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Nov 5, 2012 07:03 AM

Kuala Lumpur - Fascinating "Dai Chow"-style dishes from Restaurant 88 (风味饭店)

"Dai chow" are that breed of casual Chinese (mainly Cantonese in KL) eateries which is equivalent to what "tze-char" places are in Singapore, and to a certain extent, the "dai pai dongs" in HK.

Restaurant 88 is one of the more interesting ones I've come across - perched on a hillock off Old Kuchai Road, overlooking the city skyline on one side, whilst hemmed in on the other side by Happy Garden, a large middle-class, mainly Chinese, residential estate. Restaurant 88 has the obligatory zinc-roof, covering a large area which can easily fit in 200 diners comfortably.

What we tried today:
- Fuzhou-style steamed red tilapia. It was my first time trying the dark, garlicky, sourish "Fuzhou-style" sauce - the restaurant owner told me the flavor was derived from salted vegetables - he did not say which type. But it was tasty all the same (I actually thought sour plums were used).
- Braised pig's tendons, with sea cucumber, snowpeas & shitake mushrooms. This was another first-time for me: pig's tendons?! I'd had beef tendons before, but these were smaller and more tender. The brown sauce has a delicious, elusive flavor - but I spied a few pieces of dried cuttlefish in there, plus some slivers of roast pork.
- Stir-fried long beans with garlic and oyster sauce.

Interesting meal - need to return to try out the other menu items..

Address details
Restaurant 88 (风味饭店)
15, Jalan Batalong, Continental Park
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Mobile: +6012-315 1335

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  1. Red tilapia? Please describe this fish more! The meal looks nice, I trust it was tasty.

    Have you heard the term "Kwong Foo Chow" as well? (Kwong Foo = Cantonese/Cantonese-style) (Chow = fry/stir-fry) I seem to remember "Sang Kee" - that "Dai Chow" place on Jalan Hang Lekir that has been recently discussed here described as "Kwong Foo Chow" as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: huiray

      The fish flesh had a snapper-like quality, flaky, firm, non-oily, but bony at some parts. The sauce was correspondingly strong as the fish itself did not have a strong flavor.

      I always equated "kwong foo chow" to a certain noodle dish, actually.

      1. re: klyeoh

        True. Deep fried/pan fried noodles with sauce poured over it - "Cantonese style". Perhaps I am thinking of Sang Kee being associated with popular versions of that.