Food

Roast duck (in all its forms) rules the menu at Bandar Menjalara’s Ming Kee Porridge


KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — Bandar Menjalara feels like a foodie’s haven with all manner of restaurants, bakeries and cafés clamouring for attention. It can be a challenge to decide on what to eat, quite honestly.

For those who don’t live in the vicinity, though, rarity (or scarcity, perhaps) can help focus one’s direction. At least that was the way for us, given we don’t make the trek here all that often.

Rather than try something entirely new, we make a beeline for Ming Kee Porridge. I have ordered from its Bukit Jalil outlet frequently in the past, particularly during the pandemic.

One of my favourite dishes back then was Ming Kee Porridge’s signature curry porridge with shredded duck. They serve a Hong Kong style Cantonese porridge, almost gruel like with its sticky consistency.

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This is elevated by the addition of simple, turmeric-heavy curry powder, a bit of non-spicy (to me, at any rate) oomph that pairs well with their roast chicken, thinly sliced with the crackling skin like matchsticks to soak in the amber congee.

Other versions of Ming Kee Porridge’s porridge are served sans curry powder; instead you have a choice of fish, frog, kampung chicken, oyster and peanuts, pork ribs, innards or siu yoke as accompaniments.

Then there is their other signature porridge, a humongous claypot of fried porridge for two, topped with seafood and siu yoke. When I last tried this, three of us struggled to finish it!

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Chopping the various 'siu mei' (roast meats).

Chopping the various ‘siu mei’ (roast meats).

Whichever variant you choose, you are rewarded with a generous mound of deep-fried pork lard atop the claypot of porridge too, not unlike decadent croutons.

After the lockdown, when everything reopened, I visited the Bukit Jalil shop a couple of times and then got distracted by the appearance of new eateries everywhere, mushrooming overnight.

Roast duck leg noodles with 'siu yoke'.

Roast duck leg noodles with ‘siu yoke’.

This is a post-pandemic experience shared by many, I assume. It takes some time for us to rediscover old favourites.

Or in this case, what is more akin to making a pilgrimage to an old favourite’s original shop.

Apparently Ming Kee Porridge’s main branch is at Bandar Menjalara so it made sense to drop by when we are in the neighbourhood. (Not to mention, that solves the headache of deciding what to eat around here — too many options, seriously!)

The restaurant is typically packed during lunchtime.

The restaurant is typically packed during lunchtime.

As with the Bukit Jalil outlet, we are greeted by the sight of roast ducks hanging behind a glass partition at the door front. This is the semi-open kitchen, and the first portion is where the sifu stands for hours chopping the various siu mei (roast meats) to order.

Now you might be eager to try the signature curry porridge with shredded duck. Who could blame you? It’s delicious.

But for first timers (not to mention purists), perhaps it’s better to begin with their roast duck… and to enjoy it in its simplest form.

Herbal tea and sugar-free soy milk.

Herbal tea and sugar-free soy milk.

This could be a platter of roast duck, the better to enjoy its crispy skin and juicy meat, or a one-bowl meal in the form of roast duck leg noodles with siu yoke.

While the restaurant is typically packed during lunchtime, there’s no fear of running out of this particular item (a scenario that might present itself at other places where roast duck isn’t the star item).

Service is pretty fast too. We quenched our thirst with mugs of herbal tea and sugar-free soy milk, and soon our dishes arrived in rapid order.

Blanched 'kailan'.

Blanched ‘kailan’.

Some greens in the form of blanched kailan (they had run out of choy sum that day, so we couldn’t have that with siu yoke). Málà style spicy noodles with shredded duck, which might be a tad heavy on the numbing Sichuan peppercorns.

Other tables busied themselves with wantan mee with different toppings of siu mei as well as a large claypot of porridge to share. (This seems to be the default ordering approach: noodles, roast meat and porridge. Come with reinforcements, i.e. family or friends.)

'Málà' style spicy noodles with shredded duck.

‘Málà’ style spicy noodles with shredded duck.

The menu at Ming Kee Porridge is huge and seems to be growing. The must-try list includes their steamed pork patty with salted egg yolk, “superior” three cup chicken (sānbēijī), sautéed chicken gizzards and kung pao frog.

But I can’t help but feel it is roast duck (in all its forms) that rules the menu at Ming Kee Porridge. And even this staple isn’t immune to reinvention.

I have yet to sample their new truffle roast duck, for instance, which appears charcoal black with accents of gold paper (how luxurious!). Something to look forward to on our next visit, for sure.

Ming Kee Porridge 銘記粥品

23, Jalan 3/62A, Bandar Menjalara, KL

Open daily 11am-9pm

Phone: 03-6262 7200

* 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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