Monday, 11 January 2016

Restoran Tim Mei (Rice Dishes) @ Ampang

In an earlier post, I blogged about the various Penang-style noodles, breakfast options and "tong sui" (sweet soup desserts) at this quaint little shop, Restoran Tim Mei @ Ampang.

As mentioned in that post, I also discovered a hidden gem here in their small but good selection of rice dishes for lunch.  Most of their dishes are curry-based and I'd say they do a pretty good job although the curries here have a low heat level (but that's expected since they're Chinese-style curries).

As you can see, some of their signature dishes are displayed on the wall plus you'll also notice that there are bottles after bottles of honey on sale too.  Some of the dishes change on a daily basis but, on any given day, you'd find at least 15 dishes on offer.  Let me just show you the shots I took of some of the dishes available (over a few visits).








But my top, top favourite thing that I discovered here is the absolutely scrumptious Stuffed "Ikan Cencaru" @ RM4.  Basically, "ikan cencaru" (hardtail or torpedo scad) is a cheap fish that's not very tasty as the flesh lacks sweetness but "sumbat" (stuff) it with a pounded chilli paste....and you have yourself a winner!

You won't find many "chap farn" (mixed rice) stalls selling this fish (too much work, I suppose) and so I was ecstatic when I found it here.  Although this one is not as good as the ones my mom or my mother-in-law makes, it'll have to do as it's available as and when I want it.

It's not a fish many would be bothered to eat as you have to get through quite a bit of hard skin, and equally hard bones, but the effort is all worth it, I tell you! ;D  You have to fry the heck out of the fish until both the fish and the chilli paste develops this charred look and it'll be immensely fragrant and delicious!  I'd be a happy camper just eating this with plain rice! ;)

But, if you're not into this fish, they make a mean Chicken Rendang dish that's absolutely tender and "lemak" (rich in santan)...and will be favoured by those who don't like it spicy.

Or you can go for their Chicken Curry with Potatoes....just as nice!

I liked the Sambal Eggs a lot as they were delish.  The sambal had a slight tang to it which made it very appetising.

Here's my plate of chicken rendang, sambal egg and mixed vegetables for only RM6.

Need more eggs?  No problem, they've got more....the Stewed Pork with Hard-Boiled Eggs is another favourite of mine.

I liked that their version is made with both the fattier pork belly and leaner cuts of pork (for those of us who like one or the other) and fried tofu added in the mix too.  This plate with just stewed pork and one whole hard-boiled egg costs me only RM4 and I'm very satisfied eating just this with plain rice...comfort food at its best!  All I need is to "banjir" (flood) my rice with lots of that black sauce.....and I'm good :)

The tender Pork Curry was also decently executed.

The Sambal Okra was probably my favourite veggie dish of the lot with the same tasting sambal (as the sambal eggs) and absolutely tender okra (not old and stringy like the types you get in some Indian curries).

A dish of pork curry, omelette and okra costs RM7.50.  I like that the okra is really soft and the sambal has a fresh taste with a bit of sour notes.

Wash down all that curry and rice with a Red Dragron Fruit Juice @ RM4.20 that's totally refreshing and naturally sweet.  When I got to the bottom of the glass, I found something that I wouldn't normally expect in a glass of fruit juice of this "assam boi" (sour plum).  Maybe that was what enhanced the drink and made it better! ;)

My Personal Opinion

I think keeping the selection of lunch dishes limited to just a few, they can focus on making every dish taste good.  We end up with a taste of home in their small selection of dishes....and what's even better, it comes with a very reasonable price tag.

But don't expect the curry dishes to be spicy....coz it won't (it's more of a Chinese version, after all).  So, if you're someone who like their curries with very little heat, then this place will win your vote.

My top favourites....stuffed ikan cencaru, stewed pork with hard-boiled eggs, chicken rendang, sambal eggs and okra.  If I'm here for breakfast, I would always "tapau" (pack) the lunch dishes home.....and you might want to too! ;-)

Restoran Tim Mei
15G Jalan Wawasan 2/8
Bandar Baru Ampang
68000 Ampang


  1. Heh, the dishes here looks quite "Penang" to be honest. I've seen these dishes more in Penang zhap fan stalls than our Tmn Muda zhap fan stalls..

    1. That's probably because the owners hail from they sell Penang-style noodles too :)

  2. The chap fan dishes look good, especially the stew eggs and pork. Their curries are right for me too as I can't eat spicy food. If I live nearby I will just eat here for lunch daily. Do they have chap fan for dinner too?

    1. I was told they used to be open for dinner but not anymore.

  3. I am quite surprised that they have stuffed ikan cencaru as this is more commonly found at Malay stalls.

    1. Eh, I thought this stuffed ikan cencaru is more of a Chinese dish coz I don't see it at Malay stalls and, if I did find it, it's usually ikan cencaru cooked in sambal but not stuffed like this.

    2. During my uni days, I have eaten this stuffed ikan cencaru that is sold by the Chinese stall and not found in the Malay stalls so I think it is more of a Chinese dish as well.

  4. cencaru sumbat brings back memories ... i remember my grandmother making it, and stuffing it with her sambal ... i liked it and enjoyed the combination of the savoury fish with the spicy chilli ... but i never quite fully appreciated it ... i almost wish i could go back in time and have it again :)

    1. Well, you can still go back in time and taste the one here to see if you can fully appreciate it now! ;D

  5. Im into fish.. but im into chicken too! Looks like i'll have it all:D

    1. Well, looks like you can have it all since there are only about 15 dishes on any given day! ;)

  6. I was expecting to see a post full of sweets with the name "Dessert House". I wonder why they chose that name.

    1. They started out as a dessert house (and still is) selling "tong sui" (sweet soup desserts) but have now added noodles and rice to their repertoire =)


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