Friday, March 26, 2010

Seafood @ Hoi Peng Seafood Restaurant, SS2, Petaling Jaya

grilling tofu puffs

Hoi Peng or Hai Peng??? Recently, I had a chance to compare the two places, when we dropped by Hoi Peng for Precious Pea's farewell dinner. Well known in Petaling Jaya, Hoi Peng is actually a branch of the old stalwart seafood place Hai Peng located on Old Klang Road. While you would think the branch won't do as well as the main outlet, I must admit I felt the branch's food was way much better than the original outlet.

tofu bakar from Hoi Peng

Literally a neighbourhood hangout, Hoi Peng is definitely a place you need to book ahead as it is packed during the weekend. If not, you get relegated to a small table that can barely hold everything together or one that faces the kitchen and bathroom. Unlike Hai Peng that has a vast space after they expanded to the back of their single shophouse, Hoi Peng is quite cramped. The other thing we also noticed from eavesdropping on the loud conversations in nearby tables is the crabs tend to finish quite fast. Some regulars book their crabs ahead to avoid the dinner crowd.

clams and tofu bakar from Hai Peng

The menu for both outlets are carbon copies - at Hai Peng there's a stall outside that gives you quick snacks while you wait for your main meal. Ditto for Hoi Peng but again there is a difference in the taste. At Hai Peng, the tofu bakar stuffed with cucumber slices don't make the mark as the extra cucumber juice has not been squeezed out making it a soggy mess when you bite into the crispy tofu puff layer. Even the sauce seems watered down with just a hint of prawn paste. Hoi Peng's version was so much better - crunchy cucumber shreds and a thick brown sauce with a strong hint of prawn paste. We also tried Hoi Peng's chicken wings as a starter - not fantastic as the meat didn't have much taste and it was a tad too dry from the deep frying.

ginger fried clams from Hoi Peng

More comparisons: the ginger fried clams. Weirdly enough, this one Hai Peng got it right as Hoi Peng's version was too thick and laden with corn starch to taste great. The ginger taste seems quite muted here too at Hoi Peng.

Hammer time

Next up, it was the battle of the noodles - their signature fried mee sua. It comes laden with prawns, shredded cabbage and beansprouts. At Hai Peng, the noodles still maintain quite a lot of moisture making it slightly soggier. As the places are pork free, no lard is used but they compensate that missing taste with teeny weeny crunchy small prawns or har mai. Strangely enough, even though Hai Peng also has these prawns, the Hoi Peng version tastes better as it seems crunchier, more aromatic while the noodles are also drier. For this battle, Hoi Peng wins hands down!

fried mee sua at Hoi Peng

Crabs was a lot tougher to determine who is the winner. Both places don't use local mud crabs but instead they go for the Indonesian version, that yields thicker claws and more meat. At Hai Peng, a minimum order of 1kg is required while Hoi Peng does not seem to limit you on the number of crabs - we had one crab done in sweet and sour and another in salted egg yolk.

sweet and sour crab followed by salted egg yolk crab from Hoi Peng

For the salted egg yolk crab, the crabs seem to have gotten a fairy sprinkling of salted egg yolk. It's so thin that it just covers the tops of the crustaceans. While I prefer my salted egg yolk crabs laden with lots of cholestrol laden sauce, this is not to say this version is not tasty. Just I reckon not too satisfying for a glutton like me.

Hai Peng's sweet and sour crab

The sweet and sour crab - their signature dish has a nice thick sauce with bits of eggs. While it may not seem spicy, it did tickle my throat that night. I would have preferred a more sour taste.
In terms of comparing both restaurants, I would say in this dish, they seem quite similar. Maybe but then this just could be a figment of imagination, I felt Hoi Peng's version was thicker and tastier. No clear winner here.

kon cheen har

Last but not least, it was their soy sauce prawns or kon cheen har - a last minute add on since the Ravenous Rabbit didn't eat the clams. While it was coated with lots of chopped garlic and soy sauce, I felt it was just too salty and it seemed to lack the sweet taste of prawns. Definitely another thing we will not reorder again.

Thus in this battle between the two, I must say Hoi Peng wins hands down while I'll try and avoid Hai Peng for a while more. Nevertheless Hoi Peng is also not perfect since some dishes ain't too great like their chicken wings and kon cheen har. Personally, I didn't think the crab dishes were that fantastic though. They tasted decent but I reckon places like Robson Heights does a better version for their salted egg yolk crab and places in Klang are way better. However, if you don't want to travel all the way, this makes an excellent choice especially if you live in Petaling Jaya.

Hoi Peng Seafood Restaurant
30, Jalan SS2/24
Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03-7874 2199

(Pork free. It is only open for dinner. Same row as Nonya and New Formosa. For more pictures, see
their Flickr set.)

Hai Peng Seafood Restaurant
Lot KS-5 Taman Evergreen
4 1/2 Miles, Jalan Klang Lama
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-7982 5072/79816982

(Pork free. It is only open for dinner. Near the entrance to the turn off to Taman Desa. For more pictures, see
their Flickr set.)

*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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Kenny Mah said...

Wow... the battle of the seafood restaurants! Me, I think I'd only drop by either HP's if I am in the neighbourhood... I tend to stick to old favourites like Robson Heights which are more consistent. But good to have more options. :)

Ciki said...

whatever the name, it looks fabulous.. hmmm, maybe we need to organize the FFBFC here soon hor? LOL

Christina Kim said...

How were the prices? The seafood here looks great and I am getting confused between Hai Peng and Hoi Peng but I think Hoi Peng seems to be the clear winner for most categories! So, Hoi Peng is definitely better then eh? =)

thule a.k.a leo said...

really?? How come I didn't notice Hoi Peng during my visit to New Formosa a few weeks ago??? Must be blind :P

Sean said...

i've never been to hoi peng before, but i went to hai peng last year and was rather disappointed with everything from the crabs to the kampung chicken ... so i probably should check out hoi peng next time :D

FooDcrazEE said...

hmm. . .now that i travel loads monthly. . will call ya to meet up, Same number as in 016 3xxxxx5 ?

foodbin said...

nice photo of the tofu puff.
The crabs they served are too big and the meat are too coarse to my liking.

NekoHime said...

Fried mee suah? now that's rare. Must try then.

Bangsar-bAbE said...

I'm just like you. I hate it when my salted egg yolk crab has such little sauce.

Lily Rose said...

last week, we enjoy and amazing dinner cruise gift vouchers in Sydney horbor.Now this one makes more surprise!!!

minchow said...

Hai Peng was a bit of an office favourite for a long time, purely due to its geographical proximity to Mid Valley. Food's absolutely nothing to shout about. Proud to say that I managed to successfully engineer workmates away fr Hai Peng to nearby Robson for a way better dinner recently over CNY!

Flower said...

Sedapnya tahu bakar n lala tu. Kalau ada kat sini mmg I beli. Ni tengok gambar saja lah.

boo_licious said...

life for beginners - yes, Robsons definitely seems to be your local hangout as I've bumped into you there b4.

C&C - are we having FBBFC gathering soon??

Christy - prices were pretty ok, we paid lump sum for Hoi Peng so I can't remember the exact bill. Hoi Peng is definitely way much better than Hai Peng but only if you're in ss2.

leo - so many restaurants there, I think you'll miss it. Sri Siam has moved from their large corner space too. Think a kopitiam is set to open there.

Sean - yeah, I think u mentioned abt yr dismal visit to Hai Peng before.

foodcrazee - yeah, come we eat lunch with 3iling!

foodbin - they use Indon mud crabs and not the sweeter and smaller local mud crabs. BUT I can understd why as local mud crabs nowadays, quite difficult to get supply.

neko hime - yeah, not easy to get mee suah right! I love the crispy small prawns hidden within the noodles.

Bsar Babe - bring on the sinful sauce rite?

Lily Rose - lucky you!

minchow - Ah, the officemates are lucky that u have introduced them to better food!

Flower - sayang tak da dekat Perth. Boleh buat sendiri tak?

Unknown said...

Ellen Whyte said...

I don't know how you do it! You really know where to find yummy food. Will be in SS2 end of hte week and plan to check out the fried mee sua.

Simon Seow said...

Ah, the grilled tofu looks good. Can I just go there just for that? :p

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VMLee said...

Went to Hoi Peng over the weekend, but was rather dissapointed with their menu. Wanted to order Cantonese noodles, but not available. Wanted to order their signature ginger fried clams, but not available. Wanted to order garlic stir-fry choy tam, but not available.

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Danny said...

The food is MEDIOCRE but PREMIUM PRICED !! Crab RM55/kg. We ordered crab for 2 person, they gave ONE medium crab and said it weighed 1.2kg = RM66. Crazy expensive (almost same as Sri Lanka Crab price). century egg+ ginger = RM7 ! Then when the crab is served they bring a small plate of cucumbers.. Since we did not order this, we were shocked that they charged RM1.20 for this. Wht a lowdown tactic. Guess it sums up wht this place place is about.

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