Saturday, January 15, 2011


Have any of you ever heard of Poon Choi (盆菜), let alone feasted on this Hakka dish? Well I haven't, until recently when I was searching the web for something uniquely different to try to welcome the New Year.

I'm not too certain of its origins but I'd care to wager that this kingly feast has something to do with some remote villagers' local offerings to an Emperor or General who stopped by during his quest to conquer the land.

Poon Choi which translates literally to "basin food" is a basically a large casserole neatly assembled with a dozen or more different dishes. Each dish is prepared separately and then laid out in the basin in two tiers, the more expensive the dish the higher they are placed in the basin. The casserole is then heated up for a short while before open season is declared and everyone digs in.

At Restoran LYJ, they offer two versions of Poon Choi - the regular version for RM258 and the premium version for RM500. Like any other regular Chinese restaurant, Restoran LYJ is equipped to whip up a host of other dishes, although there is no need really to order anything else if you order the Poon Choi, which is sufficient to feed between 10 to 12 adults.

For the regular version, I counted at least a fifteen different dishes / ingredients. The top tier contains an impressive line-up of steamed farm chicken (菜园肥鸡), crispy roasted duck (脆皮烧鸭), salt & pepper shrimp (椒盐大虾), home-style brewed senangin (家乡酿马友鱼), boiled brocolli and cauliflower.

The bottom tier is no slouch either, represented by stewed pork (卤花肉), oyster (蚝士), fish maw (鱼漂), abalone (珍珠鲍具), braised pork knuckle (猪脚), chicken leg (鸡脚), black mushrooms (冬菇) bailing mushrooms (白灵菇) and chestnut (栗子).

For the premium version, on top of the dishes served in the regular version, shark's fin (桂花翅), scallops (粒澳洲带子), abalone (澳洲车轮鲍鱼), brewed oyster (酿蚝士) and pork ribs (南乳排骨) are added to the extravagant feast.

Too much meat? Worry not! Both versions of Poon Choi come with a serving of seasonal vegetables (时菜) fried with garlic and a plate of fruits.

For those who cannot do without their customary bowl of rice, check out their pork lard rice (猪油饭). At RM3 per bowl, it is not cheap but worth a try!

Restoran LYJ Sdn Bhd

Address: Pt 11-12 & Pt 16-17, Jalan Perkhidmatan, Sg Buloh New Village, 47000 Sg Buloh, Selangor.
GPS Locataion: 3.196949, 101.569118
Contact number: 03-6140 2678
Reservation: Recommended (Required if you intend to order Poon Choi)
Opening hours: Lunch (12.00 - 2.30pm); Dinner (6.00 - 10.00pm); Closed on Mondays
Cuisine: Chinese (Non Halal)
Must order: Poon Choi (盆菜)
Must not order: N/A
Budget for 10 pax: RM288

My verdict: 3 stars


Mike said...

Besides this shop, outsiders go to this area also for this flat 'pau' sold one row in front of lyj. Usually there's a queue cant't miss it.

Hakka restaurant in pavillion also sells tis pun choi. Must book a day before.

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Thanks for sharing Mike. I've got a soft spot for fluffy paus. Best ones I have had so far hail from KK. Last time I was there for the City Day hunt, I brought 20-30 of these with me back home. Will definitely check out your recommendation next time I pay this village a visit.

If you are referring to Ying Ker Lau, yes I have recently tried their poon choi too (call it a poon choi craze lol). I loved it - though theirs (Ying Ker Lau) is definitely more expensive I find their quality and service to be much better.

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