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Sunday January 22, 2017
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Restoran New Lucky, a corner lot kopitiam in Sri Petaling. – Pictures by CK LimRestoran New Lucky, a corner lot kopitiam in Sri Petaling. – Pictures by CK LimKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Sri Petaling is, justly or unjustly, a neighbourhood notorious for its heavy traffic and malaise of unrepentant double parking offenders. But this is an inconvenience we’re more than willing to brave to savour what the taman has to offer in terms of tasty treats.

We usually begin our Sri Petaling food hop early in the morning at Restoran New Lucky, a corner lot kopitiam. Instead of the usual kaya butter toast, we go for something less “heaty” (helpful given the recent spate of unseasonal hot weather) by ordering the steamed roti instead. The slices of this hot and moist white bread are spread with kaya and butter, and go perfectly dunked in a cup of local kopi.

A bold and milky cup of local kopi to start the day (left). Slices of steamed roti ispread with kaya and butter (right)A bold and milky cup of local kopi to start the day (left). Slices of steamed roti ispread with kaya and butter (right)Prawn noodles with an indispensable addition of spicy sambalPrawn noodles with an indispensable addition of spicy sambalThat’s just for starters. To fill our bellies, we order our favourite style of Hong Kong chee cheong fun, which differs from other varieties in that the rice rolls are not pre-made but cooked to order. It’s a joy seeing the stall owner deftly ladling the thin batter onto the steamer cloth, adding morsels of char siew and shrimp (always ask for the yin-yong combo so you get both fillings), and cutting the cooked rice noodles into perfect bite-sized pieces.

The accompaniment of soy sauce and sambal leans towards salty-sweet rather than spicy, so ask for more sambal if you prefer more of a kick. Alternatively, enjoy a bowl of slurp-worthy prawn noodles from a nearby stall just as we did. Don’t forget to pour in the sambal for that extra heat you’re after.

Making chee cheong fun to order (left). Hong Kong-style chee cheong fun (right)Making chee cheong fun to order (left). Hong Kong-style chee cheong fun (right)A smörgåsbord of bite-sized delights at Restoran Clan Dim SumA smörgåsbord of bite-sized delights at Restoran Clan Dim SumFor our next stop, we just turn around the corner to Restoran Clan Dim Sum, which faces the main road through Sri Petaling. This shop is the dim sum destination for residents for weekend brunch as well as for a post-drinking fill-me-up during the wee hours of morning. (They’re open nearly 24-hours, closing only from 2pm to 6pm daily for clean-up and the kitchen crew’s break.)

Clan Dim Sum’s Gai Wo Bao (“chicken nest bun”) is akin to a loh mai gai inside a dai baoClan Dim Sum’s Gai Wo Bao (“chicken nest bun”) is akin to a loh mai gai inside a dai baoHar gow (shrimp dumplings) at Clan Dim SumHar gow (shrimp dumplings) at Clan Dim SumAs with any respectable dim sum joint, Clan Dim Sum offers a mouthwatering spread of these Cantonese “tapas” — from the pleated har gow with the whole shrimp almost visible beneath its thin, translucent skin to the popular siu mai, its yellow lye water skin encasing a succulent mix of pork and shrimp, topped with bright orange roe.

Siu mai, with its filling of succulent pork and shrimp, is one of the most popular dim sumSiu mai, with its filling of succulent pork and shrimp, is one of the most popular dim sumWu gok (fried taro croquette) (left). The signature Caffè Triple Mellow, a caffè latte spiked with a “secret sauce” (right)Wu gok (fried taro croquette) (left). The signature Caffè Triple Mellow, a caffè latte spiked with a “secret sauce” (right)Clan Dim Sum also does a decent version of my favourite dim sum, the wu gok (fried taro croquette): the savoury meat filling and mashed taro ensconced in a light, crispy pastry shell. There are phoenix claws — chicken feet that are deep-fried, marinated and steamed for the uninitiated — that are chewy and gooey all at once. Dip crunchy fried shrimp rolls into creamy mayonnaise.

But the pièce de résistance is Clan Dim Sum’s trademark Gai Wo Bao (literal translation: “chicken nest bun”). Consider it a 2-in-1 dim sum. Outside it looks not unlike a dai bao, with its white and fluffy steamed dough. Inside it’s stuffed with Clan Dim Sum’s version of loh mai gai — gravy-slicked glutinous rice, chicken and pork, mushrooms and the extra decadent touch of salted egg yolk.

The triathlon-themed café Triple MellowThe triathlon-themed café Triple MellowTriple Mellow uses coffee beans from Pacamara, a Thai boutique roasterTriple Mellow uses coffee beans from Pacamara, a Thai boutique roasterYou may have seen Gai Wo Bao at other dim sum restaurants but the folks at Clan Dim Sum were the ones who invented the original, apparently. Bursting with protein, fat and plenty of starch, this Frankenstein’s monster of a bao, we all agree, is a full meal in itself. (But that doesn’t stop us from finishing it, with nary a grain of loh mai fan left on the plate.)

Come teatime, Sri Petaling is a hub for fan-favourite cafés such as 103 Coffee Workshop and Neighbourhood Coffee. For a change of pace and a kookier ambience, we head to the sports-themed café Triple Mellow. The sport in question here is the triathlon so the décor is a nod to the endurance disciplines of swimming, cycling and running (hence the “triple” in its name).

A Boardman bicycle mounted on the wall of Triple MellowA Boardman bicycle mounted on the wall of Triple MellowTou Tou Little Kitchen is famous for their handmade Hakka noodlesTou Tou Little Kitchen is famous for their handmade Hakka noodlesMulti-coloured lanyards of triathlon medals hang from a rail; a row of bicycle frames are modified into lamps; race finisher shirts are proudly framed and displayed. But Triple Mellow is more than another gimmick-based café; they take their coffee seriously here and use medium-roasted beans from Pacamara, a Thai boutique roaster revered for their specialty coffee.

Braised chicken drumstick with springy Hakka noodles (left). Handmade shrimp balls served in broth (right)Braised chicken drumstick with springy Hakka noodles (left). Handmade shrimp balls served in broth (right)Tou Tou Little Kitchen’s simple, fuss-free ambienceTou Tou Little Kitchen’s simple, fuss-free ambienceFirst-time visitors may enjoy their signature Caffè Triple Mellow, which is a bittersweet take on the quintessential caffè latte spiked with their “secret sauce” (one detects a dash of condensed milk). A little sweetness goes a long way. We find the café perfect for escaping the hot afternoon and to simply, well, mellow out.

For a delicious, home-style dinner in Sri Petaling, we always return to Tou Tou Little Kitchen. The warm, cosy interior reminds one of a family dining room with adjoining kitchen. Tou Tou is famous for their handmade Hakka noodles and much else is made from scratch here too, such as their fish balls, meat balls and shrimp balls.

Tou Tou Little Kitchen’s homemade tong suiTou Tou Little Kitchen’s homemade tong suiI always go for their braised chicken drumstick with springy Hakka noodles ­— you have a choice of thick or thin noodles. This is served with some greens (usually bok choy) and an entire stewed egg, making it a very hearty meal.

Indeed the portions are huge at Tou Tou so do come in a group if you want to try more dishes. They do an addictive Taiwanese pork chop, doused with five-spice powder the way they finish the iconic fried chicken at Taipei’s Shilin Night Market. Seaweed noodle soup with sweet corn, pork balls and fish cake is very old-school but hits the spot, especially on a rainy evening.

The warm, cosy interior of Tou Tou Little Kitchen reminds one of homeThe warm, cosy interior of Tou Tou Little Kitchen reminds one of homeAnd to finish our day of eating out in Sri Petaling, we never leave Tou Tou without a bowl or two of their homemade (of course) tong sui — their hong dao sui (red bean soup) or the dairy-free yet oh so milky foo chuk yi mai (beancurd barley soup). You know what they say: we have a separate stomach for desserts!

Restoran New Lucky

2 Jalan Radin Anum 1

Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

Open daily (except Thu closed) 5:30am-2pm

Restoran Clan Dim Sum

140 Jalan Radim Anum 1

Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

Open daily 8pm-2pm (the following day)

Triple Mellow

47 Jalan Radin Anum

Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

Open daily 10:30am-10:30pm; some Tuesdays closed (check their Facebook)

Tel: 03-9054-7431

www.facebook.com/triplemellow/

Tou Tou Little Kitchen

67 Jalan Radin Bagus

Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

Open daily 9:30am-10pm

Tel: 03-9054 4722

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