Kuala Lumpur - Great Steamed Fish with Minced Ginger at Loong Yuan, Happy Garden
Another great "dai chow' find in KL - this one in Happy Garden, a bustling Chinese suburb. What I had this evening:
- Pork and salted fish in claypot. The simple description belied the complex mix of sauces that went into this dish - typical of KL's many talented Cantonese cooks who experiment and concoct their own secret sauces to give their signature dishes unique flavours. Don't ask me to guess what went into this dish, but besides the thinly-sliced pork belly, there were onions, sesame oil, dark soysauce, shrimp paste, fish sauce, salted fish, ginger juice, super-spicy birds-eye chillies and maybe sugar. The Chinese-Malaysians have a sweeter taste preference compared to Hongkongers (where the food is saltier) or Singapore (where the food is less oily and also blander). The whole delicious concoction was then topped with finely-julienned carrots and scallions, and sprigs of fresh coriander.
- Stir-fried "kangkung" (water spinach) with "sambal belachan" (a pungent spice mix consisting of fermented shrimp paste and minced chillies). The rendition here also included fermented brown soybeans and another indistinguishable mix of various sauces and condiments. The resultant dish was fragrant and has a sharp, spicy, slightly sweet flavour. The water spinach leaves had the perfect texture, not too soft.
- Steamed freshwater carp, topped with lots of minced ginger and chopped scallions. The fish was fresh and sweet-fleshed, and the strong ginger-infused sauce was to-die for.
Definitely the best-tasting fish dish I'd had this year so far! I'll need to return here to try out their crab dishes.
Loong Yuan Seafood Restaurant
79 Jalan Rukun 4
Happy Garden, off Old Kuchai Road
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 7982 3486