Kuala Lumpur – Heng Hua Favorites at Hoi Kee (海记饭店- 兴化小食)
I’d previously visited Putien restaurant, a Henghua restaurant which is really a Singapore transplant in KL (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875257). This evening, I tried a home-grown Putien restaurant in KL. Hoi Kee has been around for 60 years or so, and I’d always wanted to visit its last-known location in Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, which suddenly closed down 3 months ago.
This evening, I came across Hoi Kee its new location, just off Old Klang Road. What we had:
- Steamed grass carp head with minced ginger – lots of ginger! The carp was sweet-fleshed, though one needs to be careful of the Y-shaped fish bones;
- Oyster omelette with scallions – very tasty, especially with the chilli paste dip.
- Deep-fried flavoured tofu – not exactly to my taste due to the strong Chinese 5-spice scent.
- Heng hua fried bee hoon – not exactly the sort I’m more familiar with from Putien restaurant. But this version, simpler and more rustic, has thick rice noodles with an addictive bite: more like Italian pasta than Chinese noodles.
Hoi Kee Heng Hwa (海记饭店- 兴化小食).
16, Jalan 1/109E
Desa Business Park, Taman Desa
(Off Jalan Klang Lama).
58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6012-366 4096/+6012-208 1910
So - do you like it overall?
I must say you sample a lot of "oh chien" at many places. D'you have a favorite place for that?
I wonder about Heng Hua ("Hing Fa" in Cantonese, of course :-) ) cuisine. I looked it up, but how would you characterize it? How does it differ from Hokkien/Fujian cuisine, or Hakka for that matter, etc?
This blog post (http://fatboo.com/2011/10/heng-hwa-cuisine.html) talks about a meal at the NEX location of Putien in Singapore and shows a dish of deep-fried ikan tenggiri slices... Hmm, I wouldn't have thought of that as a particularly Hokkien dish let alone a "Heng Hua" dish? I used to eat that in a Cantonese-Hakka sense when I was growing up, it was a not infrequent dish at my family's table...and I even remember it (deep fried slices) in Indian/Mamak curries in places around KL.
I gather from a couple of other blog articles that those "special" fine rice noodles (made from old rice?) is a characteristic of Heng Hua cuisine - would that be right< what else id distinctive and would serve as markers for one to be able to say "this is Heng Hua" and not Hokkien or whatever else?
Actually, the only definitive trademark of Henghua cuisine, for me that is, is the presence of toasted groundnuts in rice noodles (bee hoon) ... in a sticky soup, strewn with seaweed.
Hoi Kee's cuisine was a bit too rustic for my taste, I'm looking forward to my fave spot, Putien, when I'm back in Singapore this weekend.
There are a few places where I find my favorite oyster omelette - Westlake Restaurant on Farrer Road (Singapore), Huat Kee Restaurant on Amoy Street (Singapore), Seng Thor Coffeeshop on Carnarvon Street (Penang) and Lam Ah Coffeeshop on Beach Street (Penang).
Interesting. The pictures of it look exactly like peanuts, though. So that still leaves the question of which type of "groundnuts" is used in those Henghua rice noodles dishes?
ETA: This webpage of the Menglembu Groundnuts place (http://www.pagoda.com.my/index.asp?La...) does contain the phrase "The groundnut or peanut..." in the beginning of the "Nutritional Facts by USDA" section.