My usual Hakka to-go eatry is Hakka Restaurant but as I was meeting the Clozette team at Pavilion KL, I decided to try Ying Ker Lou (迎客楼) located at the basement of the mall; a branch of an established Chinese-Hakka cuisine restaurant chain spawned in Kuala Lumpur.
Pavilion KL is the probably THE swankiest mall in Malaysia and was bustling with the festive holiday crowd engaged in a frenzy of shopping.
We decided on the Pu’er tea, one of my favourite tea for a Chinese lunch. It’s a varietal of fermented and aged dark tea produced in Yunnan province; it carries an earthy tone that suits Chinese food well.
To get started, we ordered the Century Eggs, which was good with the pickled ginger.
The Abacus beads, made of yam paste and different type of starches, is a mainstay of Hakka cuisine. These were chewy and flavourful with the minced meat.
The Poached Chicken pass muster, with a fragrant grated-ginger sauce.
Hakkas are known for making great tofu dishes – and it’s no exception here – the pan-fried tofu are fluffy and delicious, coated with a robust bean sauce.
The sautéed vegetable was simple but well done – a quick toss at high heat that keeps the veg crisp.
For dessert, we ordered the Orh Nee yam paste with ginko nuts, which turned out pretty yummy. It’s more of Teochew than Hakka dish.
The crispy dumpling with bean past was good too.
Ying Ker Lou is a comfortable Hakka nook for a decent Hakka lunch if you are in Pavilion, with brisk service and nice ambience, nothing too fancy. Do check out the very affordable and comprehensive set-lunch menu.
Ying Ker Lou
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Phone: +60 3 2141 0517