RESTORAN XIN WAH
QP 27, Queen’s Park Retail Centre,
Jalan Shelley, Off Jalan Peel,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 019-267 1037 (Ooi Bee Fah)
Famous K.L. Bat-Kut-Teh Spot
By Catherine Chia
By Catherine Chia
Many good street food stalls, coffee shops, restaurants and food courts are found along Jalan Peel. This road is dominated by the Chinese enclave but there are a spread of Malay food stalls and a sprinkling of Indian eateries. This area could not be more diverse and similarly with the varieties of food found.
I liked the food found at Xin Wah and it has come a long way since I first ate at their little stall several years ago when I worked in Pudu Plaza. Early mornings left me with little choice for breakfast and it was always food at this little hawker’s place along Peel Road for claypot bak-kut-teh. The stall had a huge tree as shade and the whole place was free of perimeter. Gentle breeze in the mornings can be so refreshing as you eat in a casual atmosphere. Well, with everything added in, it gave the place its own distinct character. But soon enough, the stall was dismantled by City Hall. They relocated further down the street. It was stationed next to a car accessories shop along Batu 2½, Jalan Cheras. It was known as Restoran San Wah then and soon became a one-stop centre for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their menu expanded and so did their patrons. We have introduced this place to reader before (Y3K issue 19, page 56) and brought many friends to savour their food.
Now the restaurant has moved once more and is now a mainstay at Queen’s Park Retail Centre, a complex off Peel Road which has a fair bit of Shopping under one roof. The management gave Restoran Xin Wah (change of spelling) utmost support. They reserved the corner section of the double level lot for them and even cordoned a small section of a private road to allow the placing of extra tables and chairs. Many old-timers just like to have their meals under the trees. As branches interwined, leafy canopies are created giving a rustic feel. Don’t you like to hear the rustle of leaves (they don’t normally end in the soup stock). The breeze has lured us here many times for meals.
This renowned K.L. style bak-kut-teh is far from ordinary, if you ask me. Claypot stock has a very appealing taste. Belly pork comes with a firm bite, spare-ribs are softened nicely without the meat falling off. The hot boiling stock has a simple garnish of coriander leaves. We liked a few of their signature dishes like ginger wine with pig’s liver and kidneys, ginger paste steamed fish, simple stir-fried sweet potato leaves, rice wine village chicken. They have other noted specials like braised whole pig’s trotter, white steamed village chicken. The restaurant here is bigger than those in modern food courts and lady boss is all smiles as she told us that business is now better than ever. Thanks to them, a hive of activity goes round the complex.