cooked for further 3 hours. So much work for a bowl of soup, nonetheless, every sip of it is glorious.
Deep Fried Sea Moss Roll @ RM 18 (Small), RM 30 (Regular)
“This is another version of starter which having a more distinct taste that has water chestnut and sea moss.”
Golden Crispy Deep Fried Prawns Roll
We sampled 2 dishes, Deep Fried Sea Moss Roll and Golden Crispy Deep Fried Prawns Roll. Both have their own tale and meaning behind each dishes. The Deep Fried Sea Moss Roll is contains water chestnut and sea moss, among the many ingredients. Meant to be eaten the whole roll on its own without having to cut into halves, but we wanted to see what the inside look like. The Golden Crispy Deep Fried Prawns Roll is designed to be like gold coin and said to be a Chiu Chow delicacy.
Braised South Africa Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Fish Maw @ RM108 per person
Chiu Chow loves eating fish maw and most of their dishes are braised. The Braised South Africa Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Fish Maw alone took approximately 16 hours to cook! All those long hours paid off as the gravy was orgasmic and ear flower booming. The fish maw is flown in from Hong Kong and it is said to be more expensive than shark’s fin. The fish maw is longer version and would cost more than a thousand ringgit a kilo! The fish maw was first deep fried to retain its flavours before cooking. The abalone is from South Africa. The abalone was soaked and then steamed with ginger, spring onion, rice wine for 6 hours. Also got to know that chicken feet and pork gelatin were added in the cooking to get that clear starchy gravy.
Braised Sea Moss with Dried Oyster @ RM78
Semi-dried oysters from Hong Kong were braised with siu yoke, garlic, mushrooms. The oysters were tender and moist despite being dried in the first place.
Braised Black Fungus with Vegetables @ RM28
Wild black fungus are said to be more expensive as they are pretty hard to get by. Although it’s name is black fungus, the colour is more towards brown. The fungus were braised and then cooked with vegetables, retaining the crunchiness and freshness of the vegetables.
Fried Chinese Glutinous Rice Cake Chiu Chow Style @ RM26
Instead of using XO sauce, the Chef uses Shacha sauce which is something like satay sauce, but a more oriental version one. Gives the rice cake a savoury and a slightly spice taste. Cooked with baby oysters, asparagus. Even the rice cake are freshly made from the kitchen and not from the commercial.
Clay Pot Mixed Waxed Meat Yam Rice @ RM88 for 4 persons
The waxed meat are all from Hong Kong and cooked with the rice before hand. The meat are then taken out and cut before serving. The rice is soaked in chicken and pork bone stock before cooking, adds fragrant and makes the rice more fluffy. The yam is from Penang and those are usually more mashy compared to local yams.
Fan Jiu or burnt rice is not common among the commoners. The Chiu Chow would request for it (even though it’s not found in the menu). When the rice were served to each individual, the leftover rice stuck on the pot were then brought back to the kitchen. The Chef will then add water, spring onions and corriander leaves. The greens were added to reduce the burnt smell.
Also, eaten with this special sauce which is made from the wax meat oil, rock sugar, old school soy sauce. Brought to boil before steaming it for 45 minutes.
Double-boiled Sweetened Sesame Dumpling
The glutinous rice ball with black sesame filling is boiled with 7 ingredients and among them are kiong su (something like ginger root but it’s not ginger), water chestnut and gingko. A simple dessert but pretty complicated preparations.
Chiu Chow Warm Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts @ RM 12
The Yam Paste with Gingko nuts is a typical Chiu Chow dessert. A very classic dessert to me as I used to eat this during my childhood even though I’m not Teochew. Pretty popular among the locals in Kuching. The yam paste is made of mashed steam yam with ginger and orange peel.
Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant is a perfect and recommended Chinese restaurant for Chinese New Year Reunion especially if you’re looking for a perfect authentic Chiu Chow cuisine.
The set menus at Pak Loh Chiu Chow (available from 18th January to 14th February 2014) are priced between RM116++ per person, RM118++ per person and RM148++ per person. For further enquiries, call 03-2719 8330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For reservations, you can book through this new mobile app – TableApp. This app is available in both Apple Store and Google Play.
Opening hours :
Monday – Sunday : 12pm – 1am
Pak Loh Chiu
LG12 Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +603 2782 3856