Always a Leader, Never a Follower!
It’s no secret that Chef Paul Lee is a master at creating sumptuous Chinese dishes! I lost counts of how many times I was at Restoran LYJ or now renamed to Lee Hong Kee Restaurant located in rural area of Kampung Baru in Sg. Buloh. It’s been a few months now that the restaurant has taken on a new name and relocated to a brand new shop lot in that area. Taking up three lots, the restaurant is still as pack as ever. The whole ambience is fairly simple and typical of a Chinese restaurant. At one end, there is a stage which I assume it’s for celebratory functions.
Before you proceed further to ogle at its food, be warn… you need to queue up for a meal here! Well unless you eat late or super early. The restaurant does have a lot of staff working as brisk as they can. Dishes are also churned out pretty fast to get the turnover. Thank goodness most tables to not really linger much for consideration purposes as the queue often floods the parking lot. Lee Hong Kee does not take reservations unless you are ordering their famous Poon Choi (my Poon Choi visit) a few days in advance. One just needs to queue up for a table for regular meals. Certain special dishes may be pre-ordered as these may need some work in advance.
I heard about this dish from my partner who had a taste during a business lunch. Since I wanted to make sure we had this dish, I actually called to pre-order this dish for a large portion. To be honest, I don’t this the name is correctly labeled in the receipt. I would describe this dish and its ingredients when you are ordering it because that is what I did.
Boiled Chicken with Sauce
It’s a salad and served at room temperature. Nicely presented in a wooden basket fitted with a steel plate, it looked so green when it was set on our table. The sauce is served on the side and is only poured in upon serving. I spied loads of fresh herbs and identified a few like basil, mint, spring onions and more.
Once the sauce has been pour over, we deep dived to unveil poached sliced chicken, boiled pig stomach, poached prawns and crunchy jelly fish. The dish is fresh and bursting with fresh herbs dressed in a savory aromatic soy sauce. Flavors are moreish and the lightness of the overall flavors kept me eating and enjoying it whole-heartedly. The textures of the lightly chewy pig stomach and crunchy jelly fish are so good with the tender chicken and prawns. I like raw herbs personally so I enjoyed it a lot but my family who are not so used to it did winced a bit about the rawness of this whole dish.
I would order this dish again but I would recommend only to those who love fresh herbs.
Dong Tuk Gai
A familiar dish seen almost on every table, the Dong Tuk Gai may not set tongues wagging in flavor but the concept did. In my previous post, we were given gloves and scissors to dissect the chicken. Here, we just skip all the stuff and tear the chicken with our hands. Somehow I felt that the flavors were milder in this round. I distinctively remembered herbs but couldn’t detect any this time. Oh well, the Standing Chicken didn’t really stand out tonight.
We got nice thick cut pieces of pork belly char siew with a light sprinkling of garlic bits. I remembered this to be more tender on my previous visits but it was only mediocre that night. Flavors are good with a nice caramelized sweetness but the meat was a bit dry and not as melt-in-the-mouth as I have had before. I could see that this cut was leaner too than before, maybe that was the cause of the tenderness.
Kerabu Paku Pakis
This is one dish I can never get enough off. I first had this at this restaurant and soon after the dish has popped up in a lot of other restaurants. This goes to show again that Chef Paul really is a leader in Chinese cuisine for this area.
Why do I love this cold greens so much? Freshness, tangy, crisp texture, bright flavors and I would even say it’s a perky dish! The cold blanched paku ferns are flavored with a bright lemony dressing and crowned with bits of aromatic fried shallots. It’s a bit unusual and I have read in some other peoples’ comment that it’s weird eating cold greens in a Chinese meal but really you’ll either love it or hate it. In my case, I am smitten… very smitten!
Spinach with Crab Meat Sauce
Ok, my family had to have a hot green dish and I obliged them by ordering another signature dish of LHK. It takes its inspiration from a classic Cantonese hawker dish. Spinach is braised in a Wat Tan Hor gravy, thick gravy made even better with egg cracked into the dish at the last serving minute. As the dish is served in claypot, the dish stayed warm. The spinach is accompanied by slices of mushrooms and crab meat in the gravy. It’s definitely a simple home style dish and my family loves it.
Salted Fish with Green Spicy Sauce
The dish looks innocently simple. Whole tilapia fish baked in salt crust and served simply with a spicy green sauce on the side. Looks are deceiving and this simple looking dish packs loads of unctuous flavors. The light saltiness on the sweet flesh is gloriously delicious but wait till you taste it with the spicy punchy flavors of the green sauce. Yum… it’s a marriage made in heaven. I love that sauce… wanted more in fact as it was really spicy and bold. While some may say it overtakes the flavors of the fish, I didn’t mind… no, not at all…
Banana Prawns with Small Shrimps
I had to google to find out what is banana prawns and it was from the waters of Australia. The Chinese name of the dish translates literally to Big Prawns Small Prawns. Like its name, we got large prawns sautéed with a sauce made from dried small shrimps. Light spiciness and savory with a tinge of sweetness in the back note makes the dish finger-licking good. The prawns were fresh and firm making the dish even better.
Seng Gua with Beancurd
Simple dish… cooked well, flavor decent, texture also ok.
I have always had a soft spot for this restaurant. It’s a hard industry and the fact that the there is always a line outside every day, it makes it even harder to retain a perfect meal with great service. Based on the fact that the restaurant was completely full , even overloaded, I do have to be fair and concluded that the some dishes are great while others are mediocre. No bad ones and service was pretty fast if you asked me. Don’t expect fine dining service here, its just plain simple service, fast and efficient. No smiles but that’s ok because honestly I don’t think I can smile either if I am a wait staff with the boisterous crowd at Lee Hong Kee restaurant. That said, I will still be back…
RESTORAN LEE HONG KEE (formerly known as RESTORAN LYJ)
No.3, 5, 7 & 9, Tingkat Bawah, Jalan Kati GU 19/G,
Kampung Baru, Sg. Buloh,
40160 Shah Alam
Tel: 03-6140 2678 / HP: 016-667 4810 (Mdm Nin / 阿珍)