During our dinner at Max’s Kitchen, our Makan Gang member was raving to us and Max about this special dish called Stuffed Duck with Sharks’ Fins. According to him, the serving of this dish is super huge, and thus it is advisable to gather a big group to savor this dish. When it comes to efficiency, I got to salute to my Makan Gang for their efficiency, cos the dinner was arranged immediately on the following week aka yesterday night.
I wasn’t aware that the place we are going is actually much talkabout Sek Yuen Restaurant located in Pudu. I have been reading and salivating over Boo’s and Lemongrass’s blog cos I thought I would never have a chance to try this place cos Pudu is a place Hubby would never bother to explore. I was super excited when I came to know we are having dinner here. For some historical background, Sek Yuen is an old restaurant started by Phang brothers in 1950s and housed in a pre-war building. If you are afraid of heat (like me), you can opt for their air-conditioned shop which is just next door. Once you enter the shop, you can feel yourself entering into a different era, the waiters are surprisingly very friendly and the elderly waiters still wear white T-shirts with short pants. Kinda reminds me of my late grandfather.
So, back to the star dish of the night….Ngap Thun Chi, which literally means “Duck Swallow Fins”. Sounds weird isn’t? I prefer to call it Stuffed Duck with Shark Fins. This almost forgotten traditional dish is basically duck stuffed with lots and lots of sharks’ fins and then double-boiled for 6 hours. You need to order in advance for this dish, and according to Frank, the first time he ordered this dish, he was required to pay a deposit. Why? Cos this dish costs RM800. Oh yes..no typo error…it’s RM800! No wonder our table was so much different from the rest; our tablecloth was yellow whereas the rest were in pink. Frank said they were so surprise that a young chap like him ordered this dish, as I said earlier, this dish is almost forgotten by the younger generation.
When the duck was served, Uncle Phang, the owner of Sek Yuen stood next to the waitress, ensuring that we are served properly. Talk about professionalism! The Sharks’ Fins were oozing out from the duck once cut and each of our bowl was filled with fins. Oohh la la..it’s just like eating Tang Hoon soaked with duck gravy. The duck meat was tender after double-boiled for 6 hours, actually the best part was the skins..and the gravy was really tasty. The serving was indeed very big but for the 8 of us, it was not a problem at all. Yummy!!
We also ordered a Four Season Platter that came with Cold Chicken, Stir-fry Snowpeas with Scallops, Kung-Po Top Shell and Rolled Chicken. Not too bad, you can actually taste the wok-hei in their dishes. Ooo…I was told that they are still using firewoods to cook and their rice is steamed instead of using rice cooker. I don’t think you can any other Chinese restaurant as traditional as this in KL anymore.
Next dish was the Loh Hon Chai, a stir fry dish consisting lots of veggies such as broccoli, kai-choy, carrots, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower as well as different types of mushrooms. Although am not a fan of this dish, I find it quite refreshing to chew on veggies after the heavy shark-fins dish.
Deep Fried Grass Carp, this dish was indeed very good. The fish skin was so crispy and yet the meat was so smooth, almost like eating beancurd. I like I like!!
After the dinner, Uncle Phang came to chat with us and shared some memories and historical background of Sek Yuen. He said that his dad had compiled a recipe book on authentic Cantonese dishes but it was lost during a flood many many years back. Such a pity! Throughout the conversation, we enquired more information on dishes that are almost never heard of today and Uncle Phang recommended the Stuffed Pig’s Intestine with Dried Scallops and Rolled Fish Maw. All the recommended dishes were already jotted down, to be ordered in our next visit to Sek Yuen.
The total bill came up to RM1,070 for the 8 of us. Pricey but definitely a memorable dinner cos I might not be able to find this dish elsewhere in the future.
Wong suggested to go for tong sui at the nearby Wai Sik Kai (Glutton Street). There are a few famous stall there including curry chee cheong fun, pork innards porridge, etc. I had a bowl of ice kacang while the rest ordered sugar cane with lemon. We saw a long queue at the grilled beancurd (Tauhu bakar) stall and so we joined the queue and ordered some to try. Not too bad but I prefer the version we had at Hoi Peng Restaurant.
After the Tong Sui, the Makan Gang decided to have hokkien noodles at a nearby stall further down Pudu street (near LRT station) which apparently quite famous. Too bad the stall was closed. Seems like everyone refused to go home and so we headed to Café-Café, located at Jalan Maharajalela (near to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) for coffee.
The place is very well decorated with nice chandelier and diamond like studs hanging from the ceiling. I managed to snap a few pictures before the waiter came and told me no pictures on the deco. I was like huh?? Not that I am going to steal their idea cos it’s way too exaggerating. Anyway..i like the setting of the place…so cozy and Victorian, with lights dimly lit, imported flowers on the table…definitely a very romantic place for lovers, fellow blogger Mei Yen celebrated her darling’s birthday here.
Was supposed to come here for coffee…somehow ended with a bottle of red wine, a cheese platter and a warm chocolate tart.
UPDATES: Due to Melting Wok's request, I enclosed Sek Yuen's address here:
313-1, Jalan Pudu, KL (non airconditioned)
315, Jalan Pudu KL (airconditioned)