Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Check Out Prizes Or Prices - Our WeekEnd Past-Time!

When we are not out there hunting for prizes, we would be out there checking food and their prices and more precisely, value for prices. Here is one place that I think gives good value for money until that one fateful Saturday evening.

We ordered all the wrong stuff. It happens once in a while doesn't it? When you are not really hungry but still it is time to have your meal - and then you are inundated with choices but your disinterested appetite is betraying you and clouding your brain.

We were at this famous place in Brickfields, along the main Jalan Tun Sambanthan - called Restoran Sin Kee. This place was a small crowded zinc-roofed shop for a very long time in a spot next to a former Shell station (run by Singhs) - now an entrance to Sentral. It moved to a shoplot opposite Shell in the early 90's and then to this current corner lot in the early 2000's. Back then, it was famous for one specialty - the ginger-laced steamed fresh fish tail.
But today, it is more famous for western food cooked oriental style - (see the two Chinese characters - not those on the ground - the ones within the brackets on the signboard? That's oriental and western). The more famous oriental-western dishes are their chicken chop and pork chop - very traditional Hainanese style - the way the British taught the Chinese cooks back in the 40's and 50's. Just looking at the dish gave me nostalgia (I used to cook my own pork and chicken chops in my teen days)!

I looked around and almost every table had some kind of western food. But not ours. We decided to stick with the traditional and ordered that famous steamed fish and a few other food for the kids.

Somehow it turned out to be the wrong choices - have a look at what we ordered - would you pay RM55 for these (3 adults, 2 kids)?

One would think the fish looked okay - but it wasn't to be. The fish was stale (soft and disintegrated at the touch of the spoon). We complained about it, and got a small discount - RM3.00! The owner said "the fish arrived this morning". I guess it forgot to get back into the tank!

We packed the fish and took it home to feed our canine friends - who would not know any better. I cleaned off the ginger and the bones first. The dogs loved the "fish paste"! Hope the SPCA is not reading this.

The "mun" chicken/braised pork rice was interesting but not very special in taste. Ordinary was the verdict. The vege was ordinary and so was the fried rice (with stuffed pork sausage). We did not finish eating everything except the vegetable.
But the place was bustling with customers - almost every table was taken up by the time we were ready to leave. Each table was ordering some 5 to 6 dishes and people were still coming in when we headed for our car. These "locals" must really know what to order and I did not spot any of those that we had.

We should have taken the hint when the "owner captain" answered "western lah" when we asked what's good here. Our lesson for the day : Ignore good advice at your own peril!

BTW, parking is along the road - just keep a sharp ear open for shouts of "Bandaraya" - not often, but you never know, otherwise you have to contemplate whether to increase the "price" of your dinner!

Restoran Sin Kee

Address: Jalan Tun Sambanthan (main road), Opposite Sentral.
Contact number: N/A
Reservation: 1st come 1st served
Opening hours: N/A
Cuisine: Chinese (Non Halal)
Must order: Western Dishes (chicken or pork chop a must)

Must not order: Be careful when ordering steamed fish - ask for guarantee on freshness first.
Budget for 4 pax: RM60

My verdict: 3 stars (actually can be 4 stars if only we had ordered the "recommended dishes").


2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Blogce5nt, heading towards Sentral (coming from Federal Highway) just after the Brickfields Police Station, there is a row of shop lots on the left side of the road. Located here are some pretty decent Chinese diners. Must tries include the King Prawns fried in Light Soya Sauce.

BlogCe5nT said...

Ah! Yes! The famous PINE ROW - named after the corner pub & restaurant at the end of the "row". It also features the famous "Fish Head Bee Hoon" at Restoran Goh. Have not been there for a good decade at least. I was told that the Kajang satay was first introduced outside of Kajang here too. Yours is the second reminder of this popular supper hang-out in the last 2 weeks - must make a visit soon.

Claire said...

This PINE ROW place... is it an open hawker food centre, or a row of several shops? Which comes highly recommended for a good dinner? :)

Is the Satay Kajang still there? :P~

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

A row of one-storey shops. You can't miss it as it is immediately after the police station on your right. Try the third shop from the left.