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Located on the ground floor at the Atria Shopping Centre, Ying Ker Lou is pretty easy to locate, especially if you are coming from the xxx entrance of the mall. The restaurant is a favourite among families, not just for celebrations but even for a regular lunch or dinner meal. There is also a private room, where we were seated, for groups who intend to have a little more privacy during their meal.
To start the Hakka feast, try the Taipu bamboo shoot dumplings with minced pork. While the skin of the dumpling may be a bit too thick, the bamboo shoot and pork filling are absolutely divine! Another must-try dish is the stir-fried carrot cake with Chinese sausage. This is perhaps one of the best versions of carrot cake you will taste. The carrot cake is so flavourful on its own and the addition of bean sprouts, Chinese sausages, spring onions and eggs, elevates this dish to a much higher level.
The Hakka penchai with sea cucumber and scallops is a signature dish here, and for good reason. It is made for sharing with the smallest portion feeding between two and three people. The dish is definitely a feast for the eyes. Served in a deep metal pot, the base of the dish is rice noodles, which are topped with an array of different seafood and meats. The prawns were coated in flour and deep-fried, giving them a deliciously crunchy texture. The scallops were cooked to perfection and tore apart ever so gently when cut with a knife. The steamed chicken was moist and flavourful, while the pork was marinated with a range of herbs and spices giving it a wonderful fall-off-the-bone texture. Other notable dishes on the penchai included a deep-fried clam roll, springy sea cucumber, soft tofu topped with fish paste and, crunchy broccoli, which gave the dish a lovely pop of green. When all the meats and seafood were eaten, tucking into the noodles at the bottom of the pot, which were flavoured with the meat and seafood juices, was an absolute delight.
The next dish is the mussels with salted egg. The sauce was creamy and rich, however, mussels may not have been the right choice of seafood as they are a tad chewy. Still, a dish delicious dish, no doubt.
The caramelised barbecue pork is another must-try. With crispy, caramelised edges thanks to its rich marinade including hoisin sauce, brown sugar, honey and Chinese five spice, and just the right amount of fat on the meat, this dish is a winner.
Ying Ker Lou serves a limited selection of beer but what is recommended is not its alcoholic beverages but the premium blend of Chinese teas. The popular options are the oolong tea and pu’ er tea, which are both very refreshing after a hearty meal.
The service here is great. The waiters are attentive and always within sight, in case you need anything. They are also quite knowledgeable about the menu and can make recommendations on popular dishes.
For this Hakka feast, the cost was a little more than RM400 for three people. Money well spent considering the penchai itself was a combination of so many types of seafood and meat.