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Kuala Lumpur – Heng Hua Favorites at Hoi Kee (海记饭店- 兴化小食)

klyeoh Nov 27, 2012 08:12 AM

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.

Address details
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

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  1. huiray RE: klyeoh Nov 27, 2012 09:09 AM

    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-cu...) 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?

    4 Replies
    1. re: huiray
      klyeoh RE: huiray Nov 27, 2012 09:47 AM

      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).

      1. re: klyeoh
        huiray RE: klyeoh Nov 27, 2012 04:13 PM


        By "toasted groundnuts" do you mean roasted peanuts (Arachis hypogaea; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut), or something else? (Like Bambara groundnuts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bambara_... ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bam...)

        1. re: huiray
          klyeoh RE: huiray Nov 27, 2012 05:01 PM

          This type:

          1. re: klyeoh
            huiray RE: klyeoh Nov 27, 2012 05:05 PM

            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.

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