Thursday, 24 October 2013

Tai Lei Loi Kei – Very nearly as good as the real thing

17-1-G, Jalan PJU 5/10, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, 47810, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

The famous pork chop buns from Macau has finally hit Malaysia. And they’re doing it in a big way with 10 branches all over Klang Valley as of the date of this post.

The door handles make it absolutely plain that this would be a bad place for Kermit to bring his date.

The pork chop buns at the main shop in Macau have been hailed as the work of genius by world-renowned pork lover (and my personal hero) Anthony Bourdain. So for those of us who don’t have any immediate plans to visit Macau, I suppose it is important to answer the question: how do the ones at their Malaysian outpost stack up?

As the header says, it’s not exactly the same, but pretty darn close.

The bun’s plain looks are very deceptive. It’s as if a master assassin disguised himself as a scrawny number-cruncher.

The pork chop itself is amazing. The meat was extremely tender and juicy, with the nice springy texture I love. I tasted some garlic, maybe a little five-spice… and I don’t know what else. Whatever it was, the thing tasted awesome – there was absolutely no need to add anything else to it. If there is any difference between this and the Macau version, it certainly didn’t register on my tastebuds.

The bun, though nice and crusty, was a little chewier than the one in Macau. Maybe it dried out a little because we took a while to take pictures. On a later visit, I tried the pork chop in their polo bun, which was softer and sweeter.

The pork chop with a different co-star: dry noodles.

The noodles were decent, but a little softer than I had hoped. I was kinda expecting the same al dente texture I had loved so much in the noodles I enjoyed in Hong Kong and Macau. Also, I think they’ll taste even better drenched in the curry from their curry fish balls (which I have also tried on a later visit). I wonder if they’ll ever introduce that combo?

I’m not big on casinos or monuments. So when I go to Macau – when I go to anywhere, for that matter – it’s always for the food. There are plenty of great things to eat at Macau, but I’m glad that now, least one of those things is within much easier reach.

The colours of the facade reminded me of the garishness of Macau's iconic Grand Lisboa Casino.

Snack-sized review
Famous pork chop buns from Macau has arrived in Malaysia. The quality of the food is not exactly the same as the one in Macau, but is very close. And has the added advantage of being cheaper by the value of a return flight ticket.

Price: Just slightly more than that of a McDonald’s Value Meal. A set meal of pork chop bun with drink is RM13.90. No tax or service charge yet. Yes, you do get less food volume for the price, but that is more than made up for by food quality.
Hours: 10 to 10

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