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PETALING JAYA, April 7 — I have always associated Restoran Millenium 86, now known as Restoran Paramount 86, as the go-to place for sinful fried Hokkien mee at night.
Apparently in the day time, it's all about healthy thunder tea rice or what they call lei cha here. Truly a balance of good and evil (for the body) in one restaurant.
It's not hard to spot Ah Mei Ho Po Lei Cha as the stall takes centrestage in the shop. If you come for breakfast or lunch, there's a queue of eager ladies with their takeaway containers waiting their turn.
Do remember to bring your own container if you're packing it home as they charge you 50 sen for the takeaway container.
The stall offers lei cha with a choice of white or brown rice. It's RM8.50 for the white rice version. For the healthier brown rice variant, add an extra 50 sen. They also offer three types of lei cha: original, spicy or vegetarian versions.
I really like lei cha which I consider the ultimate one bowl meal of green goodness. This version has about 15 different ingredients.
You have items such as sweet potato leaves, choy sum, leeks, chives, long beans, tau kua or compressed beancurd, black eyed beans and preserved radish. There's also toasted peanuts.
What impressed me was how finely chopped the vegetables are. That's the true hallmark of a good lei cha since it makes it much easier to mix all the ingredients together. Everything is freshly prepared in batches too.
Your takeaway is accompanied with that all-important green paste. Just add water or broth to mix it into a Kermit-green soup to pair with the rice and multitude of ingredients.
The "thunder" name comes from the pounding of this paste of tea leaves, sesame seeds, peanuts and herbs. You may find it a tad bitter though, maybe due to the addition of one of the herbs but add more water to alleviate that after-taste.
An interesting offering at this stall is chee cheong fun. You can have plain chee cheong fun with sauces for RM4. Or go for the Ipoh style mushroom and minced pork version for RM7. From what I understand, they don't make the rice noodle rolls themselves and it is sourced from elsewhere.
The mushroom and minced pork chee cheong fun has a home cooked taste. They're generous with the minced pork and you get slices of shiitake mushrooms too. The sauce tends to be very light in taste though. If you prefer a stronger taste, add their chilli sauce that is thick like a sambal for a hit of spiciness.
The most unusual item is their Ho Po choy ban cheong fun. Traditionally, choy ban is a rice flour dumpling filled with chopped vegetables. This stall smartly improvises the recipe by using chee cheong fun to wrap the vegetables.into rolls. It works but gives you a different mouth feel. With the roll, each bite means you get more of the rice flour skin.
One set of the choy ban cheong fun for RM7.50 gives you two rolls; one chives and the other is leek. If you want just one roll, it's priced at RM4, with a choice between chives or leek.
The mixture inside is finely chopped chives stir fried with diced tau kua and dried prawns. You will find the leeks version has much more tau kua since the vegetable is much pricier.
They sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top of the rolls to give it extra flavour. It's pretty tasty on its own but for a stronger flavour, hit up the thick chilli sauce.
For this choy ban, it's best to order it earlier in the day. I had to visit twice to get my hands on it as they sold out by noon.
Sometimes, they sell it out quickly if there's a large number of orders. You can WhatsApp them before you visit to book the choy ban or check if it's available to avoid disappointment.
They also have a branch located at Restoran New Apollos at 32, Jalan USJ4/1B, Subang Jaya.
If you prefer delivery, you can call or WhatsApp them to arrange for your food to be sent via a third party whereby delivery charges are to be borne by you.
Ah Mei Ho Po Lei Cha, Restoran Paramount 86 (formerly known as Restoran Millenium 86), 1, Jalan 20/16, Paramount Garden, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 016-5655403. Open: 8am to 1.30pm. Their days off are not fixed and depend on the coffeeshop so call ahead to enquire if they are open. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AhMeiHoPoLeiCha