KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — A new year signifies change and some of my friends have gone on plant-based diets in a bid to be healthier.
I gamely joined them, going partially vegetarian with my favourite lui cha from Restoran Hor Poh Cuisine. The original lui cha is loaded with greens and comes with a Kermit-green soup but it has dried shrimps. However, they also offer a vegetarian version.
It is easy to get my hands on this lui cha as they are listed on various food delivery platforms. The delivery menu is a limited one though.
If you want more variety, pop over to the restaurant to do a takeaway. There's an assortment of Hakka dishes like abacus seeds, yong tau foo, rice wine chicken and even tong sui.
At the restaurant, the Hor Poh lui cha (RM13) is served with the various ingredients and rice in different bowls. They will pour the hot green soup from a teapot into your bowl of rice, so mix all the ingredients in to create a warm, soupy meal.
As they are generous with the hot soup (you can ask for seconds), the flavours envelop you like a warm hug.
For the takeaway, the ingredients are placed on top of the rice with the peanuts placed in a separate bag. The soup is packed in a bag so you can heat it up to recreate that same warm fuzzy feeling.
If you're eating it later, opt to take away the soup in its paste form. Just mix water or broth with the paste and heat up. You will get the same bright green soup.
The soup is basically a mixture of mint and parsley leaves, sesame seeds, peanuts and green tea. The restaurant uses a broth made with anchovies to infuse the dish with more flavour.
What makes their soup exceptionally nice is they prepare it in small batches, ensuring it is fresh and the ingredients are at their optimal best.
The rice is served with different types of ingredients. As the greens are finely chopped by hand, these coat each grain properly.
Some of the ingredients you add to the steamed rice includes leeks, chives, beancurd, dried shrimps, choy poh (preserved white radish) and long beans.
They also add crunchy fried fuchuk or beancurd skin, braised black eyed beans and toasted peanuts. You will find that the nuts served here don't have any oily residue as it seems they air fry the nuts.
If you're doing a takeaway at the restaurant, order their homemade chai kuih to supplement your lui cha meal. These steamed dumplings (RM1.50 per piece) are gorgeous with a thin, supple skin that covers a generous, tasty filling of either leeks or chives. If you can't decide which dumpling to get, order both!
Restoran Hor Poh Cuisine, 36, Jalan 6/38D, Taman Sri Sinar, Segambut, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-62778903. Open: 11am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Closed on Tuesday. Facebook: @horpohyuan