Only KL foodies-in-the-know can (or will) seek out this rustic little restaurant located in an out-of-the-way side-street in an out-of-the-way township, way out of KL's urban centre.
There's a little air-conditioned room (accomodating 4 or so medium-sized tables) located at the back of the al fresco restaurant - very much recommended unless you choose to sweat buckets whilst downing Kien Kee's Hakka specialties:
- Hua diao chicken - this is a must-not-miss dish: tender morsels of perfectly-cooked chicken bathed in Hua Diao wine, dark soy sauce, ginger, scallions, garlic and onions. The silken-smooth chicken-meat were slightly caramelised on the outside and smokey, and packed with a myriad of wondrous flavors;
- Kien Kee's specialty spicy pork-and-chicken soup - completely unexpected: a claypot of bubbly clear soup chockful of tender little edible tubes of pig's intestines: the best I'd ever had; generous slivers of just-cooked pig's liver; golden straw mushrooms, pork strips and pieces of "village" chicken (which was supposed to yield greater flavors than farm/battery chicken). The soup was super-peppery and was further spiced up with lots of old ginger;
- Prawns in sweet Hakka rice wine. This dish was incredible and floored me literally. The strong alcoholic soup enveloped and complemented the fresh, crunchy prawns perfectly. Another must-not-miss dish;
In contrast to Kien Kee's impressive trinity of specialties above, the other side-dishes were surprisingly below-average:
- Steamed tofu coated with oyster sauce/dark soysauce and topped with scallions and crisp pork/dried shrimp bits - this dish was bland and pretty tasteless;
- Stir-fried "yau mak" (Chinese baby lettuce) with crisp, golden-fried chopped garlic - overly oily and also disappointngly bland. Chinese lettuce is my current fave vegetable, but I didn't like Kien Kee's version at all.
For an obscurely-located, but surprisingly popular eatery, its prices were pretty high by KL standards - our lunch consisting of the above dishes, plus some simple home-brewed tea, costed RM165 (US$52).
Restoran Kien Kee (权记辣汤)
D-1, Jalan 10/3 (behind Post Office, Jalan Besar)
43300 Seri Kembangan
Tel: +6012 3509900
Closed on Mondays