Esquire Kitchen @ Sungei Wang Plaza

This is review #5 out of a 13-Part Food Blog Post Series from my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from the 4th - 9th August 2011 :)


This restaurant is one of my dad's favorite whenever we are in KL. I guess the Hokkien term of "You Phi, You Chi" (aka cheap and fresh) applies. I won't say the food here is "cheap" but I suppose for the location, convenience and again, air conditioning (lol) the price of food here is actually quite reasonable compared to most other restaurants. The standard of Chinese food here is pretty good, which is why as a family we keep coming back whenever we're in the big city.


The menu is well presented and offers a huge variety to choose from. You can tell by the menu that the restaurant also targets non-Chinese speaking tourists... so many mouth watering photos to help people make their decisions on what to order!


Our family of 5 people have decided to go for smaller portions so we could order more dishes to share. Starting with the Braised Pork Belly, which was everything I look for in this dish - soft, melt in your mouth pork belly and a good soy broth to go with plain steamed rice.


Whilst the Lemon Chicken is a highly commercial dish a lot of Chinese people refuse to accept as "authentic" in Australia and the dish is mostly targetted at non-Asian diners in Western countries, let me assure you that I grew up eating Lemon Chicken in Malaysia and it is so different compared to the "non-authentic" Western Chinese takeaway version. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly, but the Malaysian Chinese version of Lemon Chicken is cooked in a different batter (tastes so much better!) and the sauce is not as thick as the overly starched sauce sold in Chinese takeaway shops in Australia. I love Lemon Chicken and not ashamed to say it!


The Szechuan Styled Sea Cucumber Soup was fairly cheap on the menu, so we thought we'd opt for a big bowl to share. You can choose to add Chinese wine into the soup to enhance the flavour, but obviously not for me. The soup was nice and hot, with a slightly thick texture and strong flavors of Chinese mushrooms, herbs, egg, thinly sliced meat and sea cucumber. Yum!


Next came the "Gai Lan" which is a type of Chinese vegetable cooked in Oyster Sauce. This is a standard "green" dish we as a family would usually order - and something dad would also cook at home, or similar. Oyster sauce is very popular when it comes to cooking vegetable dishes in Chinese cuisine as it hardly ever disappoints and the flavors work so well together!


Another dish we almost always cannot miss is the Claypot Egg Tofu aka Japanese Tofu. This tofu is pretty much the only tofu we like to eat. I'm not a big fan of soy-based tofu, don't like the taste and texture. Egg tofu aka Japanese tofu is so different! It doesn't have that strong soy taste, instead a more neutral eggy taste and the texture makes a huge difference - egg tofus are extremely soft as opposed to the more solid texture of soy tofus. To keep the egg tofus from splattering everywhere, you first coat in cornflour and fry to seal the tofu so the softness stays trapped inside. So what you normally get is a crunchy outside and soft inside texture... yummy!


Finally, the Deep Fried "Garoupa" Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce. I love dining at authentic Chinese restaurants as the art of sharing the dishes itself is a special experience on its own. Everyone knows I'm a huge fan of the fish head, so I normally end up finishing up aka cleaning up the dish whenever it's a whole fish. Deep fried fish minimizes wastage as most of the bones and fins have been fried to absolute crispiness so you can eat it! The sweet and sour sauce compliments deep fried fish beautifully almost every time.. and it's amazing because it's such a simple dish to cook yourself at home, yet looks so impressive. Aahhh that's the beauty of Chinese cuisine, it's actually a lot easier to cook than it looks!

Esquire Kitchen
Address: 
99 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Lot 144, 1F Sungei Wang Plaza,
Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: (603) 2148 4506

3 comments:

  1. I use to go to this place when i was 5. I love their kaya kok

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  2. I visited this restaurant with my family on christmas eve . The food was quite nice but the service was TERRIBLE . First we were greeted by this 'black faced order taker' who maybe thinks he worked there for very long & when we ordered a lotus root soup he immediately said sold out . So we choose other soup instead . As we have few kids around we asked for small bowls & cutlery but was shocked when this waiter told us we don't need them as our order was only noodles & rice ! When we were about to leave we saw the table beside us having lotus root soup . Its a very BAD experience & we sure won't b dining there in future

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