Try something new in Pudu: Rice wine buns, handmade dim sum and more...

Wong Siew Ming has chalked up many years making dim sum in his career with various hotels and restaurants. — Pictures by Miera Zulyana
Wong Siew Ming has chalked up many years making dim sum in his career with various hotels and restaurants. — Pictures by Miera Zulyana

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.

Break open these soft, fluffy buns to discover the unusual, tasty rice wine chicken filling.
Break open these soft, fluffy buns to discover the unusual, tasty rice wine chicken filling.
The stall also serves light, crunchy yam puffs filled with chicken (left). The lor mai kai served here has an old school taste with the use of lard coating the glutinous rice grains (right).
The stall also serves light, crunchy yam puffs filled with chicken (left). The lor mai kai served here has an old school taste with the use of lard coating the glutinous rice grains (right).

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!

Occasionally, they make siu mai at the stall when there’s time.
Occasionally, they make siu mai at the stall when there’s time.

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.

Shanghai dumplings or wor tip are handmade and pan fried.
Shanghai dumplings or wor tip are handmade and pan fried.

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.

Each bamboo tray is filled with orange coloured lau sar pau and char siew pau.
Each bamboo tray is filled with orange coloured lau sar pau and char siew pau.
Look for this stall tucked at the back row on the ground floor of ICC Pudu.
Look for this stall tucked at the back row on the ground floor of ICC Pudu.

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
Lot G-29
ICC Pudu
Jalan Kijang, KL
Tel: 019-2105875
Open: 7am to 2pm
Closed on Mondays

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