Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Kedai Makan & Minuman Dianfa (Dianfa Eating House)
Posted 11:48 AM Labels: # Chinese, + Malaysia, curry, cze char/zhi-cha, fish head, MALAYSIA, spicy food, travel
I love humble little "cze-char" (cook and fry) eateries that serve good food. During my trips back to Batu Pahat, my brother introduced us to this Kedai Makan & Minuman Dianfa (Dianfa Eating House), and we've been coming here quite often for dinner. It's little more than a rundown shack, and doesn't even have an official address (it shares the same address numbers as the lightposts in front of it). While it's not fancy, the owners keep the premises reasonably clean, and there are large fans to keep customers cool on warm nights. The good food and affordable prices bring brisk business, so it's good to arrive early for seats.
These are some of the dishes they have - I collected photos over two dinners.
Their signature dish is curry fish head (RM22 or US$6.80 - conversions are approximate). I'm usually not a fan of fish head, but this one is pretty good. The curry is so "lemak" (rich) and tasty, I wished I had some prata to mop it up with.
Someone mentioned that "kam hiong" (either means golden and fragrant, or dry and fragrant) style seems to be the rage in Malaysian cze-char outlets these days. Well this is my first time trying it. Kam hiong pork (RM10 or about US$3) here is rather darkly sauced, with bits of curry leaves and chillies. It's intensely savoury and goes well with white steamed rice.
Steamed fish with preserved vegetables and plums. Very clean-tasting and well-balanced flavours. My brother brought fish that he caught himself, and asked them to cook it. So it only cost RM15 (US$4.50) instead of RM22 (US$6.80).
This is fish done Nyonya style. Lots of spicy sambal belachan, chopped onions, chilies and scallions. I don't know what other complex spices went into this but the mixture is very addictive!
The Fuyong Egg (RM6, US$1.80) is so-so, but I always like omelettes no matter what.
Oh this is one of my favourites! Four types of vegetables - okra/ladysfingers, long beans, eggplant/brinjals, and yes, petai (sataw) - all stir-fried with crunchy ikan bilis (dried anchovies), dried shrimp and chili padi. Very umami! I think they call it mixed beans here, and it's a steal at only RM6 (US$1.80)
Nam lu pork, or deep-fried pork marinated with "nam lu" (fermented soybean curd). I think some parts may be over-fried and a little dry, but I love the crispiness nonetheless. RM10 (US$3.10)
A simple side dish of minced pork on soft tofu (RM6, US$1.80). I think the seasoning for the minced pork is similar to the kam hiong above.
Thai style beancurd (RM6, US$1.80). The sweet-and-sour dressing is perfect for this refreshing salad. The beancurd is sliced rather thinly before deep-frying, so it adds crunch to texture. I still think I prefer thicker and more moist tofu slices because that's usually the traditional method, but this is still very good.
Marmite chicken, another cze-char favourite! Somehow in my experience, this dish tastes different everywhere, like there is no consistent recipe. The one here does not go overboard with the yeasty seasoning, but it's still quite salty. RM8 (US$2.50)
Most of the dishes here are heavily seasoned to pair well with rice. But if you prefer single-dish meals, there are a few good choices here too. I particularly like their Cantonese fried kway teow (it's the wet type, like horfun). The noodles have both good char and wok hei. OK, my mouth is watering as I'm doing this post. I better stop here.
KEDAI MAKAN & MINUMAN DIANFA
No.1/3, 1/5 Jalan Emas, Taman Emas
83000 Batu Pahat
Mobile Tel: +6012-708-2009