Being part-Teochew (Chinese: 潮州市), I’ve always looked out for good Teochew food. And it’s quite a challenge to find Teochew food in Kuala Lumpur, where Chinese cuisine is overwhelmingly Cantonese, with sprinklings of Hakka and Hokkien influences.
So, imagine my euphoria when I came across Teo Chew Lor at the Starling Mall. “Teo Chew Lor” translates to “Teochew Braise” in the Teochew dialect. The Teochews love soy-braising their meats, usually pork, duck or goose.
We started off with some chwee kueh - steamed saucer-shaped rice cakes, topped with chopped pickled mustard stems. This dish is very common in Singapore or Bangkok, which have large Teochew-Chinese communities, but almost impossible to find in KL, so this was quite a treat. The version here was firmer than what I’m used to having in Singapore but, like they say, beggars can’t be choosers.
The other appetiser we ordered was the ngoh hiang - minced pork, scented with 5-spice, and wrapped in bean-curd skin and deep-fried. Quite a standard rendition here.
The main course we had was the typical Teochew mixed braised platter, which consisted of soy-braised duck-meat, tofu puffs, hard tofu, pig’s intestines, pork rind and hard-boiled eggs. Quite a respectable version here. Taste-wise, it didn’t measure up to the good Teochew restaurants in Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong at all. But, by KL standards, this place was a find for this dish.
One can order either plain rice congee, steamed white rice or, as we did, quite flavoursome yam rice to go with the mixed braised platter above.
Our obligatory vegetable side dish order was stir-fried bitter-gourd, with egg & shallots, flavoured with oyster sauce.
For dessert, don’t miss the Teochew or nee - sweetened, mashed taro (Chinese yam) with mashed pumpkin and gingko nuts.
Overall, the standard of Teochew cuisine here left much room to be desired. But I’m just too amazed at finding this place here in a very accessible part of KL. Definitely will be back again for more Teochew.
Teo Chew Lor (潮州卤)
Level 2, S-225, The Starling Mall
6, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +6011-6070 3943
Opening hours: 10am-10pm daily
[CHECK WITH RESTAURANT FOR ITS OPERATING HOURS DURING THIS COVID-19 LOCKDOWN PERIOD]