The delights of dim sum

The selection at Hoong Foong Dim Sum.
The selection at Hoong Foong Dim Sum.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — The noisy chatter of conversation, the clink of Chinese tea cups, the clatter of carts bearing delicious dishes rolling around. Dim sum is one of those foods that has a special place in the hearts of most Chinese, since many of us would have grown up going to dim sum restaurants with the family on weekends.

After all, these outings were not just about eating out. Rather they were occasions for families to bond which probably explains why dim sum places are often packed on Saturday and Sunday mornings, with large tables filled with different families.

Indeed, dim sum is a big business in Malaysia. Most Chinese majority neighbourhoods have at least one local dim sum restaurant, and sometimes even several within a block!

Hoong Foong Dim Sum is one place that is perpetually full on weekends. And for good reason. It’s one of the best in the USJ area. I love the big pau with whole chicken thigh pieces, pork and egg. The crispy, deep-fried prawn wrappers are another favorite. I also like how they stuff salted egg pieces into their siu mai. It’s delicious. There’s also a yam version of lau sar pau that’s quite good.

The Han Room is perfect for those times when you want a nice dim sum environment, especially when someone else is picking up the tab.

I particularly love the har gau (shrimp stuffed inside translucent wrappers) here. Service is good and you can dine in air conditioned comfort. What’s there not to like?

Jin Xuan Hong Kong is a dim sum restaurant chain that has multiple outlets across the Klang Valley. They’re open till late, even in the late afternoons and evenings when most family-owned dim sum places would have put up the shutters. I think the Golden Bun (lau sar pau) is of a standard that all dim sum restaurants ought to aspire to. The filling is warm, runny, savoury and sweet all at once. It’s made with salted duck egg and goes extremely well with the crispy exterior of the mantou (plain Chinese bun).

Yuen Garden Dim Sum is a Puchong establishment that’s been around for a while. Its signature is the spicy prawn dumplings, which are basically prawns stuffed inside wrappers and swimming in spicy sauce. They don’t look very appetising but I guarantee you they taste a lot better than they look.

Foo Hing Dim Sum is another Puchong dim sum restaurant that’s famous for its Portuguese egg tarts. The shell is super flaky and crispy and there’s a glossy sheen on the torched creme brulee-like egg tart. This may sound like heresy but the best ever Portuguese egg tarts, in my opinion, were from the time Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) had a promotion, which was about 10 years ago. I’ve really missed them and the ones found at this joint come very close to those beauties from KFC. Okay, you all can stop cursing me now.

GETTING THERE

Hoong Foong Dim Sum

77, Pusat Perniagaan USJ 21, Jalan USJ 21, Subang Jaya, Selangor

LRT/MRT: USJ 21

From the station: 200 metres

Operating hours: 7am-5pm

The Han Room

Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur

LRT/MRT: Bank Rakyat-Bangsar

From the station: 3km

Operating hours: 11am-11pm (opens at 10.30am on Saturdays and 10am Sundays)

Jin Xuan Hong Kong

Jalan PJU 5/9, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

LRT/MRT: Surian

From the station: 200 metres

Operating hours: 7am-midnight

Yuen Garden Dim Sum

1, Jalan Kenari 18, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Puchong, Selangor

LRT/MRT: IOI Puchong Jaya

From the station: 300 metres

Operating hours: 6.30am-10pm

Foo Hing Dim Sum

31G, Jalan Puteri 2/6, Bandar Puteri, Puchong, Selangor

LRT/MRT: Bandar Puteri

From the station: 600 metres

Operating hours: 7am-3pm

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