melt in the mouth kaw yoke - pork belly slices with yam
Time for some old fashioned goodies and a little sprinkling of Hakka heartiness. My late father was an ultimate foodie in my eyes. Whether it was his love for down-to-earth Hakka dishes that he grew up with in his large family of 13 siblings or high flaunting French food in Lafite, he wouldn't mind spending on the family to make sure we all ate well. Every new country he visited, the first thing he'll do would be visit their wet market as that's where he'll discover the soul of their food, touching the ingredients and just absorbing the smells.
char yoke done old style but damn delish
Yap Chong would have been a place my dad would have approved since they serve traditional Hakka dishes like char yoke and kaw yoke that he loved. While my mother always frowned on these dishes (too much fat and so unhealthy!), no matter how much she controlled my dad's diet he always managed to get his fair share of these dishes some how some where.
Started in 1966 by Yap Chong (hence the name of the restaurant), the establishment is now run by his grandsons who continue their grandfather's legacy. Old school items like the char yoke or braised pork is actually based on a recipe passed down through time. Here pork belly slices are lightly battered with a good balance of nam yue (fermented bean curd) used in the gravy. Simply very comforting food that I could have just eaten for a few days, especially with a bowl of white rice. One can also imagine my aunties and uncles tucking in these kind of simple meals during their childhood.
claypot mutton dish
The kaw yoke - belly pork slices with yam had that decadent feel in the mouth (a combination of melt-in-the-mouth fats and meats) but was missing a much needed addition of five spice powder in the sauce. Instead, they seemed to have added that much needed sprinkling of five spice powder in the claypot mutton dish, since the spices were just way too overpowering. Steamed fish is also a specialty here and the restaurant keeps their fishes in containers for a few days to get rid of the muddy taste. While no mud smell was evident in the perfectly steamed fish, I did feel the cheong cheng sauce was also a little imbalanced - more soy bean paste and not enough kick from the chillies added. Definitely can't beat the ultimate steamed fish cheong cheng that we discovered in Fock Kee, which is nearby this place. There the sauce is just perfect with the right blend and a sinful twist of fried lard pieces.
Restoran Yap Chong
No 1618, Old Pudu Ulu
No 1618, Old Pudu Ulu
3 1/2 miles, Jalan Cheras
Tel: 03-9284 9649
(Non Halal. To get here, drive from Jalan Peel and go straight towards Jusco and Cheras. You will come to a traffic light that turns into Shamelin Perkasa and Menara PGRM. At the traffic light go straight and you will see a row of single storey zinc roof buildings. Yap Chong is on the left hand side. Parking can be a little tricky here but do be aware, they also give out parking fines.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.
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