Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ming Castle Dim Sum in Batu Pahat

Steamed Siew Mai (RM4.50)
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

Spinach mai (RM3)
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.

Fried prawn dumpling (RM5)
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.

Nor mai kai or Glutinous Rice with Chicken (RM2.30)
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.

Char siew bau or steamed BBQ bun (RM3.50)
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.

Steamed pork rib with garlic (RM3.80)
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.

Crabmeat Siew Mai (RM3)
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.

Mushroom Spring Rolls (RM2.50)
Decent spring rolls filled with mushrooms and vegetables. A tad bland but goes well with the chili sauce or ground chili paste.

Kids love dim sum!
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
Tel: +607-4382399


  1. "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."

    Ya, after awhile they all look more or less the same. No difference! :P

  2. wow! such an awesome dim sum, so well capured through your lense! so beautiful and so attractive!

  3. Ww.. dim sum galore! Is Nadine aiming at the bao? lol

  4. Thanks for introducing the restaurants in Patu Pahat. I like the look for the Lo Mai Kai, very old school looking and seems from your description, old school tasting too, not overly savory. Agree with Kenny Mah about most dim sum places ( not just in this town) serving similar items, but anyway when you really go yum cha traditional style, you don't really eat that many items. A basket of har kow (no, it is not supposed to have fillings like siew mai), siew mai, a pao or lo mai kai at most with a pot of good Chinese tea. There is so much creativity, but we are just spoilt by this the more the merrier mentality :D

  5. definitely the best dim sum in town cos the rest are all the same mince pork in different disguise!

    but i find Ming's pretty decent as well lah.

  6. LOL! Nadine's uber cute!

  7. very nice the expression on the litte girl oogling at the dim sum..

  8. Kenny: yup! You get that in KL too?

    BBO: thank you! *beam*

    Didally: yes, that's her! :)

    TTC: yes, it's old school indeed. The lightness of the seasoning lets you taste the ingredients properly, instead of assaulting your tongue. Hmm, you are right about traditional yumcha not requiring a lot of items - and might I add, best savoured slowly with good conversation. These days we seem to have forgotten that aspect, and just want to pig out!

    Southernoise: lol

    Doreen: haha thanks!

    Joe: she's just planning how to use the baos as weapons of mass destruction!

  9. to try them but my local dim sum restaurant don't have such thing yet.

  10. hi! thanks for popping by my blog :). great food pictures btw!

  11. very interesting blog you have here... i love your pics... you can almost taste the well captured dimsums... btw, what camera and lense are you using? thanks... :)

  12. Thanks, mikky! The camera used for this post is my handy old Sony point-and-shoot (DSC-W50) cos I didn't want to travel with my Canon DSLR.

  13. Shame I only read about this place in Batu Pahat now, as my wife and I were driving near that area not so long ago when traveling through Malaysia. Always on the lookout for great dim sum places, as I am particularly fond of it. Will bookmark this post, as we are visiting Singapore & Malaysia again at the end of the year. We often rent a car in Johor (after a short visit in Singapore) and then travel into the peninsula.

    Will keep track on your site....normally we always just eat at the first place we run into (after deciding if it seems popular enough among locals). Blogs like these are awesome for food loves like us :).

    When we were still living in Malaysia, I used to cover quite a few places in the food section of my website Wonderful Malaysia

  14. Replies
    1. Not sure if they have changed but you can always call them.

  15. Is it still in Jalan Abu Bakar when there cannot find

    1. Yes, it's still there. I checked with a friend staying in BP.
      It's somewhere near the back of the old Cheng Siu school, opposite the food centre.


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