Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food: Sin Chua Kee Seafood Restaurant 新蔡记海鲜饭店 @ Kuchai Lama

For those who don't know, we're usually quite stuck when it comes to Chinese restaurants. We don't have the habit of trying many new places, and we tend to stick to the same restaurants once we find a good one. These days we visit Sin Chua Kee quite often to fix our Chinese food cravings. Take note the food in this post is compiled over multiple visits, which is why there are so many pictures in this one!

How to get here: Turn off Old Klang Road at the Pearl Point traffic light, go straight up the hill all the way till there's a row of shops on the left. Turn into the road, and at the corner will be Sin Chua Kee. Parking isn't a breeze but we don't usually have a problem with it. 

As a seafood restaurant, obviously they do a lot of crab and fish dishes, but their normal food is pretty good too! On a particular visit there, they had a promotion for individual bowls of Sharks Fin Soup. A few combs of actual sharks fin could be seen in each bowl of soup, which is rare for sharks fin soup served in cheaper establishments. The soup was a tad on the salty side, but it still was good value for money. 

When we have a crab meal, we also have a few noodle dishes to go with it. The Cantonese Fried Yin Yong Noodles is well done, as the fried noodles are crispy while the mee has enough 'wok hei'. I'll admit it was a bit on the salty side as well, and I usually have a higher tolerance to salt already. The portion is big enough to feed 4 with no problems. 

The saltiness continued with our order of a small plate of Hokkien Fried Noodles to share. The noodles were thick and toothsome, but unfortunately this was a again too salty for our liking. We suppose the chef was a little too heavy-handed with the salt on that visit. 

Having a go at their Stir Fried Kai Lan proved to be a wise choice, since the leaves are freshly sweet and tasty even though it's just a simple stir-fry. A distinct ginger flavour accompanies the vegetable as quite a lot is fried in too. 

The Steamed Fish we had that night was also excellent. The lady boss promised to pick us a nice fresh fish and she certainly didn't disappoint (though it was wasn't easy on the pocket, either). The flesh was soft and flaky but not crumbly, with the right springiness to indicate it's a fresh fish. Steamed with soya sauce, and it's a perfect combo to go with rice. =D

The Asam Squid at Sin Chua Kee was good, especially lathered over steaming white rice. The sauce was delightfully piquant and just sour enough to whet your appetite. The squid rings were fresh and bouncy with a good bite and the accompanying ladies' finger chunks were cooked well, through and through. The plentiful gravy was all lapped up. :p

On a separate visit we also tried a Butter Chicken, the nai yau variety done with curry leaves for that extra fragrance. This was acceptably tasty, but it was disappointing that the serving was smaller than we had expected and that the pieces of meat used were exceptionally bony.

We also tried their Stir Fried Tau Miu & Bean Sprouts. Tau miu, whom some also call sweet pea sprouts, is quite oft-unseen in the Klang Valley but always a welcome addition to the dinner table. Its plump green sprouts are firm and juicy and mixed with taugeh, or bean sprouts, made for a crunchy affair. This was simply fried with minimal salt and garlic so that you can still enjoy the fresh sweetness of the sprouts.

Sin Chua Kee also does a Mixed Vegetables with Lotus Root very well. The vegetables all remained crisp, sweet and crunchy, something Wendy wouldn't mind having on its own as a snack.

After all that, you're probably wondering what seafood we have apart from fish! Well usually every meal is accompanied by 2 kilos of crab, each kilo cooked in a different style. I have a penchant for butter and cream, so I will normally ask for Butter Crab, or Nai You Hai. Don't care whether it's the dry version or the version with creamy gravy, as long as there's butter! The buttermilk bits were excellent, stringy and fragrant. Greasy, but you will not be able to turn it down.

And because parents always say eating things steamed is the best way to enjoy the flavour, we will usually have a steamed crab too. In my family, it's not in our genes to eat small crabs; the time spent cracking tiny claws and shells open is not worth it for little bits of flesh, so we usually make sure the restaurant has big crabs before we order. Sin Chua Kee is one of the few places we can get satisfyingly big crabs (I think it's usually the Indonesian variety) at average prices (about RM40 a kg?). This variety of Steamed Crab with Egg was surprisingly comforting, with the natural sweetness of the crab flesh well preserved.

Other times when Mum gets her way, then I won't get my butter crab and Mum will get something spicier, like this Sweet & Sour Spicy Crab. Whatever style it is, the crabs here are always well cooked, and we have a jolly good time going through the lot! The sauce was great, tangy and appetizing at the same time.

Having the Sweet & Sour Spicy Crab will also yield some mantou for dipping! These small fried buns are a must-have during crabs to dip in the thick gravy. While we can't say these are the best mantou we've ever had, it's still done very well and we try to fit in as many as we can on top of everything else we eat at the same time. 

So next time a group of friends want to have a gathering, or a family dinner rolls around with no specific venue, think of Sin Chua Kee! Do come especially for the crabs and other seafood, as prices are reasonable and the food is far above average. =D

Sin Chua Kee Seafood Restaurant
No 47, Jalan Kuchai Satu,
Taman Lian Hoe, Kuchai Lama, 
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Te: +6 03 7981 6023

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