Food

In Puchong, Yee Kee Porridge nails silky-smooth porridge and Hakka classics like salted chicken and vinegar pork trotters


PUCHONG, June 23 — With uber-fancy lighting fixtures and warm hand towels provided on entry, Yee Kee Porridge today is a far cry from its humble origins.

The restaurant started as a stall in the Seri Kembangan wet market in 1975 before moving into a shop in 2010. Rapid expansion over the last decade has led to four additional locations, with the first outpost beyond Seri Kembangan in Puchong receiving a glamorous makeover in 2022.

It was here that we found ourselves impressed not only with the porridge, but also by several dishes from the “Chef’s Recipe Series” portion of the menu.

Most of these had a Hakka tilt, reflecting the restaurant’s roots in Seri Kembangan. We’ll touch on these later. A porridge restaurant is going to be judged first and foremost on its porridge, so we ordered two varieties.

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First, the “freestyle” porridge with three toppings (RM16.50) — we opted for minced pork, century egg and salted egg. It came absolutely loaded with wedges of both types of preserved eggs and plenty of just-cooked mince, ripe for your choice of white pepper or sesame oil to garnish.

Second, a small portion of the classic pork intestine porridge (RM9.50), which also came with slices of pork heart, tongue and deep-fried intestine with five-spice powder. The little fritters of offal are a delightful triumph in texture.

Pork intestine porridge with slices of pork heart and tongue thrown in too.

Pork intestine porridge with slices of pork heart and tongue thrown in too.

In both dishes, the base porridge is cooked in classic Cantonese fashion; lush, thick and velvety smooth. The flavour profile is delicate and marked by a clean, savoury taste, likely fortified with some sort of bone broth or stock.

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From the “Chef’s Recipe Series”, the herbal salted chicken appealed most to us, but it was only available as part of a “chicken duet delicacy” (RM34) with a single, lonely fried chicken wing.

The braising liquid in the herbal salted chicken is divine when ladled over porridge.

The braising liquid in the herbal salted chicken is divine when ladled over porridge.

Even by my gluttonous standards, I’m not a fan of being strong-armed into food that I had no intention of eating, but we got it anyway. The wing was decent, fried with red fermented bean curd, or nam yu, but nothing to shout about.

The real gem lay in the braising liquid of the chicken, which burst with the distinct flavour of chicken, layered amongst slightly bitter and medicinal notes. This stuff was screaming out to be drunk by the gallon.

The vinegar pork trotter (RM34) was just as good, if not better. The dark, rich liquid packed a punch that inspired a puckered lip or two at each sip.

This fierce black mass of vinegar pork trotter is as comforting as it gets — if comfort includes coughing fits.

This fierce black mass of vinegar pork trotter is as comforting as it gets — if comfort includes coughing fits.

If allowed to sit for too long, all the collagen and fat threaten to curdle into an even thicker mass, though a coughing fit awaits if one takes too big a spoonful. Be brave, though, and be rewarded with one of the better versions of this classic Chinese confinement food.

It’s clear there’s a lot more to Yee Kee than just porridge, though you certainly won’t be disappointed by sticking to the hits. But when the herbal salted chicken and vinegar pork trotter taste as good as they do, why limit yourself to just porridge?

It’s a lot of fanfare for porridge, but they more than back it up.

It’s a lot of fanfare for porridge, but they more than back it up.

Look for the black and gold sign

Look for the black and gold sign

Yee Kee Porridge Restaurant 余记粥馆 (Puchong)

27 & 29, Jalan Kenari 22, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Open daily, 11am-11pm.

Tel: 03-8080 3719

Facebook: @YeeKeePorridge

Instagram: @yeekeeporridge

* This is an independent review where the writer paid for the meal.

* Follow us on Instagram @eatdrinkmm for more food gems.





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