Friday, November 4, 2016

YummY! - Old Chinese Flavours @ Sek Yuen (适苑酒家)

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Old Chinese Flavours @ Sek Yuen (适苑酒家)

Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - October 2016
Sek Yuen is one of those places that has become sort of an institution, one that many can say, "My grandfather took me there when I was a kid". Founded in 1948, it has been around for decades. And will probably be around for much longer because the food it serves is pretty good; simple, old-style and good.

Sek Yuen is housed in an old design building, if one pass it during the day, on may miss it; but at night neon lights (from the night club style thin tubes) lit it up colourfully and conspicuously.

Inside, the trapezoid ceiling is surprisingly high, and two main rows of tables with wooden chairs line the hall. All this does give that aura of being transferred back in time...
More on history later, let's look at some of the food!

First to come was one of their signature dish: Roast Duck. We had one whole duck just for the seven of us. But no worries, with it's crispy skin and tender meat, we were able to wallop all of it.

The skin is just nicely done, with a crispy upper layer and a juicy lower layer, and the good thing is that there is no layer of thick duck fat under the skin. There is just enough fat to exude into the duck meat to enhance its smell; the meat is very tender too - no hard biting required.

To complement the calories burnt during our cycling, we had some noodle dishes, starting with this slightly spicy fried meehoon which was very nice, one with just a tinge of spiciness.

Their Kong Fu Ying-yong - ying-yong meaning a mix of hor fun (flat rice noodles) and mee hoon (vermicelli). This is also one of the better Cantonese Fried Ying Yong I have tried, with the hor fun fried with a slight burnt texture and aroma.

Another signature dish - Braised Pork Trotter.
The trotter used here was not that the "hand" so had less fat but was still very good. 

Tip: request the captain to cut the trotter. They cut it into nice, manageable chunks. With this cutting, one can select the part suitable for one self, whether with more fat or less. Whatever the case is the trotters here have less fat than usual. And the braising is done just to the point that the skin is bitey tender but not slurpy soft (as opposed to the way most other places do it).
Taste wise it's good, as for the bitey part, it's up to individual tastes.

Another noodle dish - Kong Fu Sang Min. The noodles used for this one is the thinner one which had been deep-fried. The gravy is similar to the Ying-yong one.

Sek Yuen decor, is actually old and don't have to be forced like those newer joints that try to have that authentic feel. On the walls are old photos of the place. This one showing the closing of a old type folding grille; the grille is still there and operable.

This on shows the captain taking orders from a customer. He is still there, although looking much older and still wearing the traditional "Pagoda" t-shirt.

And this one is of the kitchen, with cooking done in huge woks over timber fire.
Presently, cooking is still done the same way and using old timber for firewood. Most of the chefs are still there.
Yes, as a friend put it Sek Yuen still have that "old smell" flavour to it.
"Old smell" does not mean the place smells old, it's an expression to say that cooking is done in the traditional style and have retained the "old tastiness".

Just at the entrance, a red paper lantern with and antique porcelain one next to it.

... and the five-foot way further along with symmetrical arches painted in bright colours.

The "main" Sek Yuen is non-airconditioned. For those who want to dine in a cooler environment (but miss the authentic old setting), next door is the air-conditioned section.

315, Jalan Pudu, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Phone: +603-92229457 / +603-92220903
Hours: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm  |  5:30 pm to 9:30 pm  (Closed on Mondays)
GPS: 3.13561, 101.71212

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Ah Mah House Sekinchan
When in Sekinchan, don't just visit the paddies and seafood shops; drop by this place and have memories stirred of a past by-gone era and childhood days.

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