KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — One excellent discovery from all that feasting during Chinese New Year was this gem of a restaurant in Cheras.
I am often sceptical about meals during the festive season as most times, quality is compromised as restaurants are heaving with people and the cost of ingredients seem to balloon.
However, Restoran 9888 Fatt Kee was the happy exception.
The chef here is quite creative resulting in dishes that are more than the usual Chinese restaurant fare. And most importantly, what I loved was it didn’t come with a hefty price tag.
As my friends were impressed with the dishes, we returned to sample newfound favourites and deep dive further into the menu.
Find the restaurant hidden inside this Cheras area
The restaurant is spacious with ample seats for big groups
We started off with a trio of starters, all recommended to us by the restaurant.
The Jellyfish with Shallot Oil Salad (RM40) and the Salt and Pepper Chicken Feet (RM20) blew us away.
Most places tend to serve tiny pieces of jellyfish which feels like a cop out. This place goes big with its jellyfish. Large, chunky pieces allow you to experience that all-important crunch.
Start the meal with this superb Jellyfish with Shallot Oil Salad that is crunchy and refreshing
It’s dressed in soy sauce laced with a fragrant shallot oil to pump up the flavour. The fresh coriander and chopped spring onions lightened up the whole ensemble.
We’re no strangers to the winning salt and pepper combination, a popular Taiwanese flavour. Usually chicken pieces are used but the switch to chicken feet is ingenious.
Salt and Pepper Chicken Feet is one delicious gelatinous mess you will get addicted to
The chef managed to pull off this dish, as each piece is super crispy on the outside but soft and gelatinous inside.
Sadly, the third starter was a dud. Instead of a four seasons platter of hors d’oeuvres, they had a two seasons platter. It was a medley that took us down a time tunnel with its mayonnaise drenched salad, fried yau char kwai stuffed with fish paste and bacon rolls complete with cherry tomatoes.
Two Seasons Platter was old fashioned and took us back to the past with its mayonnaise salad and bacon rolls
While the bacon rolls were good since anything with bacon is always tasty, the rest of the items were overpowered by the mayonnaise.
What we were looking forward to was the signature Pig Stomach Pepper Soup (RM98). The milky pork broth reminds us of a rich tonkotsu broth except it’s grounded with white pepper and tender pieces of pig stomach.
If you’re not an offal fan, there’s pieces of village chicken inside the pot too. Each spoonful of that broth is like a warm hug.
Nothing beats a comforting Pig Stomach Pepper Soup with that creamy broth
In recent years, suckling pigs seem to have almost disappeared from the tables of Chinese restaurants due to the price hikes. This restaurant’s version is glorious.
Each piece was topped with that crispy crackling so resistance was futile and diets crumbled after one bite.
Even the trotters and the head were so delicious that we didn’t end up with much leftovers to make porridge the next day. The whole suckling pig is RM388 and needs to be pre-ordered.
There was also a Steamed Patin Fish (RM165) paired with a lovely soy sauce that called for a bowl of rice. It’s pure comfort with flaky fish, soy sauce and hot rice.
Even the vegetables are given a unique spin here. Rather than serve the typical soupy spinach with salted egg yolk, they elevate it with a topping of deep fried spinach that gives a nice contrast of textures. Who says vegetables are boring? One portion is priced at RM38.
Under all that crunchy fried spinach is more spinach with an eggy sauce
Choy Poh Tofu is creamy beancurd topped with crispy crunchy preserved radish
The Choy Poh Tofu (RM20) was textbook perfection as the large cubes of homemade beancurd had a wobbly texture. The mixture of crunchy fried choy poh or preserved radish gave it a nice contrast too.
For the Soy Sauce Prawns (RM120), expectations were high. However we felt it was rather average as it lacked that sweet, caramelised soy sauce taste that makes this dish simply finger licking good.
Soy Sauce Prawns lacked that stickiness we crave for but the prawns are fresh and bouncy
End the meal with the jiggly, refreshing Coconut Pudding
Once the meal was over, it was time to clear the palate and the best way is by ordering the refreshing Coconut Pudding (RM7). The jiggly pudding is housed inside a large sized coconut so scoop it out with a little of the coconut flesh.
Restoran 9888 Fatt Kee, 111G, 113G, 115G, 117G, Jalan Cerapu Satu, Off Jalan Cheras, 3 1/4 Miles, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-92837889 or 018-3733988. Open daily: 10.30am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063973112943
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