When Frogs Meet Clams … (Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant @ Ara Damansara)December 9, 2010 | 14,246 views
Fine time to be writing a piece on KL food for a change? Yup, almost a week now since I have settled down here in the city pumped with adrenaline from dusk til dawn. Still have yet to fully go on an eating spree, for unlike Ipoh, food hunting in KL can only be done after office hours (if you’re lucky and not caught in the jam for hours, or stuck in the office staring into the blank soul of a computer wishing to close that deal), OR on the weekends or public holidays.
That is, if you’re still left standing from the 5 tormenting days of tough, labourious work.
Nah …. I was exaggerating. Truth is, almost everyone is in the holiday mood. From school children to working adults desperately seeking to clear their remaining leave, I wouldn’t be surprised if the traffic double come 2011.
Anyway, enough rambling already. Set that napkin into place and let’s do this, once more. Drool with me, people ……
Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant has its history dating back maybe a decade or two ago, growing immensely popular since their days at the Subang airport. With a name like Lala Chong, you might have been thinking of either the boss dresses like one (hehe, go ask your Chinese pal), or they really mean business when it comes to their ‘lala’ clams.
To find this restaurant takes a great deal of effort. Unless you’re equipped with a GPS device, or have friends staying in and around Ara Damansara, or you’re just a plain lost soul stumbling around and found nirvana (almost) when your eyes stare in disbelief at the sheer number of people dining at Lala Chong.
A restaurant literally tucked in the middle of nowhere, yet attracting the crowd in hordes. Okay, so they don’t come carted in trucks or cartwheels, for short of a Lamborghini/Porsche, you can see the rich, the famous (almost) and the middle income ones going all out and feast like no tomorrow here at Lala Chong.
Tells a lot when the Chinese restaurant does not even serve pork (yes, they’re pork free, but not sure of the halal status). A must order at Lala Chong naturally is their “Siong Tong La La” or steamed clams in a Chinese wine broth. Routinely, we do see ‘dai chow’ restaurants serving this dish, albeit with a variety of different clams. But at Lala Chong, they use the smaller ones, supposedly sweeter with a better texture; almost to a crunch. And I was told that they could whip up a mean fried beehoon (rice vermicelli noodles) with lala clams, though we settled for conventional white rice to go with our dishes.
Surprisingly, we were not impressed with the clams. Yes, they were fresh (albeit there was an unmistakably fishy tinge to the clams), and they came in abundance at a reasonably price of RM12/USD4 per portion. The broth was a light, warming concoction of Chinese cooking wine and ginger. But we felt that something was lacking, maybe the taste did not linger as we would have expected the flavoursome broth to be.
The other dishes we ordered were their signature stir fried ‘pucuk paku’ or wild ferns in a spicy sambal sauce, with tuna. Yes, shredded tuna from cans in the mix; an almost illogical combination yet worked to an extent. The greens had this metallic, almost acerbic nuance to them though, piercing the tastebud in the process.
We went for the patin fish initially, but were told later that the smallest one was more than 1kg. And there were only 3 of us, hence the waitress recommended us to change our order. And so, we settled for the frogs.
Eating in a seafood restaurant and we had FROGS? A reminiscence of a post recently, when we had wild animals in Lawan Kuda, the frogs at Lala Chong were unbelievably fat and tasty. Yes, cooked in a simple ‘kung pao’ style (savoury and spicy, in a sticky, dark sauce with dried chillies), the tender meaty frog legs were even better than Geylang’s frog specialist.
No, not the Geylang Frog Porridge in SS2, I mean the REAL Geylang in Singapore. Surprise, surprise.
Anyway, heard that the butter crabs at Lala Chong are to die for. And you’re supposed to get some mantou buns to wipe the delicious sauces from the claypot to fully savour the rich, creamy sauce coating the crabs. I am already set for a revisit to find out. Join me, anyone?
Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant
31, Jalan PJU 1A/5A,
47301, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Telephone : 603-7845 1250.
GPS Coordinates : 3.123811,101.572098
Google Map to Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant