I’m still in Kuala Kubu Bharu town and at a shop famous for Ulu Yam ‘Lor Mee’. It is a Hokkien dish of yellow noodles cooked with a thick gravy of corn starch, spices, meat and eggs. It also tastes sour as vinegar is added for the distinctive flavour. What is special about authentic Ulu Yam Lor Mee?
The yellow noodles are hand made or hand-pulled. According to chef and owner Lim Kwee Hock there is no artificial colouring, flavouring, preservatives nor is brine added. Brine creates the familiar love or hate pungent smell.
Now that you know, you may want to check out Restoran Xin Yuen Kee (non-halal) when you are in Kuala Kubu Bharu town. Lim’s grandfather opened the first restaurant in Ulu Yam Lama. A 2nd generation successor opened another shop in Batang Kali. Their grandson is operating this outlet in KKB.
It is not that common to see a third generation descendent interested in a family business enough to inherit the recipes and to cook. Young Lim and his wife Elaine operates this simple eatery by themselves. The Lor Mee and other dishes taste very good and prices are reasonable.
Photography Tip: Sometimes, the best food shots aren’t just on the table. Ask for permission and go for some unconventional or less seen angles in the kitchen. Traditional Chinese kopitiam kitchens are usually dark, moody and full of character.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 320, f4, 1/60 sec.
Chinese folks from elsewhere go to the Ulu Yam area for one main reason. To try the famous Hokkien ‘lor mee’ there. It is a dish of yellow noodles cooked in a sourish vinegar broth. Although the dish originated in Ulu Yam Lama, several other restaurants at Ulu Yam Bharu serve it.
Apart from the now third-generation original shop in Ulu Yam Lama, the other popular ones are Aik Koon and Hock Lay in Ulu Yam Bharu. The former was closed when I was in town looking for food, so I settled for the latter. Fermented acetic acid isn’t exactly my cup of tea; so I asked for another recommendation besides lor mee. The head waitress suggested their signature dish of Shrimps In A Coconut, which she claimed is their creation.
The prawns are cooked in coconut juice (coconut water) and not santan (coconut milk). As a result, the mild curry prawns have a very distinctive fragrance and unique sweet taste. It comes with a tom yum-like dip that is spicy and sour. Excellent fare and reasonable pricing from Hock Lay Restaurant.
Waitress is also talkative, informative and cooperative. She helped me move my food and gear to a darker and cooler corner after I finished photography at a brighter side. Although this dish has no pork in it, the restaurant is not halal. Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/250 sec. The nearest decent hotel is The Leverage Business Hotel in Rawang. Available from MyCen Hotels at http://www.mycen.my/