Here I am back with my weekly dim sum postings! 😀
If you have noticed, I have been attacking dim sum for 3-4 weeks in a row. I’m not sure what’s gotten over me; I mean I love my dim sum but I normally only go once a month at most. Dim sum, like “tai chow” (chinese big fry/stir fry … aka simple chinese restaurant with food cooked upon order) requires a group of 4 pax at least to allow sampling of a minimum variety of the range a dim sum joint normally offers.
For 2, you’ll probably sample the most, say 8 dishes?
The last few weeks I have had a few fellow foodies who happened to be game to join me for my dim sum escapades. Ahh….just perfect! A table of 4-5, gorging on 15 – 18 plates of dim sum. Weekend mornings doesn’t get any better does it? :DD
My current target of dim sum joints are the old -school, simple and affordable ones. In the coming weeks I might be targeting the ones in hotels, but that’s only a plan for now. It would be hard to find partners willing to fork out a minimum of RM30-RM40 per dim sum session versus the ones we had for the past few weeks, where each session costs about RM10-RM20 max per pax.
Kong Mah came to me as a suggestion by a friend. Though he doesn’t blog as often now, Leo’s food postings had always leaned towards the old, traditional chinese restaurants, mostly hidden and undiscovered but offers unparalleled values and taste. I must say his experience in this category made me consider his suggestion to Kong Mah rather seriously.
Arriving at 730am, the outlet was rather quiet and there were absolutely no patrons. I was surprised, having had the impression that such dim sum restaurant would be bustling with diners; with families and old folks sipping tea and reading the newspaper by 7am.
The wait staff regard us rather curiously and one of the senior staff (well, she did seem more authoritative) showed us to a table and proceeded to take our orders for tea. The rest opted for chinese tea (as how a dim sum session should be) while I was thrilled when she said they serve “milo”. Yes, sue me. I don’t drink unsweetened tea.
The ritual here is the same, baskets of steamed dim sum comes around, take your pick and it’s placed on your table immediately. We had the usual, siew mai (pork dumpling) in 2 variations and steamed pork in black bean as well as steamed pork with yam.
Clockwise from left: Steamed pork with yam (utterly delicious! Do order if you’re here), steamed pork in black bean (can skip), siew mai in chilli sauce (please skip! pork dumplings swimming in diluted chilli sauce?? what were they thinking?) and lastly the original siew mai (so-so).
There can’t be too many meat dumplings for a dim sum session they say. As if the above wasn’t enough, we had another order of Salted Egg Siew Mai. Yes, typical Chinese of us to go weak at the sight of salted egg yolks.
I’m happy to say this was the best out of the lot. So my advice? Skip the rest of the siew mai earlier and zoom in on this if you have space for only one portion of siew mai.
This sui kow in soup was enticing but turned out to be quite bland.
The customary har kau (prawn dumpling) was passable. Have any of you ever ate those where there’s a layer of starch covering the prawns inside the skin? I hate those!
Fishballs are a must for me but this rather creative looking one didn’t quite pass the taste test. It lacked the fishy flavour and the texture was rather firm. I want my balls bouncy alright?? 🙂
Oh, in case you can’t make out the “wrapping” over the fishballs, it’s actually fish maw.
More fish. I was rather unhappy that I didn’t get to eat good fish balls. This one is a mixed paste of fish and pork with some vegetables/herbs, stuffed in a lala shell. It fared better than the previous fishball as the seasoning and pork helped to impart some flavour. The lala (shellfish) was rubbery from being oversteamed so I suggest that you ignore it.
There’s something irresistible about bacon. However you can give this a miss since Kevin said the black pepper sauce wasn’t any good. I avoid black pepper so I’ll just take his word for it.
If you have to have bacon, go for this. They messed up the black pepper version but dishes out a mean BBQ one.
Juicy pork paste inside! 🙂
Here’s my next attempt at fish. This one came wrapped with beancurd sheets and steamed with ginger. Loads of it.
It turned out to be a mix of fish and pork, but heavier on the fish flavour-wise. I liked it and was duly satisfied after that.
Both Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice sheets/rolls) and chook (congee) are also essential benchmark of a good dim sum outlet. Below we have the char siew chee cheong fun and Kong Mah’s only option of congee – pork and century eggs.
My test of good chee cheong fun – smooth, slippery sheets with premium light soy sauce and spicy chilli. The sheets were alright, but the soy sauce was overly salty and the chilli lacked oomph. The Jinjang dim sum outlet does it so much better!
This however, beats Jinjang’s version hands down. Thick and flavourful gruel with crispy fried onions on top, it was addictive but rather filling so go easy!
Note: I doubt they are fried onions but since I only took a spoonful and I actually skipped the fried bits, I couldn’t tell fro sure. Anyhow, Kevin ordered this and he said it was fried onions.
How could we possibly skip the char siew pau? That was my first order once I sat down! 🙂
Kong Mah does a mean char siew pau. Do remember to order if you’re here!
We had quite a bit didn’t we? Well, there were 4 of us that morning so we made good progress!
Kong Mah’ dim sum is well above average, worth a visit but not significantly memorable nor would it ignite any serious cravings.
The variety is impressive though, just that there are more misses than hits.
Oh, if you haven’t yet noticed, I usually skip the fried items during my dim sum sessions. However, exceptions are made for “wu kok”, the deep fried yam puff. Fortunately for us, Kong Mah’s wu kok was totally worth the calories! 😀
Kong Mah’s beautifully wobbly egg tarts are noteworthy too.
Kong Mah is clean with spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas. Ventilation is good so there isn’t a need to worry about excessive heat. Service is a bit shaky as the wait staff aren’t the most initiative bunch. It wasn’t busy throughout our 2 hours visit but we were not served with further varieties even after we have finished our selection on the table. It took some effort to get their attention too.
From what I observed, the handling of food are carried out hygienically so that’s a plus point.
Total Bill: RM80.00 shared by 4 pax. 17 items/plates.
Good variety thus ideal for big groups as everyone would be able to find something that they fancy. I won’t mind re-visiting to sample different items but the urge to re-visit is certainly not as strong as the one in Jinjang.
Restaurant Kong Mah Sdn Bhd – Dim Sum
Sg Buloh New Village. Oppo. the morning market.
GPS: N03° 197727′ E101° 567986′