Posts Tagged ‘Makan-Makan’

Cheng Ho Em Ho?

Oooookayyy! Enough of my appetizing and tentalizing everyone with my Cheng Ho adventure. Yes, I went back to Wangsa Delima to give Amy Search, his Mr. Doorknob and the chain-locked door a second chance. Since I claimed myself as a non-judgemental person that I am… I do honor my words. I did. I gave ME a second chance.


My Lil Sis and I ordered:
1. Steamed Siakap Cheng Ho Style
2. Crab Salted Eggs
3. Tofu in Sizzling Plate
4. Kailan Belacan


Let’s just say all the positively good things first aye? The verdict:

Crab in Salted Eggs SauceThe best dish was Crab Salted Eggs! It is worth going back to Cheng Ho for, I must vote. With its rich sauce coating the fresh and sweet crabs, it was very different from what I have had. I am not sure if the original Chinese version would use karipulai the way many restaurants in this country would prepare Butter Prawns. But I am in the acceptance of Malaysianized Chinese dishes here. I’ll order this when I am in Beijing next.


Cheng Ho Steamed SiakapThe other three dishes were so-so. The Steamed Siakap was nothing more than a steamed fish with some poured-on asam pedas-like sauce. We didn’t enjoy bites of under-cooked chili sauce or gravy with the chili seeds still crunchy. There wasn’t any taste to begin with, let alone to finish with. Maybe we should’ve gone for fried Siakap instead of steamed. But it was supposed to be a matter of sauce, of course.


Tofu in Sizzling PlateThe Tofu in Sizzling Plate was nothing to brag about – a bit too runny for us, and we did not fancy the frozen vegetables (diced carrots, corns and green peas) in it! I usually associate those frozen bagged vegies with cheap fried rice at cheap restaurants. And oh, was the sizzling plate supposed to be sizzling when it got to our table? If it was, it uh… didn’t.


Kailan BelacanFor the Kailan Belacan, I think the most polite way for me to put it is that it was not as memorable as the same plate you can get at Bangi Golf Resort, Bandar Baru Bangi. Perhaps it wasn’t Chinese enough for a comparison, but not many Kailan Belacans can go wrong. While this one at Cheng Ho did not go wrong, it didn’t go home with me for its taste either. I wouldn’t shout about how ordinary it was, nor was it something to shout about.


When we got the bill of RM122.22, Lil Sis and I were more excited about the nice number 12222 it amounted to than the big tapau bag Lil Sis was taking home. Uh, naaa… none for me thanks. I was by then very very excited about a phone call from my bestfriend, Chin, dinner with another bestfriend, Lish (at a restaurant in front of Mrs. X’s house) and breakfast at the Lawn with another bestfriend, Tuan Nor, the next morning. Told ya I was fully booked!

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Tally Me Banana

Grilled Banana B1

  Grilled Banana B2

Since Cheng Ho was closed on Friday, we walked over to Studio Cafe, two doors away south, and settled for simple but nice lunch. Nothing to shout about, but desserts were pretty good. This is Studio Cafe’s Grilled Banana with Strawberry Sauce. We didn’t know that Zahid was the owner until we mispronounced their Nasi Goreng ZA8 as ZAID and were corrected by the restaurant’s two very attentive and friendly waiters. Not that it matters who owns what. It matters who runs it.

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Cheng Em Ho

This is not intended as a free publicity for Amy Search’s restaurant – negative or otherwise. As personal as this blog is, this post is my way of documenting my own view. And since my comment on Facebook: “Enida is disappointed with Cheng Ho Restaurant”  triggered quite a few curious responses, I thought I should write the whole story. The whole true story. My truth. Nothing but the truth – Enida’s version.


Wednesday July 8th, I called the restaurant at 03-4149 6094 to make a reservation for five people for lunch on Friday July 10th at 1230hrs. Not only that I had to repeat myself four times with the date, the day and time we were coming, I had to state the date, the day and the time and the number of people the reservation was for. There! I even repeated myself here! That’s how annoyed I still am with the whole experience. But behold! They do NOT take reservation for less than 8 pax. Thank you very much!


Yes, you heard me right. If you are heading to the restaurant, located at the commercial area right behind Wangsamaju Carrefour, you either walk in or gather 7 other people who coincidentally feel like eating Islamic Seafood at the same time as you do. Otherwise, try to guess when they are not busy. Also, yes… you can walk in without any drop of sweat under you arms if you can find parking around the area. The best is to just park at Carrefour and walk down – if it is not raining.


But again, behold! I am not writing this just because I had an annoying conversation with the doorknob Amy Search hired to take calls at his restaurant. I don’t give up that easily. So I gathered two sisters, two kids, a husband and a maid to Cheng Ho Restaurant on Friday July 10th at 1215hrs even though we were short of one person to make the quorum. And guess what? The restaurant was CLOSED! Imagine if I had gathered 8 people and the reservation was made.


What Mr. Doorknob did not tell me on the phone – after repeatingly asking me the day, the date and the time I was coming – was that Cheng Ho Restaurant only opens between 1700-2300hrs on Fridays! (That is 5pm-11pm ladies and gentlemen! Where got lunch?) But why oh why did Mr. Doorknob say nothing when I said I would have liked to come for lunch on a Friday? Hello? Anybody there?


I can rationalize that he might have forgotten that they don’t open for lunch on Fridays. Yeah right! It is, after all, a Chinese Islamic Seafood restaurant. The Seafood might want to do their last Friday prayers in China before being grilled and end up on my plate. Completely understandable! Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Doorknob just got hired by Amy Search on the very day I happened to be calling. He hadn’t worked long enough to know Friday lunch is non-existent. And I can give this Mr. Doorknob, Mr. Amy Search and the restaurant all the benefit of the doubt I want, to soften the impact of my own disappointment. Yes, I can. But hey, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression you know.


So there I was, standing in front of Cheng Ho Chinese Islamic Seafood Restaurant at 1215hrs on Friday having gathered two sisters, two kids, a husband and a maid… praying that maybe, just maybe someday I would gather enough interest in Cheng Ho Restaurant again. Or maybe, just maybe… I should do that before I leave for Moscow this Wednesday – just to prove to myself that Cheng Ho is after all… ’em ho’. 

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