Not your average Chinese restaurant: Cheras’ Fatt Hei Len serves incredible specialties | Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Venture deep into any of Cheras’ many neighborhoods and you’re bound to find some local spots pumping out delicious food with absurd efficiency at an alarming rate.

These foods require a certain level of technical skill and rely on a person’s ability to source good produce, which belies the lesser appearance in these areas.



However, not like a more rough and ready dai chow kind of place, you’ll find tablecloths, air conditioning and a lazy susan on most tables at Fatt Hei Len Restaurant.

There are several airs about the place, underlined by the lively chorus of clanging tableware and rowdy diners, and the presence of many a young family a week; all of which clearly mark its status as a casual, cozy neighborhood favorite.

However, the food served here is suitable for even the most sophisticated settings.

The menu offers only a glimpse of the full repertoire of dishes here, with most specialty dishes available or tweaked on a seasonal basis.

The place is popular and packed even on a regular weeknight.

Who needs tasting menus?

The centerpiece of our meal was the Signature “Pau Heong” Rice with River Prawns (RM156 for a double portion). It is recommended that you call ahead to reserve this popular dish.

A swirling cauldron of bubbling liquid arrived: in it, giant freshwater prawns peered like Lovecraftian creatures and “explosively fried” rice was scattered with chunks of water chestnuts, carrots and peas.

The Signature Pau Heong Rice with River Prawns. It is not required, but it is recommended to call ahead and reserve it.

Neither casserole nor porridge, it eats like a consommé with millions of tiny croutons.

Golden, brown and delicious, the once crispy rice is stored well, resulting in a sticky, almost crunchy and candy-like texture.

Small slices of fish maw provide another layer of textural contrast, along with some strands of egg throughout.

Crispy rice, soaked in broth and taking on all kinds of flavors (left). A half-giant freshwater prawn, looking like a kaiju and ready to eat (right).

The sweet, delicate flavor of the crustacean dominates the dish and the flesh of each shrimp is delightfully firm.

Another highlight here is the Steamed Patin Fish in Yellow Wine, but when we called ahead, we were informed that the prized sultan fish was available.

Naturally, we chose the latter, which went up to RM90 for a portion.

The sweet, tender flesh gives way to the sweeter cooking liquid, which turns to a glossy sheen, resembling a glaze.

Notes of lemongrass, pickled chillies and ginger are prominent, as are the cooked sugars from the yellow wine which certainly account for the syrupy, savory texture and flavour.

It’s about a quarter of a fish, but there’s plenty of flesh to go around even just on this side (left). The fatty pork is so enticing, it almost begs you to take a bite (right).

Available at a seasonal price (RM46 for that night) and listed as “Special Pork Ribs” on the menu, the next dish is a large piece of fatty pork, drenched in a thick, caramel-brown sauce and a slice look. shimeji mushroom with two pieces of fried mantou on the side.

So rich, it will leave your lips feeling better than any lip gloss, the sauce also gets its delicious flavor from the use of fermented bean paste.

A really sharp eye or taste will find small slices of fish thrown in for texture; a demonstration of the small steps taken here that elevate food from good to great.

Rounding off the meal is a trinity of basic but superbly executed classics: Pork Intestine with Dried Shrimps (RM25), Salt and Pepper Squid (RM27) and Cheng Long Choy (RM17), otherwise known as green dragon vegetable.

I think you have pork intestines in your dried shrimp there (left). A classic, done well, never goes out of style: The Salt and Pepper Squid here is phenomenal (right).

It’s not easy to get cheng long choy right, but when everything else is so bombastic in flavor it’s easy to forget you even ordered it.

Springy and intensely delicious with every bite, the pork intestine is topped with a generous amount of dried shrimp.

Coated in a delicate batter that’s so light it’s barely there, the squid is perfectly cooked and tender, and the chef is incredibly generous with the garlic.

The vegetables were mild, retaining a slight allium flavor but probably overpowering everything else on the table a bit.

Bright red lettering beckons like a beacon in the darkness, leading you to a night of delicious food.

It’s a big meal, a filling meal and a delicious meal.

The mix of unique specialties and iconic classics stimulates the appetites of the body and mind: The dishes are interestingly dissected and viewed for perhaps the more discerning diner, but also simply delicious, which is perhaps the most important part. .

Having sufficiently annoyed ourselves, we rolled our way out onto the street, dreaming of our next visit.

Get Hei Len Restaurant

8, Jalan 30A/119, Taynton View Park, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur

Open every day; 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm

Tel: 03-9133 8985

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

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