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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Taiwanese Noodles & Rice Fare @ Lai Lai Casual Dining - Off Jln Kuchai Lama by FollowMeToEatla

Fragrant Stewed Beef Noodle - Tai Tao Steamboat in Kepong Klang Valley
   Fragrant Stewed Beef Noodle

Beef noodle soup is a Chinese and Taiwanese noodle soup made of stewed or red braised beef, beef broth, vegetables and Chinese noodles. In Taiwan, it is considered a national dish and the city of Taipei holds an annual Beef Noodle Festival, where chefs and restaurants compete to for the "best beef noodle" title in Taiwan.

Specializing in Taiwanese delicacies, Lai Lai Casual Dining serves this famous beef noodles which is originated from Sheraton Hotel, Taipei. In Singapore, they have quite a number of outlets that have been operating for the past ten years serving authentic Taiwanese cuisine. 

I was totally overwhelmed with the fragrant and aromatic beefy broth upon entering the restaurant. The aroma itself was just mouth-watering. This is the absolute proof of delicious and authentic food in the making! For a foodie like me, good food ought to smell good even before we savour it, right? 

The soup was savory and tasty, well infused with the flavour of beef, and I absolutely love the taste of the springy noodles. The dark beef broth is strong in herbs and spices, very flavourful and somewhat spicy with its pepperish undertones. The secret of a good stewed beef noodle is the broth, with the excellent chunks of tender braised beef. Springy egg noodles are served piping hot topped with chopped spring onions with a good combination of siew pak choy. 

Comfortable and cosy, the ambience in Lai Lai is just nice for family dining and busy office workers looking for a nice decent meal. This corner lot eatery is quite spacious with plenty of indoor and outdoor seatings available, so seating should not be a problem.

The word 'Lai Lai' is a Mandarin phrase loosely translated to mean "come on in” which is obviously a perfect name for this eatery but believe me, I think it is truly the aroma of the beefy broth that is really attracting hungry customers to come on in! 

Beefy-licious Noodles @ Lai Lai Casual Dining - Tai Tao Steamboat in Kepong Klang Valley
 Beefy-licious Noodles @ Lai Lai Casual Dining

Crunchy Starter: Pepper Salt Chicken - Tai Tao Steamboat in Kepong Klang Valley
   Crunchy Starter: Pepper Salt Chicken

One of Lai Lai's more popular side dishes was the Pepper Salt Chicken. This crunchy snack is basically small pieces of fried chicken thigh marinated with five-spice powder, cooking wine, soy, sugar among others and served with fried basil leaves. If you’ve been to Taipei and its many colorful night markets, you can’t miss salt and pepper chicken.

As a fan of Taiwanese fried hawker fare, I've sampled many salt & pepper chicken at different Taiwanese joints including the Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks ® in KL and the XXL Crispy Chicken in Taipei's night market itself.

Well, what do I think of this Lai Lai's version of Salt and Pepper Chicken? 

I found it pretty tasty in its own right. It was bursting with flavour and crisp. I especially love the fried Thai basil leaves that accompanied these crunchy morsels. The essence of salt and pepper chicken lies in the generous use of five-spice powder. Just right, not too salty or with an overwhelming taste of the spice powder. The chicken thigh was well marinated, tasted tender and juicy as it was very well fried ie crispy on the outside yet juicy on the inside. Best served hot. Price per serving is RM 7.80. These crunchy, appetising bites are always so addicting and I couldn’t stop eating them ! Yummy !

Photo of Tai Tao Steamboat in Kepong Klang Valley
Nourishing Herbal Dang Gui Duck Soup
 RM 14

I always have a great interest or liking to any food or dishes that is particularly good and healthy for the body. I was certainly very pleased to be giving an opportunity to try this nourishing Dang Gui Duck Soup.

Angelica sinensis or commonly known as dang gui is hailed as the Supreme Woman's herb. Lai Lai's duck soup was certainly atummy-warming soup with lots of health benefits. The medicinal properties really give this dish a healthy edge. In my opinion, duck was used instead of the usual pork bones because it makes the soup sweeter and thus, more tasty. 

The duck meat was tender and soft as it have been boiled or rather simmered for several hours with various nutritious ingredients, thus giving it a bittersweet aroma. It was served in claypot to retain its warmness. I would recommend this comforting herbal soup especially to the ladies or anyone who is feeling under the weather, needing some extra boost of energy ! 

** Simple & Good Braised Pork Rice ** - Tai Tao Steamboat in Kepong Klang Valley
   ** Simple & Good Braised Pork Rice **

My favourite of the night without a doubt was this really humble rice dish with pork, nuts and stewed eggs. It arrived covered in braised pork drenched in gravy, with a portion of stewed egg & braised nuts on the side, as well as a heaping of finely-chopped fresh celery leaves and some preserved mustard. Mix them all up, and the result was an amazing dish of sweet, savoury, warm and cold flavours and elements that work surprisingly well together. I really enjoyed the overall taste of this comforting dish. Delicious is the only word to describe it...

Simple and good, the pork loin pieces were soft and tender, drenched in the special sauce, bursting with delicious savoury, hitting the right spots. It’s really amazing how a simple dish like this can satisfy even the most pickiest eaters. Suffice to say that bowls were licked clean that night and I wished I had a bigger stomach for more rice as it was insanely good! A 'Must Try' dish for any rice lovers! Real value for money as it costs only RM 8.80 per serving.

Date of Visit: 2013-06-18

Location: 2G, Jalan Kuchai Maju 9, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 58200, Kuala Lumpur.

Phone    : 03-7972 6162 / 018-396 0122

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