Monday, December 28, 2009

Restoran Ong Lai (Goh Kee) @ 60A, Jalan Raja Laut KL (Bee Seng Hotel Underground)

Chow Kit... talk about this place and many people will give different opinions. To the elderly, this place was once very famous for its vice activities namely prostitution (red light district & gangsterism. Some people even come here for cheap bargains. As for me, I come here to find good food.

The place which I am going to mention is quite hidden from the main road of Jalan Raja Laut. Restoran Ong Lai had made quite a name for itself since the early days. Located behind Bee Seng Hotel which fronts Jalan Raja Laut, you have to turn into the alley once you see the hotel itself. Your next difficult task is too find a parking and if you are lucky, you will see a family leaving after a satisfying dinner there. My uncle who's in his 70's often told me about this famous place in Tiong Nam area (near Chow Kit) that whipped out delicious tai chow, o chien & steamed fish head (teo chew style). This place is also where my dad used to bring his girl (my mom-to-be) to eat everytime they went to KL. Back then as a kid, I never really paid any attention until I started appreciating good food. Guess what?? It was Jenn who brought me here for the first time.. again! LOL.. it seems that she is more adventurous than I do.

The restaurant is normally packed during peak hours... inside!

And outside

Open kitchen concept near the dining area!

O Chien or fried oyster - quite generous with the oysters and not too starchy. A delicious dish.. however I prefer my o chien to be crispy.

Signature steamed fish head - using song fish and steamed Teo Chew style, the fish meat was flaky and firm (indication that the fish head was fresh). Chinese cabbage laid atop of the fish head giving a sweet taste to the dish. The clear soup was so delicious that it's good till the last drop. Just be careful with the fish bones OK?

Pineapple pork ribs - one of the signature dishes of Ong Lai. The sauce is similar to those sweet & sour pork. However, from what it was supposed to be a hit, it was a total letdown this time. The meat was still a little raw and we guessed that due to the everending dinner crowd... they (the cooks) rushed orders and paid little attention to the preparation of the dishes.

A meal like this is definitely not complete without beer :)

Leo's verdict - One word to describe this restaurant - inconsistent! It is a better bet if you come early before the dinner crowd starts coming in. Like many other Chinese restaurants out there, be expect to douse a lot of water after the meal, as healthy dose of MSG is used in the dishes. An extremely popular with KL-ites and tourists on weekends. Even the Singaporeans know how to find their way here. So if you come during peak hours, expect to wait for tables and after that, additional 20-30 minutes before your food is served... as told by the boss himself. Parking is notorious here.. at times you will find yourself park quite far from the restaurant and walk all the way here (I did!)


Sean said...

ahhh this place has been on my to-try list for a long time, since it's only 2km from my office. didn't realise they use msg that much. but i guess we shouldn't mind drinking lots of water afterwards if the food is really good, rite :D

thenomadGourmand said...

Ahh... heard so much abt this place frm other friends, but haven't been there.
But i dont like food with MSG (I mean its somethin we know definitely present but to be able to feel the after effects is a bit too much for me lohh)..

UnkaLeong said...

Try their Yee Tau Mai or their Pak Ge the next time you are there. Pray tell where you parked your car in that area :P I wouldn't dare leave my babee out of sight for more than 5 minutes in that are *ROFL*

~Christine~Leng said...

maybe i should drop by this place one day after work since I'm working in KL. inconsistent? Hope they're good when we drop by.... haha

qwazymonkey said...

I would love to give this a try. But first, one's gotta figure out how to get there. LOL. Hopefuly food's good on the day i'm there

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

this place was walking distance from the old office i worked in..nvr got to trying it though..maybe i shud have..

Chaokar said...

since everyone is planning to go, shall we plan a impromtu dinner? Good to meet some of the food bloggers I've been stalking too. :)

J said...

I think that area has still quite a bad reputation in terms of all those bad activities!
(I used to work in that area some time ago and I remember that we use to come across some very sexily dressed women and trannies, even during lunch hour....)

thule a.k.a leo said...

sean - the food is indeed good! you might like this place after all, for its food and not ambience

becky - unka knows this place :P how come he never offers to bring u here?

unka - the food overcome the fear :P hey, bring becky here la...

christine - try to come earlier before this place is full ok??

qwazymonkey - if u come before the crowd starts coming in, then it should be OK

joe - u should la... you won't regret coming here

chaokar - who have you been stalking?? lol.. hopefully not me :P

j - that was the past, although it's still chaotic (traffic and foreigners)

AugustDiners said...

just went there yesterday, definitely need to try their hokkien mee, its a must. :)