Monday, April 09, 2007

Sek Yuen Restaurant

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.

Sharks' Fins oozing out....

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!!
Spoonful and spoonful of fins!!
It's like eating tanghoon

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.
Max interviewing Uncle Phang

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.
Ais Kacang aka Shaved Ice
Tauhu Bakar

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.
My pot of rosebuds tea
Cheese platter with a bottle of red wine....thanks to my Makan Gang who helpfully arranged the settings for me. Nice?
Warm Chocolate Tarts...errmm...don't quite like it.
All of us had a great time, of course most of our conversation were based on food…but definitely a great night out for all of us. Kinda looking forward at the next outing oledi….oh my my….I think I should start hitting back the gym asap.

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)
Tel: 03-92220903

29 comments:

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

And all these events happened in ONE night? *putting you on a pedestal* I doubt if my Makan Club will be as generous as your gang...RM800 for one dish is a li'l too much! Thanks to you, I get to see what the duck dish looks like. :-)

MeiyeN said...

whoaa...... so nice! da cheese platter looks yummy..... i wonder how come you wasn't allowed to take pictures as we'd no problems with that....

Live2Talk said...

wah wah wah :P the duck dish looks delicious but the price is so so expensive la! BTW, I had a $38 roasted duck for dinner last nite without any yue chi or farn si!

boo_licious said...

Think Uncle Phang is third generation running the show in Sek Yuen. What an interesting dish at Sek Yuen but I reckon I have overdosed on that place a bit as I have eaten there so many times.

I love the Pudu wai sik kai. The grilled tofu is supposedly good, came out in the newspapers that day. Ah, the Mun Wah Hokkien Noodles at Jalan Maharajalela. Ate there before we went to Cafe Cafe.

tankiasu said...

Wow..what a night of gluttony and wallet-slimming!! I used to eat at Sek Yuen once every fortnight but never knew bout that Duck with Sharkfin dish. Maybe my dad didn't wanna slim down his wallet! :P Kekekeke...but yea, I luv that restaurant. The boss is a personal friend of our family.

Tummythoz said...

*eyes wide wide* You & your makan gang can really do variety & volume! I kow-tow deep-deep.

I visit this restaurant quite often too. Incidently, a Ying-che (Big sister Ying) who took my orders did recommend a few old dishes to be pre-ordered for next visits. There's no menu but if we call, she promised to recommend, explain & describe. Yay!

As for that hokkien mee stall, I've not been since many years back. Very long wait and experienced very rude service. Is it still d same?

tigerfish said...

Dinner jia bei pa arh? Still can down the dessert? :O
But the sharks fins sure looks good! Does it taste like duck since it must have absorbed the flavors of duck in that 6 hrs of cooking?

Pink Elle said...

Wow! You ate all that in one night?! That duck dish sounds terribly decadent but delicious! Seems like there are lots of little gems in Pudu! And I'm longing to try Cafe Cafe!

Someone who is constantly craving said...

Wah..sista we need to go out and eat 1 day...got application form to enrol to your makan gang ar??

Xiu Long Bao said...

u guys really noe how to enjoy good food! wonder y stomach havent explode? So if not for the sharkfin, the bill will only comes up to RM200? I think dat is pretty reasonable for 8.

myCoffee said...

Wow, what a gastronomic night!

mama bok said...

Hey.. PP,
After converting to Canadian dollars.. it's at 44 bucks a pax.. and that's very reasonable.. by canadian standards.
Next time i come home.. i join you .. ok.. ;)

babe_kl said...

so scrumptious! there is anther stuffed duck dish at sek yuen, 8 treasure duck, shld be kinder to the wallet :D

Melting Wok said...

woww *hands down* really, you ordered all the authentic dishes there huh, for tt price, it is so worth it :) The duck is taking over 8 treasures duck I guess hehe, btw, you mind listing the address & ph. no. down for those ulu ppl. like us here ? hehe :)

jason said...

OMG... such satisfying eating experience! I prefer to go for the 'pat pou ngap' cos pity the shark le :P

KampungboyCitygal said...

I also steam my rice one..Lazy to wash the rice cooker..So im curious..did u eat the stir fry 'snow peas'??

Precious Pea said...

lyrical lemongrass: Yep...all in ONE night. Crazy isn't it? I find the duck pricey too but i guess it's a once in a lifetime thing.

Meiyen: I like the goat's cheese but not the blue cheese. I also have no idea why taking photos of the deco is not allowed. Maybe they don't appreciate people admiring their taste? Hehe.

live2talk: You can make some farn si to go with your roast duck ma...aiii.

boo: If not mistaken, Uncle Phang is the 2nd generation cos he mentioned his dad actually started off with the restaurant. By the way, can i have the link to your post on sek yuen so that i can link you as well?

tankiasu: Yah..very wallet slimming indeed...in fact, the wine session in cafe-cafe also costs about RM300+ so it was a very expensive nite-out.

tummythoz: When are you going? Remember to take down the name of the dishes and then give to me yah. Am eager to try their pak poh duck also. Didn't have hokkien noodle as it was closed that nite.

tigerfish: Eat full full also must eat dessert, only then, it's a complete meal. Hahaha...after tong sui..wash down somemore with coffee and wine...then it's 100% complete..hahaha. Oh yes, the sharks fins full of duck taste, in fact, the gravy was so flavourful..we didn't waste even a drop!

pink elle: Yesyes..all in 1 night. Terrible gluttons aren't we? I glanced through Cafe-cafe's menu, not too bad. Oh yes..Pudu full of food. Tried Farmland Porridge steamboat before??

Constant Craver: Brotha, no application requires, but you would need to go through some assessment and probation, need to see your level of gluttonness before we recruit you. Hahaha...ok?

Xiu Long Bao: Tummy getting very big oledi..got to korek out my Uzap to zap away some fats. Talking about the price, i heard their pricing quite reasonable and i find their serving size huge too.

mycoffee: :) yeahh....super satisfying!

mamabok: Hahaha..oh yes, my sis in Aust always say food that is pricey to us, is so cheap for them after conversion. Not only that, even have the money also they can't get it there..same goes for you too rite? No prob, let me know when you come back ok?

babe_kl: Heard about the duck, maybe next visit. According to a fren, their pei pa duck also not bad. Aiyyooo...too many food, too little money.

melting wok: Opppsss..you want address ar? Hehe...let me find out then i update my post, ok?

jason: You don't take shark fins? Aiyoo...'mou dak sik' lagi pity ar. Hehehehe.

KampungboyCitygal: Hahahaha....no wor..I picked all the sweetpeas instead as i prefered the sweetpeas than snowpeas..sweeter and crunchier. ;)

Kay said...

i like the tea pot! but that tart looks weird!

boo_licious said...

two links:

http://masak-masak.blogspot.com/2007/02/chinese-new-year-feasting-sek-yuen.html

http://masak-masak.blogspot.com/2006/12/old-style-chinese-dining-sek-yuen.html

jason said...

Precious Pea: I take la but some ppl say eat shark's fin not ecology-friendly mar. Maybe eat first, thnk later? LOL

wmw said...

Wah lau....food galore! Thanks for the pic of the Duck Swallow Fins, an eye opener!

Someone who is constantly craving said...

we shall see one day la..arrange for an assessment..let me head to the gym for some spare calories 1st..

Precious Pea said...

Kay: Teapot nice hor? I am trying to search for one like this, very nice when serving flower tea.

boo, thanks. Will link you up soon.

Jason: But to me, sharks are mean, if it see you swimming in the ocean, it won't think twice whether to eat or not to eat you..so what's the problem with us eating them back? Hehehe.

wmw: My eyes were wide wide opened when i saw the duck too!

Constant Craver: Eat first, gym later ma. BTW, which gym you going?

babe_kl said...

yes pei pa ngap is their specialty!

franklew said...

great knowing you guys,.. here's my makan contact, lewfrank@gmail.com. Max keep thanking me for the night and ask when is next.?

Any interest on Nong and Jimmy,? (Thai seafood BBQ at taman Nirvana, Pandan Triangle) I'll arrange that. they use to do lovely fried rice with genuine thai fragrance rice. and there;s a yau cha gway stall that sells good Yau cha gway with pandan dip sauce.

The gathering is more important than food really.

Precious Pea said...

babekl: Ok, let me convince my Makan Gang to try this dish on our next visit.

Precious Pea said...

Hi Frank,

Thanks for leaving a comment in my blog. Paul and I had a great time too that night and we certainly looking forward to the next.

Yes..totally agree that the company is more important than food. Hmm..why not we meet once a month? Need to elect a leader oledi..haha.

Thai seafood BBQ sounds interesting..so when when?


Perhaps...we should arrange for a monthly gathering, what you thing?? By the way, where is Taman Nirvana?

Melting Wok said...

PP, thanks ! :)

Precious Pea said...

melting wok: Most welcomed :)

 

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