These deep fried baby whitings are delightfully crisp with a tangy chilli and onion salsa.
But the best part is the crunchy head so full of flavour.
I am back in this wonderful food haven that is Malaysia. Stay tuned as the next few blog posts will take you on my gastronomical Food Safari Kuala Lumpur 2015.
Though food can be found in just about every corner of Kuala Lumpur, one needs to know where to go in order to discover great dishes.
More importantly, it can also be tricky getting around KL due to heavy traffic conditions and roadworks so I meticulously plan my eating trails around this city. Lets face it, when you are on vacation and there is so much food, what to eat, where to eat, when to eat and how much to eat become very strategic questions everyday simply because there is limited time AND calories.
It’s Mother’s Day today and I am having lunch with my family. And when it comes to food, my parents are a lot more discerning than the average food lover. While this could limit the choice of places to dine, I am always assured of great flavours and the occasional new discovery.
Restoran Eight Treasure, Kuala Lumpur
You know a restaurant is good in Kuala Lumpur when the operator takes over a second adjoining shop lot and we are seated in the new area today.
The dining room is fully air-conditioned which is an important aspect of dining in warm and humid tropical climate in Malaysia.
Stir-fried lala clams
The first dish of stir-fried lala clams is simple yet impressive.
These lala clams are smaller, more elongated and flatter than those used for spag vongole back in Australia. The combination of garlic, julienne ginger, spicy fresh birdeye chilli and crispy bits of har mai shrimp is magical.
A generous splash of Chinese cooking wine gives these clams a good bitter edge without being overpowering. This is the first of so many good dishes that I would gladly recommend.
Braised hairy cucumber and glass noodles
My two little nephews JD and Tristan are hungry and being pescetarians, a braised hairy cucumber and glass noodles with crispy bits of har mai shrimp is right up their alley.
Flavours are clean and fresh since it’s almost a vegetarian dish though a little boring for me as I continue my search for bold flavours during this food safari.
Sweet & sour pork
The classic sweet and sour pork looks good with chunky pieces of cucumber, tomato and Spanish onion.
It’s one of my dad’s favourite but since this dish is rather common in most Chinese restaurants, I refrain from it to conserve precious calorie consumption.
Deep fried sha chui or baby whiting
The first thought that comes to my mind upon seeing deep-fried sha chui is why haven’t I seen them in Sydney restaurants. Perhaps there is size restriction in Australia because these baby whiting are pretty small compared to our King George whiting in the Sydney Fish Market.
We order nine of these sha shui and they are delightfully crisp. A chilli, garlic and onion salsa is tangy with a squeeze of lime juice but the best part is the crunchy head so full of flavour.
These little babies would be a hit in Sydney as I can imagine all kinds of awesomeness especially when paired with chardonnay, riesling or icy cold beer.
These pale green chillies come from Thailand and they are stuffed with mince pork and fish paste before being flash fried.
“Be careful as they’re quite spicy” KK tells me.
I take a bite and though there’s a spicy hit, it barely makes a dent against my super threshold for chilli tolerance.
Egg yolk and calamari
The subtle taste of calamari is a perfect blank canvas when coated with salted egg yolk.
Gently flash fried, the calamari is soft and fluffy but so rich and decadent.
Beancurd and fish paste
Steamed beancurd is soft and velvety with fish paste and special soy sauce.
Drizzled with crispy garlic and diced shallots, this dish is Malaysian comfort food at its very best.
Braised eggplant or yong tau foo
Braised eggplant and soft tofu are stuffed with fish paste and gently braised in oyster sauce, garlic and black bean.
Apart from decadent pork belly, eggplant cooked this way is possibly the only vegetable capable of giving me eye-closing moments.
This restaurant serves well-executed Chinese food and if you’re a first-timer here, you won’t go wrong with my recommendation of stir-fried lala clams, deep-fried sha chui, beancurd and fish paste and yong tau foo.
So dear readers, which is your favourite Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and which dish would you recommend there?
Restoran Eight Treasure
20, Jalan Waras 1, Taman Connaught,
Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 9130 1066 (Kathy Yap) / +612 2717077 (Jenny Yap)
Opening hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Note: Malaysia recently introduced a Goods & Services Tax of 6%.
Food prices shown above are BEFORE GST and service charges. This restaurant imposes a 4% service charge on menu prices.
In addition, a GST charge of 6% is imposed over and above the menu price AND 10% service charge.