Went to Kuala Lumpur (KL) over the Aug 9 National Day cum Haris Raya Haji long weekend with a few friends, my mother-in-law and the Missus. This blog will focus only our dinner at Sek Yuen Restaurant on our first night in KL, easily the best and most memorable meal of the trip.
This is the second time my Missus and I had eaten at the Restaurant but our last time there was a few years back. We had made our reservation for dinner a few days before our scheduled trip to KL and also pre-ordered some of their special dishes (see photo below for their special dishes – sorry, the dishes are only listed in Chinese) which need to be pre-ordered at least one day in advance. The dishes which we had pre-ordered are: half a Pipa Duck, 10 pieces of paper wrapped chicken (10 is the minimum number) and Stir Fried Shark Fin with Egg.
The last time we were there, we were seated on the 2nd floor of air-conditioned building which is located next to the single storey non-air-conditioned restaurant. We understand from the staff – the air-condition building is now under going renovation and is scheduled to be re-open around mid-Sep 2019. In the meantime, they have expanded the restaurant seating capacity to 3 shop houses to the right side of the original non-air conditioned building.
We arrived at the restaurant just before 7 pm and quite a few of the tables were already occupied. We ordered a few other dishes and eagerly await our food to arrive; we had skipped our lunch and only had some light snacks as we were delayed by the traffic at custom and only reached our hotel after 3 pm. We told our server that we were very hungry and requested for our food to be served quickly – kudos to our server who arranged for our Pipa Duck dish to be served in double quick time by jumping ahead of the que.
This is one of their specialty dish and is a must order dish. The duck skin is crispy, the meat tender and full of flavor. The dish comes with a home made plum sauce which is slightly spiced up with chili; eating the meat with the sauce brings the dish to another level.
The next dish was the Stir Fried Shark Fin with Egg which comes with a plate of raw lettuce that you can use to wrap up the Shark Fin Egg; the dish has a strong aroma of sesame oil which whets your appetite. For those of you who had the chance to attend wedding banquets in the 70s and early 80s in Singapore, this dish will certainly bring back memories as this was how restaurants use to serve the Shark Fin dish for banquets in those days.
Next was a dish recommended by our server – which is basically cold slaw drenched in salad sauce dressing, wrapped in Popiah skin and deep fried. The texture is unusual – as it is crispy on the outside but cold on the inside and wet due to the salad sauce dressing. We were not too enamored with the dish.
Next dish to come is the Guangfu YingYang – which is basically deep fried Mee Hoon mixed with stir fried Hor Fun. The dish has a good “wok hei” which is difficult to find these days in Singapore and very delicious.
Kau Kee Vegetable SoupThe next dish to be served was the soup recommended by our server – which is a very old school vegetable soup dish you will commonly find in a home. This dish certainly brings back memories as it has a home-cook taste and it was exactly how I remember my mother would cook the dish. This is also not commonly found in most Chinese eateries these days. The vegetables was cooked just right – not overly “mushy” and with just right bite to it. There are also a few home made meatballs thrown into the soup to give the soup a interesting bite and taste. All in all a good recommendation from the server.
Then comes the obligatory vegetable dish which is stir-fried Qing Long vegetables with bean sprouts. A simple stir fried dish but very well balanced taste with nice crunch from the bean sprouts contrasting with the more fibrous Qing Long vegetables.
The last dish was the Paper Wrapped Chicken. The minimum order for this dish is 10 pieces; in most restaurants that served this dish, they would use various part of a chicken to cook it but here, they only used the chicken thigh which is generally the bigger cut of the chicken.
The chicken was well marinated, not too salty nor oily and the meat was extremely tender. Another winner from the restaurant. Even before the Paper Wrapped Chicken dish was served, we were already full from eating all the prior dishes. The serving size is definitely on the generous side here. Between the 6 of us, we only managed to eat through 7 pieces of the chicken. Our server suggested that we “da bao” the chicken back to our hotel to eat the next day but we decline and suggest that she keep it aside and shared it with her colleagues later instead of wasting it.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and the best part – the bill for the meal came to less than MYR 240 including drinks.
I would definitely recommend to eat here if you are in KL – for old school traditional Cantonese dishes, this would be the No. 1 choice to eat in. Also pre-order some of their specialty dishes to try in advance. In my previous visit, I had the pre-ordered the 8 Treasure Duck and Deep Fried Prawns with Yam stick which were also very good. I would recommend to stick to the traditional Cantonese dishes when ordering as I think that’s the strength of the restaurant. The restaurant ambience is very 70s/80s, very old school but the service is reasonably prompt and brisk.
Address: 315 Jalan Pudu, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur 55100, Malaysia
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5