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Choon Yien Restaurant

Friday, March 16, 2007
Char siu (Chinese: 叉烧), also known as char sau or Chinese barbecued pork, is a Cantonese cuisine using barbecued pork.

Char siu is usually made with long strips of boneless pork, typically pork shoulder. The distinctive feature of char siu is its coating of seasonings which turn the meat dark red, or occasionally burnt and black during cooking. The seasoning mixture for char siu usually includes sugar or honey, five-spice powder, soy sauce, red food colouring (optional) and sherry or rice wine (optional).

Before you start salivating away, let me introduce a place for you to get some really good char siu. The place mentioned is Choon Yien Restaurant, which is tucked deep in a corner of section 17, PJ ... a place called Happy Mansion. When I first heard about this place, I was like .. is there a place named Happy Mansion in PJ ? Apparently there is ... it's the name of the flats in that area. If you refer to my previous article on 6 to 10 Grill and Food Foundry, that's exactly where Choon Yien is. But worry not, I'll provide the map to go there down below.

A word of caution though ... this is a restaurant ala coffee shop i.e. not air-conditioned and it's pretty much open-aired. But somehow that doesn't stop me from going back there again ... and again ... and again ... and again ..... ok, ok .. I am sure you would've gotten my message by now. Anyway, back to the topic ... Choon Yien do serve very good char siu, if not the best. I never asked the name of the chef (I think he's the chef ... i.e. he's the moustache guy who does all the chopping on the chopping board) but I usually make my orders through James 'Ayam'. First impression of him ... very cocky (he's a little loud) but once you're familiar with him, he's ok.

Everything seemed quite process oriented here ... from the moment you take your seat. James or some other guy would approach you to take your order and usually they would know how much you 'can' eat i.e. the portion of meat served would be just nice.

There really isn'y much option to choose from ... char siu and chicken. And maybe some boiled vegetables.

I think ....

I don't recall any other dishes from there. Anyway ... orders were taken swiftly and your food is served promptly. Hmm... that came out like a tagline eh ... wonder if I can recommend this tagline to them.

Alright, now over to the char siu. Your first experience with it will be memorable....

Everything turns quiet as you grab your fork ... thrust it forward and sink the pointed edge into the meat.
You lift it up ... and move it towards you ... and as it approaches, you can already smell the perfectly barbequed pork. The effort, the passion of a chef in creating this beautiful piece of work ...

And finally, the moment comes when you sink your teeth onto it ... your first time .... feels ... juicy .... tender .... sweet ... and finally just slides down your throat ....

. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .

And you're ready to order some more ! Please don't forget about the rice ... it's equally good. The rice and the char siu ... it's like bread and butter ... has to be accompanied.

But before you start making your rush out the door to get there, please allow me to remind you that the precious char siu is very limited. Please go early if you want to get your share of it. Better still, call James 'Ayam' and drop your order with him before going there. Else, you will end up with a plate of chicken and probably some vegetables ... which would be a equally suffice for a simple lunch. Then again, we are not traveling all the way there, braving the heat and traffic to just have a 'simple lunch' ... are we ?

Well ... words are spoken, I let your imagination run wild .... while I present my reviews to you.

Contact Details
Restaurant Choon Yien
Happy Mansions, Jalan 17/13
Section 17, Petaling Jaya

OVERALL RATINGs : * * * * (Yes, I am biased when it comes to rating, but I'd give anything for another piece of that char siu ... !!! And I couldn't care less if I have to sweat it out ...)
Environment Ratings : * * (I can't help you much here, James ... the truth is the truth)
Food Ratings : * * * * (Only selective ones are good)
Service Ratings : * * (Inconsistent, I do get different comments)
Value Ratings : * * * (Average pricing for a cuty restaurant)

Operation Details
Average Price : Pay RM10 to be a happier person
Business Hrs : Lunch hours only (please be early). Close on Sundays.
Accepted Cards: Oh come on, you're asking too much !

Miscellaneous Details
Halal : HA HA HA .. you think ?
Dining Method : You can dine anyhow and anywhere ... I doubt they care as long as you pay.
Food/Cuisine : CHAR SIU ..... chicken (who cares) ...vege ....
Ambience/Features : The only luxury would be a shade from the sun.
Reservations : Only for food. Bring collapsible table and chair la .. if no more seats.

Restaurant Capacity
I think I can estimate around 40 pax ?

Here's some recipes on making char siu :

Lily Wai Sek Hong

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Blogger MeiyeN said...

oh my god, very interesting and very nice photos!

3/17/2007 9:00 AM  
Blogger Rasa Malaysia said...

Was searching for a great char siew place when I was home in Malaysia but didn't find any good ones...your recommendation looks very promising.

3/19/2007 1:51 PM  
Blogger Joan Chew said...

walauehhhhhhhhh ur food pics damn good!!!! slurrppp :P

3/19/2007 7:28 PM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

When I first ate here, I really liked their char siu. However subsequent visits showed it's not consistent the quality and sometimes I find the people kinda stuck up though.

3/23/2007 5:37 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

That's right boo_licious. The people there can sometimes be quite stuck up. I had the same treatment when I first went there ... but subsequently, if you get to know them ... especially James Ayam ... he's ok.

3/25/2007 12:37 PM  

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I'm Timothy From Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
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