Search for Hokkien rice pudding leads to discovery of the best braised pork trotters

Search for Hokkien rice pudding leads to discovery of the best braised pork trotters

If there is a bucket list for my Food Trail, that would be the Niah Ker (Hokkien rice pudding), which is considered an "endangered" dish in the country.

I came to learn about this from master urban cyclist Sin Tai Lim, who also runs a food blog (www.tailim.blogspot.com), after conducting a basic off-road cycling workshop for folding bike enthusiasts recently.

Sin led a group of hungry cyclists to Pak Thong restaurant Jalan 1 off Jalan Abong in Kepong Baru, Kuala Lumpur to give the Niah Ker and some pork dishes a try.

The food was so good, it was worth a return visit.

So, I recently made a follow-up trip to Pak Thong restaurant to try the legendary Niah Ker, but there was none.

The lady boss told me that this Hokkien delicacy is produced by an elderly woman.

"We only get our supply, which is scarce, on weekdays and weekends.

"During Chinese festivals, the por-por (granny) will take a break and there won't be any Niah Ker," she said.

We had to settle for some other dishes that the restaurant offers.

I ordered their hallmark dish: the lou chee keok and chee chap (braised pork trotters and entrails) including the chau yee thau (fried garoupa head).

The pork trotters here are second to none, so, on the Samo-scale, it's a 10 out of 10.

I can say the same about the chee cheong (pig's entrails) and chee chang (pork shoulder), which were really tasty.

I found the fried garoupa head to be also decent and this makan place is generous with its spring onion garnishing.

Our bill for four persons, including the main course, extra bowls of rice and a pot of Chinese tea, came up to RM93 (S$36).

This is pretty decent for lunch in Kuala Lumpur and since the food is so good, it's definitely worth another visit.

I hope that by the time I get there again, the Niah Ker will be available.

Pak Thong restaurant (N 03 12.607, E 101 38.738) opens daily for lunch from 11.30am onwards and is closed on certain days to observe Chinese festivals.

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