Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kuala Lumpur - Ying Ker Lau


It's interesting to think that there's not just one type of Chinese cuisine. Of course there are staple standards you'll find at any restaurant, but I remember being in Beijing with my dad and eating Sichuan style food which was very bold and spicy with a few distinct items on the menu that you otherwise wouldn't find. (It was a year ago, I can't remember exactly what!)

Next to the hotel we stay at in Kuala Lumpur, there's a 'Hakka' style restaurant which my dad always raves on about. Whilst I didn't get to try the food there, we did find ourselves instead in Pavilion (again. Sorry folks) in Ying Ker Lau which apparently has been in the Malaysian version of the good food guide for the past year or two. And hey, apparently they don't use any MSG! Whoo!

Hakka cuisine is from the southeasten part of China, although I probably couldn't tell you exactly what the differences are, my mother telling me that it's mostly the same, except for a few distinct dishes.

Such as this one:




This is tea pounded rice. In one bowl you have a scoop of rice (we could have the choice of white or brown rice, I jumped all over the brown rice!) with an assortment of peanuts, sesame seeds, tiny bits of chopped tofu and a generous assortment of nice, fresh green vegetables. In the other bowl is a mix of green tea and herbs that have been pounded or ground into a fine powder which is then mixed to become a drink. Or in this case, more of a soup really.

It really does like quite odd if you ask me, the procedure was simply to scoop in as much soup as you wanted in to your rice, mix it all up and eat it. It kind of befuddled me why they just don't serve the soup already poured over the rice, as I added just a bit initially and my mother just kept telling me to add more and more!


I suppose one reason it's not all premixed for you would be it's really not very attractive after you mix everything all together! It was quite interesting in taste, a little bit intense for me even with all the herbs really coming out very pungent! Hints of mint were tasted, peanuts were savoured, adding a nice crunchy texture and I absolutely adored the nuttiness of the brown rice. It added a rather interesting coarse texture to everything too. All in all, it was quite an interesting dish, I really can't describe the flavours otherwise.

As I was eating, my mum informs me that apparently this dish is commonly eaten regularly by brides-to-be as it cleanses them out before marriage, assumedly contributing to a nice healthy glow, especially with all the herbs and tea! Hmmm. Hope she's not expecting a ceremony from me anytime to soon!

Ying Ker Lau
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur


  1. According to my mom, the rice is meant for health purposes. But the bride thing is interesting. Glad you enjoyed this tea pound rice thing. Not everyone does. It's an acquired taste

  2. Wow, never heard of this before. Sounds interesting, that is for sure! Loved the Hakka cuisine info. I would definitely like to try this!
    Heidi xo

  3. Michelle - it is certainly was interesting, I can imagine if I was to eat this regularly I might like it more!

    Heidi - my parents are a bank full of Asian cuisine knowledge sometimes! I try to share whenever they have an interesting story to tell. :)