KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — What an interesting idea. Put the classic Hakka rice wine chicken in a bun. That’s what Wong Siew Ming did.
The 62-year-old has worked as a dim sum chef in the city’s top Chinese restaurants at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the Oriental Group, Palace of the Golden Horses and even the grande dame, Tai Thong.
After his retirement, he became a dim sum consultant and even a lecturer at a cooking association. In January this year, he opened his own stall in ICC Pudu. Here, he brings back the old taste of dim sum, where everything is handmade, preservative-free and made fresh daily.
These one-of-the-kind buns are his bestsellers. Devised by him, each soft, pillow-like bun has a mildly aromatic diced chicken filling with crunchy wood ear fungus and young ginger strips. Be careful. Before you know it, you may finish a whole tray of buns!
Do not pass over his lau sar pau though. Break open the orange bun for an oozing, creamy filling of salted egg yolk custard. I totally dig that decadent filling with its savoury notes rather than sweet, thanks to the salted egg yolks.
Wong tells us that it took a couple of tweaks to adjust its sweetness to suit his customers’ tastebuds. We reckon he has nailed it.
Find other goodies like pan fried Shanghai dumplings (woh tip), loh mah kai (glutinous rice with chicken) and pan fried radish cake as well. They also offer light-as-air wu kok.
Occasionally, they also make Hong Kong-style char siew pau, daintier bites filled with meat. You can sometimes score siu mai too. The repertoire here is small but everything is made by hand, a rarity these days when most places are flooded with factory-made dim sum.
Wong’s career in dim sum started when he was just 16. He cut his teeth in a restaurant in Chinatown and it was hard work. When he was finally allowed to make dim sum, his first job was to make char siew pau, that classic must-eat at every dim sum place.
Pao Ching Tim Stall
Jalan Kijang, KL
Open: 7am to 2pm
Closed on Mondays