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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dim Sum Yum Cha @ Kuchai Entrepreneur's Park

A few days back, I had dim sum with a few friends at Hao Chi Dian Dim Sum Yum Cha at Kuchai Lama, near NSK Hypermarket.

It's my first time, but apparently some of my friends have been there numerous times. The place is easy to recognize - oriental red walls, and peering inside you'll see a very nice, homey Chinese-styled interior. Where parking is concerned, you could park at the basement parking, or at special designated parking spaces in front of the restaurant.

Dim Sum Yum Cha has been reviewed by a popular local food show called Ho Chak! ("delicious" in Hokkien), and is revered for it's wide selection of different dim sum. I went on a fairly odd day, so the place was rather empty.

There's this special promo where you get a free basket of dim sum when you park at the designated parking lots in front of the restaurant, marked with plastic barriers.

The restaurant provides a wide range of dim sums, from steamed items, pao items, fried items, and tong shui (sweet dessert soup). Though the prices are slightly higher than the prices at my neighborhood dim sum places, I find that it's worth the money.

If you look around the place, every corner is intricately decorated with Chinese fan portraits, fake cherry blossom-filled vases, and miniature Chinese-style robes. The waiting area consisted of Chinese low stools and modern-looking block stools.

The washroom is even better - upon walking in the sink is on your right, and no other hand-wash area would look more intricately designed. There were more decorations of miniature Chinese robes, bamboo-framed round mirrors, and little stalks of ferns dotting the edges of the sink.

A curtain of red strings separate the hand-wash area from the actual bathroom. Obviously I couldn't take photos of the bathroom, but the window at the bathroom was lined with a bamboo screen, and some more picturesque fern deco.

Now on to the food - we ordered some of the more common things at a dim sum restaurant like siu mai and pao. The item that surprised me was the gou bu li paos - I distinctly remember eating these paos for the first time at Wangfujing Xiaochijie in Beijing.

The story came that there was this man called Gou (literally translated into "dog"), who made paos for a living, and his paos were so unique that more and more people bought them. Since he wanted to upkeep the quality of his merchandise, he made all the paos by himself, and because he was so busy he ignored everyone else, hence the name of the paos - gou bu li, which translates into "dog ignores".

The story was something like that, from what I can remember.

If you're a tea person, then the custom tea station is your place to go to. They provide a selection of 5 different Chinese teas, which you can customize to your heart's desire. You could refill the tea pot however many times you want, because the charges are on per cup basis - the number of cups on the table filled with tea are the amount they are to charge (RM1.50 per cup, tax-free).

Left: custard buns, bottom: green tea custard buns, top & right: har gao.
The eye-opening dish was the custard buns. When I think custard, I think about those smooth, sweet, eggy custards that are in Western custard puddings. This custard had some rough texture to it, and was more like a salted egg custard, but tasted oh-so-delicious. Careful, though, it's hot~ It's also available in a green tea variation.

The custard buns came along with the har gao (prawn dumplings), which are basically transluscent dumpling skins that enclose juicy pieces of seasoned prawns, and the entire thing is steamed to perfection, served in a bamboo basket with a leaf of lettuce.

At first I didn't know the paos were until I took one - the gou bu li pao looks like a normal pao on the outside, but expect a dumpling-like filling of minced pork and minced Chinese chives. Slightly different from the ones I had in Beijing as I remembered (they kinda had dumpling skins), but absolutely decadent!

Xiao long bao literally means "little basket buns", or in this case, dumplings. Delicately wrapped in transluscent dumpling skins, the pork encased was oh-so-juicy~

However, where food is concerned, 7 out of 10 times everything feels and tastes the same to me. I don't have sensitive smell and taste that detect the differences between each seller's noodles or whatnot. Same goes with dim sum - most of them taste the same, but here, I got to try new things~

So here's my final verdict:

  • food - 8 / 10
  • variety - 9 / 10
  • environment - 8.5 / 10
  • service - 7 / 10
  • price - 6 / 10
  • location - 6 / 10

Chi Hao Dian Dim Sum Yum Cha
Block KA2 Kuchai Avenue
Lot 1-10 No. 39
Jalan Kuchai Maju 13
Kuchai Entrepreneur's Park
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama
58200 Kuala Lumpur.
(Near NSK Hypermarket)

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