A Childhood Dining Experience @ Shatin Court, Pasir Puteh, IpohDecember 1, 2012 | 4,802 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