Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Precious Old China - Nyonya cuisine

My office is located near Petaling Street, and is a short walk away from one of my favourite restaurants, Old China Cafe. It's not so much the food that appeals to me, but the feeling that I get when I push open the swinging wooden doors and find myself in the dark mirrored room with old chinese music playing in the background and a rickety old table fan in the far corner of the room. Perhaps it will be the subject of a future restaurant review.

But for now, my review is on its sister restaurant, Precious Old China. Located in Central Market KL, it seems to target the tourists rather than locals. But since I am no expert on property markets and locations, I shall keep my two cents worth to myself. BUT if one thinks of restaurants in Central Market as overpriced tourist traps, then he will regret his decision for not giving Precious Old China a chance to prove itself.

We decided to go to Precious Old China last Saturday night. Precious Old China serves predominantly Nyonya (Straits Chinese) food. And at times like this, I claim my "chinese heritage" by saying that this type of cuisine is the stuff my grandma used to cook.

For starters, we decided on the Ju Hu Char and Pie Tee (top hats). Both these dishes have the same type of base, i.e. shredded sengkuang and dried shrimps. The Ju Hu Char has an added ingredient, i.e. dried cuttlefish. The Ju Hu Char was served with lettuce, where one can make cute little popiahs by wrapping the ingredients, and sambal belacan, in the lettuce. I thought it was great, but Gard and Olav found the smell of either the cuttlefish or the sambal a little overpowering. Something about the smell of a barn....? The top hats were also DIY and the outer layer was nice and crunchy.

For our main course, we ordered Kari Kapitan (Chicken), Beef Rendang and Sweet and Sour Fish (Olav's special request). The Kari Kapitan was rich and creamy, the beef rendang was tender and not too pedas, and the sweet and sour fish was up to Olav's expectations. :-) Yummy bario rice, naturally coloured with blue sweetpea flowers and cooked in santan (coconut milk), was served together with the dishes.

I love the decor at Precious Old China. Uncoordinated antique furnishings, glass chandeliers and huge vases add an opulent touch to the restaurant.

Further information can be found on the website:

After that very satisfying meal, we proceeded to SevenEightNine at the Ascott (see earlier review) and got ourselves drunk on cocktails.

Precious Old China

Restaurant & Bar, Lot 2, Mezzanine Floor, Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.

Reservation: 03-22737372

Fax: 03-22745687


boo_licious said...

Wow, bario rice with bunga telang sounds good. We didn't see that the last time we were there. I love their Kari Kapitan. No desserts, their sago gula melaka is so yummy.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Oh yes, the bario rice was even delicious on its own! I like the sago gula melaka at Old China (Petaling Street). If it's anything like that, I'm gonna order it at Precious the next time I visit.