Wong Kok Char Chan Teng @ De Garden, IpohJune 10, 2010 | 6,951 views
Wong Kok Char Chan Teng’s Signature Cheese Baked Rice – Melted, oozing cheese atop on a bamboo basket filled with rice lightly fried with finely-julienned egg omelette, then baked together with the meat of your choice (in this case, a whole slab of pork chop) and your pick of sauce.
Since the opening of Hong Kong Food & Tea in Jusco Kinta City a few years ago, Ipoh has been struck with a dearth of worthy “Char Chan Teng” (Hong Kong cafe-style eateries). So when one was hit by a sudden craving for a serving of cheese baked rice or spaghetti, a milky cup of tea (“nai cha“), Macau style Pork Burger (“Zhu Par Bao“) or even Nissin Noodle Soup with Szechuan sliced pork, there was only Food & Tea Restaurant, the random kopitiams, or you gotta make your own.
A Hong Kong restaurant franchise that started in Malaysia back in 2003 …. Proudly?
I have dined and snacked on a few occasions at Wong Kok Char Chan Teng over in Klang Valley, where they have a grand total of 9 branches as of today; the latest being the branch at the new Sunway Giza mall over at Kota Damansara. And the first outlet in the state of Perak opened recently at De Garden of Ipoh. Wanna know how this outlet fared against the other well-established branches down south? Read on …..
The Value Sets @ Wong Kok Char Chan Teng come with a starter of Soup (Borsch Soup or Cream Soup), a beverage of choice (12 choices in all) and a dessert of either fruits or jelly. All from RM11.80/USD3.60 onwards.
Stepping in for lunch on a weekday proved to be a wiser choice than going on a weekend, for the crowd was far from thin even before lunch hour today. Thankfully, we found a vacant table amidst the lunch crowd; ranging from blue-collared workers to families (and extended families, of course), as well as youngsters and school children on a roll. We’re in the midst of a semester break anyway.
As soon as we were seated, I glanced around the premise and made small notes. The restaurant was brightly-lit and well-ventilated with blaring air-conditioners, coolers, and even fans. There is a small al fresco dining section on the outside at the front portion of the restaurant, perfect for those on a fogging mission. The restaurant is spacious, but some tables are noticeably placed closer to each other.
Colleague NK mentioned that WK’s (short for Wong Kok) Baked Chicken Wings with Cheese on Skewers (RM5.90/USD1.80 for two) is one of their better snacks.
Okay, on with the FOOD. A major gripe I usually had with most Char Chan Teng‘s is the ultra-expanded menu; with almost everything under the sun. Some people may like the abundance of choices (more than 200 items in their menu, if I’m not mistaken) but personally, since most are just variants of each other, it’ll definitely do the customers (as well as the proprietors in some ways) good if they limit the menu to a few choices.But this being a franchise, of course the menu’s standardized.
To ease choosing, you can pick from the various flyer-like menus; with Value Sets, Lunch Sets and Tea Time Sets sorted accordingly. Definitely more value-for-money than ordering from the ala carte menu, you can have a full meal here, complete with a starter, a beverage and a dessert for less than RM20/USD6 per pax.
XO Sauce Fried Rice (RM9.80/USD3) – Appearance notwithstanding, the fried rice got Mr Z’s approval, albeit the initial disappointment of looking lacklustre, in comparison to the ‘sparkling’ picture in their menu.
After the umpteenth glance and flipping across their ala carte menu, I settled for a Value Set for Cheese Baked Rice with Pork Chop. And you even get to choose your sauce of preference; either Sweet Corn White Sauce, Salsa Sauce, Mushroom Sauce, or in my case; Portuguese Sauce. Talk about customization !!! The Portuguese sauce was a thick, starchy Japanese curry-like gravy that blended well with the baked rice with melted cheese. The pork chop came in a surprisingly huge and tender slab, it was bewildering for most cafes serve theirs with a pathetic half-palm-sized portion, and routinely tough at that. For RM16.80/USD5 per set, I felt it was value-for-money as the ala carte portion would have cost me RM14.50/USD4.40 in itself.
Fish in Pineapple Sauce with Rice (RM8.90/USD2.70) – A tangy and sweet sauce much like the common sweet and sour sauce in Gu Lou Yuk, the batter fried fillet of fish was served with rice, and lots of crispy, deep-fried vegetables (my guess was it had to be kailan, but I could not be sure)
NK had the Cheese Baked Rice with Beef set (RM16.80/USD5 also), and he was all smiles after the meal. Mr Z at first wondered aloud whether his plate of XO Fried Rice was a smart choice, arriving with plentiful of chopped lettuce (fit for a cow?! :)) and none of those plump prawns in sight. But a spoonful of the rice revealed that Wong Kok really put in effort in maintaining their standard across all the branches; unlike Food & Tea Restaurant that serves mediocre and cold fried rice on more occasions than one. KYT had the Fish in Pineapple Sauce with Rice, walloped the whole serving gleefully, but complained about the greasy deep-fried vegetables at the end of the meal.
You can have their Cheese Baked Rice with Szechuan sliced pork, pork chop, beef, fish fillet, chicken chop or even tuna fish.
Although personally I could not help but compare the cheese baked rice with Kim Gary‘s, and Tsim Tung‘s, both NOT available here in Ipoh. And those were the restaurants that introduced me to cheese baked rice back in the early days when Char Chan Teng‘s were blooming all over Klang Valley.
And Wong Kok Char Chan Teng’s ultimate GIANT SIZE HONG KONG MILK TEA for FREE on your birthday !!! Just remember the fine details at the bottom of the brochure.
The meal came to RM83.40/USD25.30 for the five of us, inclusive of 10% service charge. Not the most affordable lunch on a daily basis, but nothing too exorbitant either. Plus the restaurant provides free WiFi, equipped with television sets, and you can even sign up for their membership card for extra perks. Drop by and ask for details.
** For the time being, until the end of June 2010, every table would be given a FREE WELCOME DRINK. Only one per receipt though. We got an iced milk tea on the house. **
** For even more savings, go for their Lunch Sets from RM9.90 onwards, with 5 choices everyday. Weekdays only. **
WONG KOK CHAR CHAN TENG
G-R-17, 18 and 5,
De Garden @ Persiaran Medan Ipoh,
Medan Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Telephone : 605 – 545 1592
And here’s the GOOGLE MAP to Wong Kok Char Chan Teng
*In between TOS Coffee Bistro and Ayam Penyet-AP. *