Sunday, 28 April 2013

Restoran Lai Ketong @ Ayer Hitam, Johor

Ayer Hitam is a town that is famous for it's pottery but not many know that this little town has a number of wonderful restaurants that offer great food too. Today with the North South Highway, heading into this town may seem out of the way but it is surely worth the distance especially if you love good Chinese food. One such restaurant is this Restaurant Lai Ketong, but conveniently they are located right near the highway exit heading into Ayer Hitam.

Restaurant Lai Ketong

Interior of the restaurant

Interior of the restaurant
To go to this restaurant, from the toll plaza go straight until you come to a T junction. This short stretch is about 300 meters only. At this junction, turn left and within 100 meters you would be able to sight this restaurant on your left. This is a pretty large restaurant. Though the ground floor space is small, they have a three shop lot size dining hall on the first floor and it seems that it is mostly used for Chinese wedding dinners. I also saw a number of newspaper clippings on the walls which was write ups on this restaurant, the chef and the great food here. The restaurant itself was pretty clean and being in a corner lot, parking was ample.We arrived at around 6.45 pm and at that time, it was just us but pass 7 pm, the crowd started coming in for dinner. We were attended to by the lady boss and they have a laminated menu to choose from. After going through the menu, we then placed our orders with her. From the photographs in the menu, it was evident that the dishes in the Southern states are prepared differently than the central areas of Peninsular Malaysia. I ordered some common dishes that I am familiar with and am waiting to see as they arrive how different they can be.

Chinese Tea @ RM 0.50

Plain Rice @ RM 1.00
The Rice and tea is definitely the same price to what we pay in Kuala Lumpur. I was hoping that it might have been slightly cheaper here but it is not.

Dry Chili Chicken @ RM 15.00
This dish I must say was pretty good. It was loaded with Dried Chili's and Cashew Nuts but slightly on the high side of pricing. This similar dish would probably cost RM 12.00 in Kuala Lumpur. Nevertheless, it was well done here and we did not mind paying the premium. I would rate this dish at 8.7/10 .

Egg Fu Yong @ RM 6.00
This dish in contrary was cheap. For that pretty huge egg, they only charged us at RM 6.00 which was a good deal. The eggs were well done and the filling was good. The only set back was the oil taste did linger in the mouth for a while after each bite. Perhaps the oil might have been recycled. I would rate this dish at 6/10 .

Sizzling Tofu @ RM 8.00
Unlike the ones we find here in Kuala Lumpur, this dish was really dry. In Kuala Lumpur, this would have a base sauce but here it had a thick layer of eggs at the bottom and the Tofu was above it. Definitely different in style of preparation. Between the two styles, I would prefer the one common to Kuala Lumpur. The taste however was not bad. The only set back again in this dish, is the quality of oil used.I would rate this dish at 6.5/10 .

Kangkung Belacan @ RM 7.00
This dish was good. The vegetables were fresh and it was crunchy even after being cooked. There was also an abundant amount of belacan in this dish. I would rate this dish at 8.5/10 .

These were pretty much our meal for today. For the two of us, including drinks the total bill for this meal came to RM 42.50 . Obviously these were just common dishes but I am sure that they have specialty dishes which are unique to their restaurant. This is based on my reading from the newspaper clippings available at the restaurant. These specialty dishes have to be ordered days in advance and is most suitable for large dinners and wedding dinners. Would I return to this restaurant again? Yes, surely I would. There are still many more dishes here that is to be tried.

Address: No. 9 & 11, Jalan Bestari, Taman Bestari,
                86100 Ayer Hitam, Johor, Malaysia.

Telephone: +607 758 3888 

Opening Hours: 1100 - 2300 Daily

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