Motormouth’s First Toss to Better Times Ahead this Coming Dragon Year!January 10, 2012 | 3,917 views
Down in the Slumps? No problemo. Talk to Motormouth, and guaranteed you’ll get the BEST response. Ever. “EAT TIL YOUR GUT BURST!” Or maybe not.
Seemingly, everyone has started raving about the latest joints in town serving Yee Sang this and that, with premium ingredients thrown in for good measure. Typical lah … Malaysian mentality ma; “If mine is not better than yours, I make sure I throw in something funky and make mine stands out.”
I am a slow boomer. One with a speedometer fitted into a tortoise shell. Or maybe I’m completely out of the blogging scene for ages. Have I gone past my prime? Maybe. Maybe not. Though I’d like to believe that my passion for eating and writing still burns like the Olympic Flame.
Yes this was an invited review, extended by good old Chris herself. At this restaurant with the hardest to pronounce name (if you’re a banana like yours truly; yellow on the outside and white on the inside … and not proud of it); Ben Tdi Wei @ Centre Point. And this could be one of the simplest, back-to-basics and most delicious CNY feast I have had for ages.
Now, don’t get intimidated by the external appearance of the restaurant; with a signboard ONLY emblazoned with Chinese characters (Ben Tdi Wei = Local Delights), and a misleading assumption that this restaurant could have been a high class diner like any other within the vicinity. But this is not.
Now had I not read about this place from Chris’s post not too long ago; and the vivid images of luscious caramelized pork belly (better known as ‘char siew’) and crackling cuts of ‘siew yoke’ (roasted pork) came flashing by. Now Motormouth can be one very good candidate for Parkinson/dementia/amnesiac drugs, but at times, he can have picture-perfect memory.
After all, we WERE trained (tormented?!) to be professionals with an amazing regurgitating capabilities. You know conventional Malaysian syllabus; Read More, Remember More, Regurgitate All, Erase.
Salmon Yee Sang with Snow Pear, Mangoes and a few other fresh ingredients from the orchard. A sweet and slightly tarty sauce made up of honey and plum was drizzled; with an optional squeeze of lime for that extra zest.
Ben Tdi Wei offers TWO sets of choices for your CNY dining pleasure. One at RM598+ per 10 pax, and another at RM788+ per 10 pax. Also available for 6 pax, at about the same fraction of the price. I won’t proceed to list ALL of the dishes available in both menus, since they’re just a call away, or if you’re in Petaling Jaya, you can even drop by for a good old plate of wantan mee (with crunchy egg noodles sourced from a local supplier tailoring the texture of the noodles to meet an international expectation …. China’s, to be exact) or a heart-warming pot of rice with your topping of choice.
BTW (Ben Tdi Wei, not by the way) Two Combination. And by the way (pun intended), the combination can and will change on a day to day basis. And this makes dining here special; the chef (who’s nicked Sailormoon … don’t ask. Or you can, but put it in a good way, please!) has the final say in tweaking his recipes and dishes made from the day’s freshest ingredients.
We sampled the dishes from the second menu; the one priced at RM798+ per table of 10. Quite hearty portions, I must admit. Some servings are best for 12 or more.
1. Salmon Yee Sang with Snow Pear – A fruity twist to the usually saturated in vibrant colours combination of julienned vegetables and sometimes dyed ingredients. Here, they don’t believe in artificial enhancers as much, which is a plus in my books. Nothing to complain here, for the craving for a good Lou Sang all year can be a little daunting.
2. BTW Two Combination – We sampled the smoked bacon wrapped around a succulent chunk of fish paste made from mackerel, then coated with a sweet and sour sauce, AND the deep fried morsels named “German whiskers” or something. Or Dragon Whiskers-something. Sorry for the poor interpretation for I didn’t write down the details, but these were palm-sized rounds of soft beancurd embedded with crunchy bits of water chestnut.
Look Ma …. I drank my Homecooked Soup; but not at Home. Okay, at least half of this portion.
This was from the other menu (priced at RM598+ per 10 pax) but seemingly better for photography. If I did not project the right degree of mouth-watering sumptuousness and salivary gland working into overdrive, pardon me. It has been a while since I last flashed out my D7000.
Braised 10 Head Abalone (the 10 heads refer to how many pieces of the abalone that make up to 600gm or one ‘kati’) with mushrooms and supple, almost velvety smooth beancurd. And damn, the beancurd at BTW was good. Almost overshadowing the other ingredients thrown into the mix.
Loong Zhai Gai (roughly translated to Little Dragon Chicken, or rather Small Basket Chicken) is a poor man’s rendition of their “Pat Poh Ngap” or 8 Treasures Duck. This one plain screamed homely.
3. Double-Boiled Chicken Soup with Wild Ginseng (Pau Sum) and Dry Scallops – Now, I love simple soup with a heart like this. BUT …. and there’s a big BUT here. I hate the wild ginseng. The bitter ones that are supposed to be good for health, vitality and such. Though I was sure everyone enjoyed their portion.
4. Fried Red Snapper Rolls with Spicy Salad Sauce – Impressive presentation; of a fried red snapper’s head with filleted flesh used to wrap around the fish paste made from mackerel, then deep-fried and topped with a tangy mix of sweet mayo and ebikko (shrimp roes). Slightly bland in taste, though they served this with the side dipping of spicy salad sauce.
And how to end a Chinese feast/banquet without the compulsory RICE and VEGETABLES?
5. Braised 10 head Abalone with Mushrooms and Beancurd – Now this was one of the BEST dish that afternoon. Yes, everything was put together in an aesthetically-pleasant manner; with the 10 pieces of abalone standing out by the side. Their own made beancurd was top-notch, and I could understand how the owner’s son was so bewildered with them since small; supposedly cooked with angled loofah in more or less the same braising sauce. I would have been enamoured too.
6. Double-Boiled Kampung Chicken with Lotus Seeds, Red Dates, Ginkgo Nuts and Chinese Wine – Cooked to a tender texture in a huge (relatively) rattan basket; the well-flexed meat of the free range chicken could be an arduous task to chew for the elderly, but a toothsome bite for the young ones.
7. Stir Fried Kai Lan with Choy Po – Simple enough, crunchy stalks of kai lan simply blanched (or stir-fried, but you can barely witness the oil that went into this), then topped with a savoury crunchy of finely-chopped … or minced ‘choy po’ (preserved mustard).
8. Fried Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meat – How boring to end the meal with rice .. like any other Chinese wedding dinner? But not many serve theirs in a ‘sang chau lor mai fan’ method, with good cuts of waxed meats to boot. And BTW did theirs to a stellar quality, I must say. I was impressed, though many others had already wandered into la-la land from the taxing lunch.
9. Sweet Red Bean Paste with Lily Bulb – Nothing fancy, but done to a good consistency and reduced sweetness level. The other two desserts will NOT be in the CNY menu, though the Tofu Jelly can be ordered ala carte on usual days.
The people who run Ben Tdi Wei are also the ones running Extra Super Tanker @ The Club and Damansara Kim. Though BTW is positioned as a no-frills, homely premise serving honest to goodness fares. Not as intimidating as walking into another Oversea or any of the Chinese diners in 5 star hotels. You can even get a very decent, below RM20 per pax meal here for lunch.
And yes, this was my FIRST Lou Sang of 2012. Though I believe I won’t be tossing the omnipresent Chinese salad anymore until my Reunion dinner at Tuck Kee (remember to say HI!). Til then … I wish you HAPPY SHOPPING, EATING and don’t harbour ill feelings or grudges from the previous year to this.
“Loong Ma Jing San”
BEN TDI WEI (Local Delights) (Non-Halal)
Lot G1 & G2, Ground Floor,
3, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel No : +603-7727 7733, 7727 1811
GPS Coordinates : 3.138309,101.61008
*Call to reserve a table for your Reunion dinner, or on any of the days during CNY.
**This restaurant is beside KFC at Center Point Bandar Utama, and a few shops away from Starbucks and Baskin Robbins.
*Motormouth dined as a guest of Ben Tdi Wei’s management to sample their CNY menu. No monetary compensation was received in return for this review.