Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Perhaps the best char siew in PJ

My dear wife introduced me to this chicken rice stall in Petaling Jaya Section 17 that serves a delightful char siew. She got to know the place from her colleagues in their lunch time adventure. The stall is located in a coffee shop below a block of flats in Jalan 17/13. The name of the coffee shop is Restoran Choon Yien. Drive along Jalan 17/13 (which is not far from the Section 17 Shell station), look towards the flats and you will not miss it.

The stall serves the normal chicken rice with char siew and siew yoke (roast pork). The chicken and siew yoke are quite ordinary - nothing to shout about. They also serve a hot and sour vegetable (kai choy) boiled with meat which assumably are unsold left overs. The vege dish has quite an oomph - sour and tasty - not unlike the leftover choy keok that our mothers make after festivities.

The mainstay of the stall to me, is the char siew. The meat is grilled to perfection. The inside is succulent. The marinade is rather sweet and is really very very good. Small parts of the meat appear charred but they actually add on to the flavour.

The stall is apparently very popular. We were once there at about 12.30 pm and we could not find an empty table. The char siew sells very fast. If you can make the time, I suggest you get there before midday to avoid the crowd and not be disappointed by sold-out.

The stall also has substantial orders for char siew to take away. They are sold at RM17 per strip portion. I often go there to take away the char siew for dinner. And I have to buy them early. I once asked for 3 strip portions. The stall keeper would only sell me 2. He said he had too many orders and he had to keep some for his eat-in customers.

If you do buy and keep the char siew till dinner time like I do, I suggest you buy them whole. Tell the seller not to slice them. Before eating, I normally put the whole meat in the oven and grill them for about 10 minutes. And when I later slice them to bite pieces, the meat retain their inside succulence. The stall provides a sauce but I think the char siew is so good by itself  that it requires no additional flavouring. In fact, I prefer it without the sauce to get the true taste of the char siew.

The seller often asks me if I prefer lean meat or semi lean. The semi-lean comes with substantial fat and obviously tastes better. But it is infinitely more sinful.

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