A Childhood Dining Experience @ Shatin Court, Pasir Puteh, IpohDecember 1, 2012 | 4,463 views
Curry Fish Fillet – Loaded with filleted grouper, tomatoes, brinjals, ladies fingers, ‘tau pok’ (beancurd) and onions
If you grew up around the neighbourhood of Pasir Puteh/Pasir Pinji, you must have dined here at least once before. Shatin Court by the traffic lights before you reach Pengkalan and the further realms of Pasir Puteh.
A food court with partial al fresco arrangement, the place would be normally packed during dinner hours, and when we were kids, my brother and I absolutely fell head over heels for the Lemon chicken dish served by one of the stalls here. (The other noteworthy lemon chicken being served at Soon Lee, an air-conditioned restaurant that used to be on Jalan Temenggong near to SMK Jalan Pasir Puteh; my alma mater!)
Fast forward two decades later, and the name Shatin Court has vanished. But … what of my Lemon Chicken dish?
Ding Hao Restaurant took over the entire food court, more than just a stall at the side of the entrance. Heck, this was MORE than just a stall in their defense; this was THE most prominent one as you walk in into the premise.
The name Ding Hao may sound familiar since they had a few outlets in Tesco hypermarkets before; named Ting Hoe or of similar tone. Then they sold them off, apparently, and concentrate on this sole moolah-churning venture here in this friendlier environment.
You don’t go to malls or hypermarkets for a good meal, do you?
Signature Deep Fried Seafood Beancurd with Garlic Chili Sauce
As far as I can remember, our usual ‘dai chow’ haunt used to be at the back of the food court; if you’re walking in from the entrance towards the main road, then you walk until the right end corner. The stall used to be run by the parents of a schoolmate’s.
And apparently, the stall is still there. But I cannot recall their faces anymore …. the two decades of separation must have destroyed all resemblance and recognition.
Thus, we ended up eating at Ding Hao; this stall serving ‘dai chow’ dishes and the lady effortlessly rambled off a slew of signature dishes. Or could be the easier ones to master and whip up in a jiffy since most tables ordered practically the same ensemble.
Mixed Mushrooms with Vegetables in a Fermented Red Beancurd Sauce
Service was excellent; almost bullet-fast. The kitchen could easily cater to a larger crowd than this; plus with patrons ordering other street eats from the other stalls; the cooks have no qualms delivering their masterful creations in mere minutes. Seriously.
And so we shared a large bowl of curry fish fillets (since some in the family preferred more flesh than boney fish heads); cooked in a deliciously-creamy, spicy with the barest hint of sweetness curry and the usual combination of tomatoes, brinjals, ladies fingers (okra) and onions. Typical Chinese style of curries that won’t burn a hole in the roof of your mouth, yet pleasantly aromatic and leaving a subtle nuance of kick as you scoop them along. In short? Delicious. It’s no wonder almost every table had a bowl to share.
The deep fried seafood beancurd served with a chili sauce dip was passable, suiting a child’s palate for fried foods more than anything. Tongue-scalding hot when served, hence best to practise caution when bingeing on these. The platter of stir-fried mixed mushrooms in a nam-yee (fermented red beancurd paste) base would have fared very well had Grandma tagged alone. And as Mum said; “In this time and age, it’s very rare to see a restaurant doing this; and on top of that doing it so well.”
Couldn’t agree more.
And then came the dish I was anticipating for. Although deep at the back of my mind I knew that this was NOT the same stall that served us the incredibly mind-blowing (we were kids back then, so anything sweet and sour would have been deemed heavenly!) Lemon Chicken, yet I had to test the waters with Ding Hao’s rendition.
A pile of batter-coated fried chicken chopped into bite-size pieces, seated precariously atop a pool of thick sauce laden with lemon-goodness.
Appeared to be pretty artificial, the yellowish-tint, gooey and all, but a bite of the wonderfully marinated fried chicken (hint of five spice powder present); deep fried to a crispy finish and the sweet and sour sauce lending a refreshing zing to the meat? I was sold.
The meal came to RM58/USD19 for four of us. Very reasonable, as the portions were not skimpy while the taste was definitely right up our alley. I could go on and on about how I embrace good ‘dai chow’ restaurants that serve unpretentious servings and charge reasonably, but why don’t YOU tell your part of the story?
Share with me and let’s put faith back in street-style Chinese eateries like this.
RESTORAN DING HAO (non-Halal)
Lot 29057, Jalan Pasir Puteh,
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : +6016-520 3323, +6016-550 8105
Opens for dinner.
At the junction of the traffic lights that connect Jalan Pasir Puteh and Jalan Bunga Raya.
GPS Coordinates :4.565249,101.078573