Sunday, 1 March 2015

Restoran Mr Keng @ Hulu Bernam, Selangor

Restaurant Mr. Keng is one of the most recently opened Chinese restaurants in Tanjung Malim. If I am not mistaken, this restaurant is just about a month old now. Previously, this unit was occupied by a Steamed Chicken Rice restaurant which I have blogged about before. Somehow, every business that opens up at this premise closes down in less than six months. I am not sure if the vibes are not too positive here. Anyway, coming back to this establishment, it is located directly facing the entrance to Kampung Bota Singh which is on the Ulu Bernam side of town. We were here for lunch this afternoon and surprisingly, when all the other restaurants in town were full house, these guys were chasing flies. I never judge before trying out a place and assumed in good faith that this is so because not many people have actually come to know of this place yet. When the boss saw us, he gave us a huge grin, walked up to the entrance, greeted us and invited us in. Wow, that definitely gave a red carpet feeling. 

Restaurant Mr. Keng in Ulu Bernam, Tanjung Malim

Opening Hours and Contact Information

Outdoor Seating Area

Outdoor Seating Area

Indoors

Indoors
The premise had not changed an inch since the last operator. I believe that this guy must have purchased the business log, stock and barrel. Well, when all the furniture is almost new, why spend money buying new one's all over again. That makes perfect business sense to me. The restaurant was very clean and tidy and that surely impressed me.

Chinese Tea @ RM 0.50 per Glass

The Menu
Once seated, we ordered our drinks and then continued to study their menu. Our drinks were then prepared by another staff and sent over to the table while we were having a conversation with the owner on the food items. We ordered three glasses of Chinese Tea which was priced at Fifty Cents each and a Coca Cola which was priced at RM 2.00 per can. Reasonably priced. Now coming to the menu, they had a single page laminated menu which highlighted their Signature dishes with no prices revealed and the other dishes were not listed or to say, there was no other menu available for us to refer to. Most of these Signature dishes were unique to this restaurant and some of these items are not usually available at other restaurants in town. These are items like the Sabah White Crabs, Mountain Region Tilapia etc. From the conversation, I could feel that this guy was trying to push as many dishes possible to us and he was not considerate as to the number of pax. Even when I was talking to him about Tofu, he kept promoting some expensive Tofu and kept saying that other Tofu's in town were cheap ones and he doesn't have them, more like in an insulting tone. Even the Tilapia that he had were premium ones. I truly wonder how premium can Tilapia's be. When I asked him how much a Tilapia dish could be, he indicated that a big one would be around RM 30+ while a smaller one would be much lesser. Well, that did surprise me as the going rate in town is around RM 10 up to RM 25 maximum. Well, I am sure that he was trying to promote his items but the tone of his voice could be interpreted as being arrogant by some. Perhaps, it is because of this reason that the local's do not come here. For me, it just felt like a very desperate business man. We then finally settled for three dishes to go with White Rice. 

Garlic

White Rice @ RM 1.50 Per Plate
Within 15 minutes, the dishes were ready and one by one, they were being delivered to the table. We ordered two plates of 'large' rice and two plates of 'small'. The large one was priced at RM 1.50 and the small ones at RM 1.00 each. 

Kangkung Belacan @ RM 6.00

Kangkung Belacan @ RM 6.00
The first dish to arrive was this Kangkung Belacan which was priced at RM 6.00 . This is a staple dish for us whenever we dine at any Chinese Restaurants as both my father and brother love this dish. Here, the portions were lavish and the price of RM 6.00 is definitely considered very cheap. Commonly, the going rate for this dish in town is around RM 8.00 . I found the taste to be good, in fact quite good but surprisingly both my brother and father did not like it. Well, this is an acceptable fact as taste buds differ from one individual to another. Nevertheless, as for this review, I am going to stick to my taste buds. As for me, this was a good preparation and I would rate this at 9/10 .

Bean Curd with Vegetables @ RM 12.00

Bean Curd with Vegetables @ RM 12.00

They Too Use The Standard Japanese Tofu
Their Bean Curd dish was priced at RM 12.00 . Their portions for this were standard and even the vegetables used were of the standard variety. Nothing great to mention about this dish. I found this preparation to be okay but once again, my brother and father did not quite like it. As for me, I would rate this at 6/10 . Nothing great at all, just a plain standard dish. And after all the clarification earlier, he too had used the 'cheap' Tofu. It was just like any other Japanese Tofu that one could buy off the shelf, in fact it was just that!

Steamed Tilapia Fish with Chili Paste (Cheong Cheng) @ RM 34.00

Steamed Tilapia Fish with Chili Paste (Cheong Cheng) @ RM 34.00

Steamed Tilapia Fish with Chili Paste (Cheong Cheng) @ RM 34.00

The Dish Done
The fish to me looked like any other Tilapia Fish and the meat tasted pretty much the same too, not like those river fish that has a slightly firmer meat. The preparation however, was very good and this again is based on my taste buds. The rest at the table didn't find this to be impressive and I had to end up finishing the dish. It was okay with me as I truly liked it. The price of RM 34.00 was shocking. I called the guy and mentioned that earlier, he had said that a big fish would cost RM 30+ and a smaller one much lesser. Since this was a smaller one, why is it still priced at RM 30+. He then answered that the big one is priced at RM 39.00 and the smaller one was priced at RM 34.00 . Well, lunch was already done and at this point, it made no sense in starting an argument with him. He too was very soft with his answer and even throughout our meal, he came up to the table twice to get our feedback on the food and to check if we needed anything else. Therefore, I just let it go. Taste wise, I would rate this at 8.5/10 .

The Bill
On the whole,our lunch today was okay with me but the rest didn't quite enjoy it. Perhaps it was not up to their taste buds. Prices for the first two dishes were reasonable if not cheap but the fish was definitely too expensive. I could have had two Fish dishes for the same price elsewhere in town. Would I return? Maybe, but it would not be a place that I would come often, perhaps twice or thrice a year just for a change of taste. I truly hope that they reconsider the pricing of their seafood dishes or else, knowing the local folks, these guys too might end up having the same fate as their predecessors. 

Address: Shop C, Jalan Kilang Papan C, Jalan Besar Ulu Bernam,
                35900 Hulu Bernam, Selangor, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 1200 - 1500 and 1700 - 2300 Daily

Telephone: +6012 378 1469

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