Turns out, the *best* Nyonya restaurant in Kuala Lumpur is not located in one of those commercial/retail precincts or large malls so popular among Malaysians, but in the Chung Ling Alumni Association Biilding (Chung Ling is a very well-established Penang-based Chinese high school, and a number of its alumnus now live and work in KL). As most, if not virtually all of its regular clientele are from Penang, the team of Penang chefs at Chung Ling Alumni Association produces some of the most authentic Penang/Northern-Nyonya style cuisine in Kuala Lumpur.
What we had:
- "Too Kah Orh Cho": Pig's trotters stewed in black vinegar and old ginger - superb rendition here.
- "Fish Gulai Tumis": the large snapper used in this dish was super-fresh, but the gravy was a bit too liquid. Could also use more torch ginger, but the overall flavours were spot-on.
- "Jiu Hu Char": Jicama (yam bean) stir-fried with cuttlefish strips, shrimps and crabmeat, served with fresh lettuce leaves. The rendition here is doubtless the *best* I'd ever had in KL after trying several other Nyonya restaurants in town. But it is a "wetter" version compared to the lighter, drier versions in Penang itself which I prefer.
- "Lor bak" (5-spiced meat rolls in beancurd skin) and "Hae choe" (pork-crabmeat balls in beancurd skin). Very good - also the best I'd ever tasted in KL. To get any better, you need to take that 1 hour flight up north to Penang.
- "Belacan Kay": Chicken wings and drumlets marinated in fermented shrimp paste and deep-fried. Nice and not over-marinated, and too overpowering in flavours as wont to happen in many other places here.
- "Assam Hae": Fried tamarind-marinated prawns. Nice, fresh prawns - superb.
- "La-la Char Taucheo": Clams stir-fried with "taucheo" (fermented bean paste), ginger, garlic and coriander. Very fresh clams but the crustaceans were a bit too small and hence not fleshy enough.
- "Kangkung Cha Belacan": Water-convolvulus stir-fried with chillis and fermented shrimp paste. Nice rendition here, and not too spicy.
- Penang Hokkien Char Mee: Penang-style fried Hokkien noodles with shrimps and "choy sum" greens. Very well done as well.
This place is definitely a keeper, but its location is off the beaten track - true Chowhound find, though.
P.S. - You do not need to be a Chung Ling alumnus to eat here.
Chung Ling Alumni Association Restaurant
14, Jalan Utara
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7957 0318