Not too long ago I received an invitation from a blog reader asking me to go check out some food served in Restoran Pin Chou.... somewhere in Klang.
I had no idea where this place could be ... so what did I do? I turned to Google Maps. I absolutely love Google. I think Google is one of da best things to have ever been invented on planet Earth! Dang - I can find out just about anything in Google! Just like the other day when my boss asked me how to curve something in Powerpoint (having just changed over to Vista) and when the "Help" function didn't really help much, all I did was turn to Google and typed "How to curve bla bla bla...." and hey presto! I got everything I needed to know and my boss thought I was such a whiz too...LOL!
Anyway, where was I... I digress too much (it's Google's fault!)... ahh yes, Pin Chou. So this was what Google maps dug out for me:
112 Jalan Pekan Baru, Kawasan 17,
Off Jalan Meru,
41050 Klang, SELANGOR, Malaysia
... together with a map to the place.
But then when DL saw the map, he said "no need for map la, i know where it is!" Oh well...
So that was how we found ourselves in Pin Chou. It's tucked somewhere behind Klang Parade, Off Jalan Meru.
So what's so special about this place? It looks like any other kopitiams, right?
Well, we discovered that here lies that very-famous Thong Yuen (glutinuous rice balls) of Klang! Thong Yuen is traditionally eaten during the Winter Solstice ("koh toong") celebration, after the harvesting time in China, usually on 22 December of each year. The Chinese believe that once you have eaten thong yuen on "koh toong", you are actually one year older! And "koh toong" holds more significance than the Chinese New Year, actually.
"Taste with Jason" (that Astro food program) also recently featured them and that episode was actually shot in this location.
This Thong Yuen business started a long time ago and the original stall was in Port Klang town but I heard that is no longer in operation. The stall here is run by the daughter while the mother has another outlet somewhere in Bukit Tinggi, Klang.
So what's so special about the Thong Yuen? Well, for one, the dough was smooth but pliable so you get the right amount of "chewiness" and "bounciness" there without being too tough or stringy. You can choose to have the smaller ones, without filling... or the bigger ones with sesame paste filling. Now what I like best about this dessert is the gingery gula melaka-flavoured soup. With just the right amount of sweetness, drinking this soup will give you that nice warm tingling sensation in your tummy!
Now besides Thong Yuen, the only other item they serve here is Mua Chee. This is made from glutinuous rice dough, sweetened, steamed and then rolled in crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Well, that's how most Mua Chee are served. But ... the "value-add" factor from this stall here is they also serve it with Coconut shavings which had been cooked with gula melaka! This is what differentiates it from others and I must say it works - it works so well that LL has been pestering me to go back there again just for this!
Make sure you press the Mua Chee hard on the coconut-peanuts-sesame mound to get as much yumminess as possible, haha!
OK, so I started with the dessert. That's because I think that's the attraction in Pin Chou.
But if you need more substantial stuff to fill your tummies, Pin Chou does serve up some good eats. There are about 12 stalls in that kopitiam in the evening. In the morning/afternoon, they have a different group. Well, if you find yourself there in the evening, these are the recommended good eats...
Fish Head Noodles (RM3.50-5.00) ... you can opt to have milk added to the soup, like this...
... or without milk... Clear Soup, like this...
I like the pieces of bittergourd added in - gives a refreshing (and not really bitter) bite to the whole experience. Fish fillet/fish head pieces were fresh and portions were generous. Fried pork lard - "chee yau char" - were liberally sprinkled on top of the noodles too! Good value, I would say.
The "Kon Lou Loe See Fun" (rat tails noodles, dry-style) (RM3.50) was another recommended item.
Initially the bowl of plainwhite noodles and minced pork didn't really look appealing. "Mix it up and you will see!" - that was what Simon (my blog reader) advised. "The secret is in the minced pork", he added. OK... I followed his instruction and boy, he was right! Subtle flavours of garlic, pork, lard and maybe some secret ingredient, rendered the plain loe see fun into delightful mouthfuls - good old comfort food. Oh, the noodles come with a bowl of assorted yong taufu too.
Simon further recommended the Loh Bak ...
... and Chicken Rice....
... both of which I found to be just OK bordering on mediocre. Order these only if you are still hungry, after gorging on the first few items mentioned above!
Oh, I must also mention that Pin Chou is one of the few kopitiams around which has actually installed a good cooling system in their premises so you will have a pleasant cooling experience there, unlike the hot & humid environment found in most kopitiams.
Well, I would go back to Pin Chou for the Thong Yuen, for sure! I'm sure LL is just waiting to go as well.
Thank you, Simon, for the kind invitation and recommendations - we had an enjoyable evening there :-)