The original Kong Ming in downtown Seremban opened post-World War II and is a go-to place for anyone seeking Hakka comfort food: braised pork with yam, Swiss-style chicken wings (reminiscent of Tai Ping Koon in Hong Kong's own original), etc.
But Kong Ming's new branch: Kong Ming Oakland in Seremban 2 (the new industrialised part of the city) seems to be attracting the dinner crowd these days. Our lunch there last Sunday consisted of:
- "Ping Zhan gwoo lo yook" or Ice Mountain Sweet-sour Pork. Besides the novelty of burying the pieces of sweet-sour pork under a mound of crushed ice, the flavours of the sweet-sour pork were absolutely perfect. Texture-wise, it was *very* crisp on the outside, and juicy & flavoursome inside.
- "Dancing chicken": another dish which packed a flavour here - boneless chicken braised in a claypot with dark soysauce, oyster sauce, ginger, onions, light soy and other aromatics, serving bubbling hot, topped with shaved Japanese bonito flakes.
- "Chun kuen": this is one dish I recognize from the older Kong Ming outlet - deep-fried giant spring roll stuffed with fishpaste and finely-chopped carrots, scallions, etc.
- Tofu, seafood and vegetable stew in a claypot: a common rendition in most Chinese restaurants, but done pretty well here: the gravy was light and tasty.
- Stir-fried "Green Dragon Vegetable" (青龙菜) with garlic: this is the vegetable which is currently taking Malaysia's Chinese food industry by storm. The light, crisp greens grown in Cameron Highlands were easy to cook and usually done with a light hand.
- Dessert: Sea coconut & lychees in iced syrup. Traditionally, the Chinese meal spread do *not* have dessert, but only "tian ping", which is usually a sweet, sugary drink. And this combination of sea coconut & lychees in crushed ice harked back to the wedding banquets of the 1960s.
Seremban is by no means a culinary destination where Malaysia is concerned and, stuck midway between the bustling capital of Kuala Liumpur and the historic tourist destination, Malacca, this town is often overlooked by travellers. But Kong Ming Oakland is a good dining option should one choose to dine here on a stopover.
Kong Ming Oakland
112-1-B & 113-1, Lorong Haruan 5/4
Oakland Commerce Square
70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan