Saturday, 31 January 2015

Kim Lian Kee Restaurant @ Jalan Loke Yew, Cheras

Kim Lian Kee is a famous chain of Chinese restaurants that take pride in their Hokkien Mee. Having been started by Mr. Ong Kim Lian in 1927, they started their very first outlet at Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Today, they are strategically located at a number of malls in Chinese dominant areas in the Klang Valley. Once such mall is the Viva Mall that is located along Jalan Loke Yew in Cheras, which we visited today. Their Hokkien Mee is also listed as one of the top 10 Hokkien Mee's in the Klang Valley. Being a fan of Hokkien Mee, I have always wanted to try out their Hokkien Mee but never got a chance as I do not go to Petaling Street side often. As I was here this evening, the moment I sighted this outlet, it was a must try for me. 

Kim Lian Kee At Viva Mall, Cheras

Interior Of The Restaurant

A Brief Write Up on Hokkien Mee

A Short Write Up On The Petaling Street Stall
Their outlet at Viva Mall is located on the first floor. It is quite close to the escalator and therefore locating it is quite easy. They occupy two shop lots here and also have an open air seating space. We were here at a non peak hour and even then, they were operating at full house capacity. That was impressive. Despite the busy times, the staffs were quite fast to attend to us. The moment we walked in, we were greeted by a waitress who then handed their menu over to us. She then left us alone to decide on what we wanted to have.

Their menu was quite elaborate with a number of other food items which must have been recently added. Originally, this restaurant only had two or three signature dishes but over the years of commercialisation, a whole lot of other dishes have been included. We decided to stick with their famous dishes as we specifically came here for their Hokkien Mee. 

Summary Of Dishes
We then called the waitress over and placed our orders. Our orders were quite simple. Two drinks and a Hokkien Mee which is my favourite and another Moonlight Kuey Teow which is my brother's favourite. Once the orders had been finalised, she then disappeared into the kitchen and then returned with a summary of orders and placed it at our table. She also made sure to ask us if we do consume Pork. That is a lovely gesture on her part and we said, Yes. She did that as there are quite a number of Hindu's who do not consume Pork.

Coca Cola @ RM 4.50

Milk Tea @ RM 3.90
The prices here are definitely a premium. It is the most expensive Hokkien Mee restaurant that I have visited thus far and this includes the others on the same list of top 10 Hokkien Mee places in the Klang Valley. A can of Coca Cola was priced at RM 4.50 and a glass of Milk Tea was priced at RM 3.90 . The Milk Tea here is supposed to be one of their recommended drinks and to my surprise, it was a watered down version. There was no sign of tea or milk when sipping on this and all that I could taste was pure bland watery taste. For me, this deserves nothing more than 1/10 . A sheer disappointment. 

Moonlight Kuey Teow @ RM 12.90

Moonlight Kuey Teow @ RM 12.90

All Stirred Up
I was amazed to find this dish here as the only other place that I have seen this is at a similar Hokkien Mee stall called Leong Kee which is located at my hometown of Tanjung Malim. This version however did not taste as great as it seemed, nevertheless, it was still nice. Perhaps my expectations were tuned at Leong Kee's standards. I would rate this at 7.5/10 . A nice dish if your expectations are not great. Portions were good for two bowls (small Chinese bowls) and the price is definitely double of what I would usually pay at Leong Kee.

Hokkien Mee @ RM 11.90

Hokkien Mee @ RM 11.90
To my surprise (once again), the Hokkien Mee was not good. I am not saying that it was not as nice at this place or that place, what I am saying is that this was not good. It tasted very odd and was not up to it's mark. For me, this is a failed Hokkien Mee dish. I wonder why the crowd is so great here or have my taste buds gone wrong. Whichever it is, I would reiterate my stand that this is not good and does not deserve all the hype that has been built surrounding this restaurant. Perhaps, they were good in those days but definitely not now. Or perhaps they are still good at their original restaurant but not here. I am being nice by giving so many possible scenarios here but the crux of the matter is that the Hokkien Mee tried at this particular outlet today was not up to acceptable standards. When I checked the Foursquare reviews, it was confirmed that I am not alone. Every single review applauded the same message. In my opinion, this deserves a rating of 4/10 and nothing more .

Chili Paste With Belacan
Chili Paste with Belacan was also provided with the Hokkien Mee. This again was not up to it. Well, they had done this right up to the point of grinding the chili, once they added the Belacan, it was a dish that had gone wrong. They had added too much Belacan, perhaps to this batch which made it taste very odd and salty. I would rate this at 4/10 . 

Lunch In Progress

Bill For The Evening
Overall, I am not impressed with this restaurant. Not a single item that I tried this afternoon was up to it's expected level. Prices were exorbitant and the food was very ordinary, if not sub standard. The service however was very good and I should congratulate the waiters for that. I truly wonder if they had paid any money to you know who to get onto that list! Starting to doubt the validity of that list now. I know of so many other Hokkien Mee places which are not on that list and have way way better food than this. Definitely not returning!

Address: Lot 1-11, First Floor, Viva Home Mall, No. 85, Jalan Loke Yew,
                Cheras, 55200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2200 Daily

Telephone: +603 2032 4984


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