KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The pandemic has turned so many lives upside down, hence I admire those who moved on to restart again in a new field. Just like the people behind Hakkaseng.
In an interview with magazine Augustman, professional photographer Vincent Paul Yong explained he had to hit the reset button when photography assignments dried up because of Covid-19.
The result was Hakkaseng, a home-based business that pays tribute to his Hakka roots. In the past year, he also had the opportunity to hone his cooking skills, hence they now have a rotating menu of seven dishes that includes noodles, rice and snacks.
Different dishes are available on different days. Their signature dish is Hakkaseng or Hakka noodles Seremban style (RM12). The highlight is their signature pork mince — comforting with its juicy flavours and a light meaty flavour. This is paired with springy noodles cooked al dente; they still had a bite even after delivery.
The noodles are tossed with homemade fried garlic and fried lard to give it additional flavour. You also have chopped spring onions. This is accompanied with pickled green chillies, pork balls and baby bok choy. Toss it all together to enjoy a simple, comforting flavour.
They also do a Mazemen (RM20) using similar ingredients with a slight change in flavours. You mix those springy noodles with a soft onsen egg that coats the strands with its creaminess. There's also other goodies to look for in the mix such as Chinese wax sausages, sliced Chinese leeks, shallots. spring onions and their signature pork mince.
If you're vegetarian, they also offer the noodles paired with a mixture of beancurd, pickled radish and long beans.
In terms of stretching their ingredients, I like how they think outside the box with their Hakkapow (RM8 per piece). It's basically a wheat flour bun that uses their signature pork mince. The pairing works well as it's a contrast of textures. Bite into the slightly crunchy layers to get a juicy meat filling with lard and chopped spring onions. It makes the perfect snack with a bowl of noodles.
They also serve their version of lei cha, one with conventional rice and another version that uses noodles.
Their new dishes have a definite Japanese slant to them. There's the mazemen and their Hakkadon, which is essentially a rice bowl that uses calrose rice mixed with bonito and seaweed. You also have the ultimate comfort food with their tamagodon. It pairs fluffy tamagoyaki that has preserved radish served with the same calrose rice mixed with bonito and seaweed, mentai sauce and tobiko roe.
This week, Hakkaseng is taking a break. Look out on their Instagram for their menu schedule when they are back or contact them to ask for details.