Monday 8 May 2017


All set for lunch

Pak Loh Chiu Chow didn’t use to be much of an option before when I was at Starhill Gallery during the lunch hour as it was difficult to order for one. 
So it was a pleasant surprise recently to find that Chef Alex Au had added a four-course Set Lunch menu, available weekdays from noon to 3pm.
Granted that prices still aren’t exactly what the average office suit will spend for the daily lunch but the dishes come in ample portions and one can taste Chef Alex’s passion in every dish. 

The price includes an appetiser of Mantau With Roasted Duck, main course, juice and fresh fruit. The mantau (bun) reminds me of Peking duck. The bun could do with more sauce; I ask and am given more in a saucer. 

Lemon Chicken Chop with Rice and Seasonal Vegetable (RM35)

Rice with Baked Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs and Seasonal Vegetable (RM45)

Pak Loh Chiu Chow offers mainly Chaozhou  or Teochew cuisine but to remain relevant, Chef Alex has designed part of the set lunch menu to appeal to Generations X and Y. Dishes such as Lemon Chicken Chop With Rice and Seasonal Vegetable (RM35) and Rice with Baked Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs and Seasonal Vegetable (RM45) will definitely draw the young crowd.
The former has rice with a whole chicken leg cutlet, battered and deepfried to a crisp and doused with a citrusy lemon sauce. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds gives it a nutty crunch.The Sweet And Sour Spare Ribs With Rice and Seasonal Vegetable are so well done the meat separates from the bone with ease. Again, the sauce is what whets the appetite here. There are only 2 ribs but each rib is wrapped with thick and juicy meat.

Rice with Braised Pork belly, Mui Choy and Seasonal Vegetable (RM45)

The older folks will appreciate Rice With Braised Pork Belly, Mui Choy & Seasonal Vegetable (RM45). Inspired by the Hakka dish of mui choy (preserved salted mustard leaves) kau yoke, the pork belly practically melts in the mouth. Still retaining a slight crunch, the mui choy gives the dish another dimension in texture and taste.

Fried Rice With Barbecued Pork, Prawns & Seasonal Vegetable (RM35)

Fried Rice With Barbecued Pork, Prawns & Seasonal Vegetable (RM35) is sadly disappointing. It’s hard to go wrong with fried rice but this dish is bland and lacking in flavour.

La Mian Soup with Bacon and Seasonal Vegetable (RM35) 

The la mian (noodle) dishes get my two thumbs up.  La Mian Soup with Bacon and Seasonal Vegetable (RM35) comes with a milky stock made by simmering pork bones for hours. It’s topped with coriander, corn, small diced carrot and slices of cured pork belly that have been deepfried to give it aroma and crisp.

Stirfried La Mian With Pork and Seasonal Vegetable (RM35)

Even better is Stirfried La Mian With Pork and Seasonal Vegetable (RM35). The nice thing about the la mian is the texture. It’s resilient and springy at the same time. Chef Alex fries the noodles with sliced pork, onions, kailan, scallions and beansprout before adding toasted sesame seeds for a finishing touch. Super yummy!

Slow-braised goose with Pork Fillet, Intestine, Ear, Egg and Tofu (RM45/RM80)

Stirfried kalian with Fresh Lily Bud and Halibut (RM40)
and (left) Pomfret Rice Congee (RM30)

Chef Alex also recommends some of his specialties which can be served within 10 minutes for the busy lunch crowd, such as slow braised goose (RM45/RM80) with braised pork fillet, intestine, ear, egg and tofu. My all-time favourite is the goose, a dish rarely found in Kuala Lumpur. 
But this time around, the Pomfret Rice Porridge (RM45) wins. OMG, this is so shiokalicious, especially for a Teochew moi like myself. Chiu Chow congee differs from the ubiquitous Cantonese congee in that the former features whole rice grains in a soupy stock while for the latter, the rice grains are boiled till they break down totally.Chef Alex uses three types of fish bones to prepare the stock: Grouper, red snapper and sea bass. Then just before serving, he adds deboned tau tai (silver pomfret). The fish is so sweet and velvety in texture. Bits of fried pnee hu (dried halibut) are added for extra flavour.
I just have to go back soon for another bowlful of this steaming hot congee or perhaps I will have Oyster Rice Porridge with Minced Pork (RM30).
I am not impressed with the Double Boiled Pork Tripe With Pepper & Salted Vegetables (RM25) which I find too salty but the Stirfried Kalian With Fresh Lily bulb & Pnee Hu (RM40) is refreshingly tasty.


Feast Village, Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-2782 3856
Hours: Opens daily, Noon to 11pm

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