The art of dining
HOUSE OF CHINA,
33 Jalan Metro Perdana 7,
Taman Usahawan Kepong,
Kepong Utara, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6259 9909
Business hours: Daily, 11.00am to 10.00pm
THE tagline ‘Art & Dine’ fronts the House of China restaurant in Kepong and stepping in, it’s easy to see why.
Chinese antiques and art pieces greet guests and a large wooden door panel adds to the fascinating decor of the outlet.
“We bring in a lot of antique pieces from China, like the replica of the Guan Yin from the Soong Dynasty. You can tell the era it was from because of the seating position of the Goddess of Mercy,” explained owner Steven Goh.
He said his chefs from China also create dishes with a touch of art in them to make the gourmet experience more interesting.
“One of my partners is a trained fine-dining chef so he’s always creating interesting dishes while maintaining the authentic taste of the dishes from China. He’s meticulous when it comes to the quality of his cooking. The only adjustment we made is cutting down on oil and salt in the food,” he said.
One such dish was the Century Tofu (RM10), hand-sliced into very thin pieces, arranged in a geometric design and drizzled with a special chilli oil and topped with century egg.
“We want our customers to enjoy quality food of fine-dining standards but at an affordable price and in a casual atmosphere,” said Goh.
One of the restaurant’s signature dishes was the Peking Duck, priced at RM68 per duck or RM43 for half a serving.
“The sauce and pancakes are prepared by our chefs. Unlike ducks served in Hong Kong which have only the skin, what we have here is a layer of fat to give it more flavour. Our chefs personally select the ducks for our restaurant so that we get only the best,” said Goh.
He said the duck had to be prepared two days in advance and would recommend customers to make advanced orders, as only a limited number of the birds are served each day.
Each order also includes the remainder of the duck meat and bones, with an option to be cooked in a soup or deep-fried in salt and pepper.
Another of the outlet’s signature dish was the Heavenly Chicken, cooked with pork knuckles and served in a claypot. It is priced at RM48 for a whole bird or RM28 for half.
The tender chicken had a dark gravy that tasted almost herbal, and went well with a hot plate of steamed rice.
Goh also took pride in their Sweet and Sour Rabbit Fish (RM32), which was a deep-fried tilapia in tangy sauce and a hint of citrus.
The “rabbit” head was created out of the fish belly and Goh said that it took a lot of skill on the part of the chef to debone and carve the fish before it can be deep-fried.
“We also serve good Tong Po Pork and the thick layer of fat just melts in the mouth,” he said.
The Imperial Tong Po Pork is priced at RM8 per serving and the savoury sauce goes well with the hand-made steamed buns at RM1 per piece.
Goh also recommended the Pumpkin Salted Egg Yolk, which were slices of pumpkin fried in a salted egg yolk paste.
“We import the egg yolk from China because the quality is just different from the ones we get here.
“In fact, we also import the dried chillies that is used in many of the dishes,” he said.
The dried chillies from China were plump and contained much more oil, making it spicier than the local varieties.
The House of China also serves dishes like the Eel with Pear, Hongzhou Style Mui Choy, Xihu Lotus Roots, Sichuan Mapo Tofu and Paku Special, many of which were different from the more common Cantonese cuisine found in local Chinese restaurants.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.