It was a Friday, and as usual, we had a long lunch time. I hopped into my friend’s car, and asked him where we’re heading for lunch. After about 20 minutes of journey, we reached a rather secluded place in Serdang Lama and parked the car. Apparently, this restaurant with zinc rooftop that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere was famous for steamed fish and claypot dishes. What’s even more fascinating was in the scorching heat of the afternoon, the place was fully packed with customers! There must be something here that is attracting the crowds, I thought. The place I was talking about is Chong Siew Lam Restaurant and no, there’s no signboard.
Walking inside the restaurant, there’s actually a small air-conditioned area which was much more comfortable than sitting in the open area. The air-con room, however, was full, so we had to wait for about 15 minutes to secure a table out of the 6 available. Securing a table in the air-con room was as good as winning the lottery, because the heat was just overwhelming in the middle of the day.
Free flow of rice (RM1/person)
Thankfully, once our table was secured, service was quite prompt. We ordered some of their signature dishes to be shared by 4 of us. The Steamed Freshwater Fish with Ginger was the first to arrive, complete with fire burning underneath to keep it warm. I almost wanted to squeal in delight because the fish was de-boned! Ahh such thoughtful cooks. Each piece of flesh was bouncy, flaky and filled with ginger flavour, it was really good. The soy sauce was also generously filled with ginger paste, so it went well with white rice too. Most importantly, we could definitely feel that the fish was fresh.
Steamed Freshwater Fish with Ginger (RM32)
The Signature Tofu was a recommendation by the owner, which turned out to have amazingly crispy skin and remained tenderly soft inside. A word of caution though, don’t eat this immediately when it’s served to avoid burning of your tongue.
Signature Tofu (RM8)
Since their other signature is claypot, we couldn’t resist to try their Claypot Pork Ribs Curry, which arrived with a mouth-watering aroma. This dish that cost a mere RM8 was generously filled with sizable pieces of pork ribs and served with a thick and coconuty curry gravy. Really good value for money, don’t you think? The delicious gravy and free flow of rice are bound to make any hungry man happy.
Claypot Pork Ribs Curry (RM8)
For a balanced diet, don’t forget your greens. We had the Stir-fried Potato Leaves which was quite average, nothing to shout about.
Potato Leaves (RM9)
Overall, we enjoyed the dishes here very much – straightforward and nothing fancy, but good food with very reasonable prices. To guarantee a comfortable experience, I’d suggest you to go early to secure a table in the air-con room, for the heat outside plus the smoke from the open kitchen, could be unbearable to some.
Chong Siew Lam Restaurant, Serdang Lama (SJKC Kung Man School as landmark)
Chong Siew Lam Restaurant
No. 55, Jalan Besar Serdang Lama,
43300 Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel No: +603-8942 1491 / +6016-273 2096 / +6016-690 6979
GPS Coordinates (approximate): 3.015475,101.7207