Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Ming Castle Dim Sum in Batu Pahat
Ming Castle is probably the only air-conditioned Hong Kong style dim sum restaurant in Batu Pahat. My first experience there, when they newly opened a couple years back, was not terribly good. But I can see they've improved and, with greater customer traffic, food is also more fresh.
Sorry for some blurry photos - these are also from the point & shoot camera, and I was balancing a wriggly Jolie on one hand while taking photos. I'm sure some of the patrons there must think I'm some mountain tortoise who's never seen dim sum before! lol
Many old dim sum places in this town serve items that are all too similar i.e. loosely disguised variations of meat-based siew mai. Here, I was pleased to see that there was good actual variety. This "spinach mai" tasted quite different from the siew mai.
What I appreciate about this place is that the dim sum has actual pieces of shrimp in them. Many other places choose not to, in order to offer cheaper prices. The fried shrimp dumpling is delicious. It comes with a saucer of mayo on the side, which we didn't see (or frankly, need) until we polished off everything.
Steamed glutinous rice with chicken - not too salty or soggy. The rice is soft but not mushy. Flavour is a little on the light side for me, but you can add garlic chili sauce.
These char siew bao were not too bad. More savoury than sweet. Fortunately too, the char siew filling is not dyed that garish bright red.
I found the steamed pork rib with garlic a little too underdone (the soft bones were still too hard to chew). Flavourwise, just so-so.
This was all right - the imitation crab meat dominated in terms of flavour. Of course, the dim sum here is not five-star quality, but this is probably as good as it gets in my little hometown.
Decent spring rolls filled with mushrooms and vegetables. A tad bland but goes well with the chili sauce or ground chili paste.
Ming Castle has some of the better restaurant furniture around. Elegant black high-back chairs and matching black wooden tables. I also appreciate that we get to dine in air-con comfort but the noise level is quite something. Hong Kong style it is indeed, right down to the cacophony of porcelain utensils being used/cleared/broken, orders being shouted out and customers trying to make themselves heard above the din. Two ladies with push carts dispense the dim sum goodies but you can also order direct from the kitchen via their menu. Business is brisk at Ming Castle, despite its reputation for being expensive. But you get what you pay for.
181-182 Jalan Abu Bakar (behind former Cheng Siu primary school)
Batu Pahat, Johor
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