KEPONG, March 24 — If I could, I would happily eat lui cha (or lei cha as it’s called at this stall) every day.
The soothing green tones of the soup. That assortment of vegetables — beautifully arranged and always reminds me of Korean bibimbap — makes my rice bowl a healthy meal. Each spoonful makes me feel virtuous.
While the lei cha may be good for you, most times it’s not tasty as it has a rather “green” taste. Some broths also use too much mint leaves leaving an unpleasant tingly taste on your tongue.
Hence looking for one that satisfies the healthy side, yet tastes nice is often an uphill task. Thus, I paid attention when a friend recommended Lei Cha Kitchen as a must-eat in her opinion.
You open packets of rice puffs and roasted peanuts to sprinkle on the Lei Cha for the crunchy element.
Located in the vast Restoran Sixty Three Kopitiam that spans three shoplots, this stall is run by a young woman. Started about two years ago, she had traded her graphic designer work to sell this good-for-you Lei Cha.
Her rice bowl comes with two types of rice. There’s white rice or a healthier brown rice. On top of the rice, you get an assortment of vegetables such as leeks, choy sum (the leaves and stalks), long beans, cabbage and rarely-seen four angled beans.
You also have black eyed beans, beancurd and preserved radish or choy poh. Every item is meticulously chopped.
Another flavour booster added to the bowl is a sprinkle of crispy deep fried small shrimps.
The green tea broth has a lovely fragrance that pairs well with the rice and vegetables.
Then you have the crunchy elements, packed in small plastic bags to retain their crispy texture. Perfectly roasted, skinned peanuts and fluffy rice puffs. Most places serve peanuts but rice puffs are offered by only a few stalls.
The vegetables are prepared in small batches to keep them fresh. As and when they finish, the stall owner will stir fry them to replenish her trays.
Each order sees her adding a little of the vegetables and topping on top of the rice for dine-in or takeaway.
Select from brown or white rice for your ‘lei cha’.
The rice puffs and roasted skinned peanuts are kept in sealed plastic bags (left). Look for the stall that is at the side of the restaurant just next to the road (right).
What I really enjoyed was her green tea broth. Her combination of green tea leaves includes a mix of peanuts, sesame seeds, Thai basil and mint leaves. It’s fragrant and there’s a nice balance of creaminess from the nuts and seeds.
When you get your bowl delivered to you, just add the peanuts and rice puffs. Toss it with the green tea broth and savour every spoonful of the rice with the various textures, sweet tasting vegetables and the fragrant broth. You get slight bitterness, sweetness and a touch of savouriness with each spoonful.
The corner coffee shop is vast with three shoplots.
My friends who also bought the lei cha to enjoy in their office gave it a thumbs up. Apparently she’s also generous with the green tea broth unlike other stalls so one can happily “flood” the rice bowl and vegetables.
The white rice lei cha is RM7.50 for a small portion and RM9 for the big portion. If you order the brown rice lei cha, it’s RM8.50 for a small portion and RM10 for a big portion. Takeaways are an extra 50 sen due to the container used.
Look for this sign to the coffee shop that is packed with various stalls.
Lei Cha Kitchen, Restoran Sixty Three Kopitiam, D-G-1, Jalan Metro Perdana 2, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 011-59756842. Open: 9am to 2pm. Days off depend on the coffee shop.
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