A KL foodie friend, who knew about my fascination for traditional, rustic eating places, decided to take a detour from the jam-packed Jalan Istana amidst the heavy evening downpour in KL this evening to show me one of his favorite eating spots near that area.
Making a sharp turn into Bellamy Road, past Alice Smith Primary School and thru the huge old Hokkien cemetery, I was a bit worried that he might have taken a wrong turn when we came upon Siu Siu Restaurant (小小饭店), a large open zinc-roofed Chinese seafood eatery perched on the green slopes of the hills bordering Taman Seputeh.
Very old-fashioned KL spot - no menus, and you basically ask one of the matronly-looking Cantonese-speaking wait-staff for his/her recommendation for the evening. What we had:
- Char-siu (Chinese BBQ pork) which turned out to be of the highest order.The meat was roasted to perfection: caramelly, moist, smoky-fragrant, with a perfect balance of fat in the meat to impart a sweet, juicy burst of flavor with every bite.
- Claypot rice topped with fresh crabs. This was another dish cooked to perfection: the rice was flavored with dark & light soy sauce mix, generous dashes of sesame oil, and the juices from a giant meaty Sri Lankan crab, freshly-killed, with each pincer the size of my palm. The rice crust at the bottom of the pot was to-die for. Finely chopped green shallots provided a fresh astringent bite to the otherwise heavily-flavored rice dish.
- the piece de resistance of the evening: a steamed tilapia fish with a tasty "Nyonya" sauce which was simply amazing: it had a sourish tinge from pineapples, delicately spiced with a touch of chilis, onions, ginger, and with the most delicate whiff of lemongrass, almost as if the ghost of a lemongrass stalk had floated thru the sauce, leaving behind the faintest hint of its presence. Long beans and brinjals provided some textural contrast to the fatty, oily meat of the fish, so highly-prized amongst food connoisseurs in Malaysia & Singapore. Our fish dish this evening costed a mere RM36 or US$12!
- The vegetable dish was stir-fried "yau mak" or romaine lettuce with garlic. Crunchy delicious.
Now, *this* is what KL dining is all about - very fresh products, super-delicious food, fantastically reasonable prices - the most expensive item for the evening was RM59 or US$19 for the claypot crab rice dish, enough for 4 persons with healthy appetites.
Siu Siu Restaurant ( 小小饭店)
15-11 Lorong Syed Putra Kiri
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2274 3544
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