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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Food Review - Kim Lian Kee

VIVA Home Mall, Jalan Loke Yew (not to be confused with the VIVA Mall as I was.)
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Getting there
The restaurant is located on the 1st floor of the VIVA Home Mall. This mall is very easy to spot as it is located along the famed Jalan Loke Yew (parallel to Jalan Cheras) and right next to the new hotel - VIVATel.

If you are going to the VIVA Home mall, then you'll have no problems parking as there are tons of parking at the mall itself or if you are trying your luck at the free weekend parking at the shops right outside the mall, you may also do that.
One interesting aspect of this place is that its kitchen is located right smack in the middle of the dining hall. I guess that's why they have a separate section for the diners outside on the verandah. The seating on the verandah is rather interesting as it overlooks the constantly busy Jalan Loke Yew. So I suggest you try it out there if it's not too hot for you.
The food comes quite nicely presented on dainty little oval plates. I have to say they have very nice plate-ware as their logo appears on each of them. They seem clean enough and I think the place is still fairly new and thus, the logos on the plates still look pretty clear & vibrant.
All the standard noodle varieties are found on their menu, even the Not-so-Standard Loh Mee, Claypot Loh Shu Fun (which Literally means Rat Noodles) and Moonlight Hor Fun (with a raw egg on top). So in terms of variety, there's definitely reason for a repeat visit, which was what I did, unfortunately.

Taste & Value For Money
Yes, the noodles here taste good despite the person doing the cooking may not be a Chinese at all (Yes, it looks like many of the foreigners are really picking up these culinary skills very quickly).I have to say each time I eat here (I've been here 4x thus far), I ask myself why do I even come here? The prices are a little on the high side for the portions and ingredients (or the lack of it) we get for the prices that they charge. On average, each menu item is around the RM10-11 (and this is before the taxes mind you) and the portion is similar to a snack or tapas - ie: just enough to tantalize but not enough as a full meal (unless you are trying to lose weight).
I actually tried to count the pieces of shrimp in my plate of noodles the other day when I was there. Wow - there were 3!  I think that was my lucky day. So what do you get for RM11 - 95% noodles and 5% of ingredients if you are lucky.
Having said that, it's easier to accept what I have to say next - which is, despite Kim Lian Kee's reputation and pedigree as a big name in Chinese Fried Noodles (especially for the Hokkien-Style - where the noodles are fried in thick dark soy sauce), I have had quite a few equally good, if not better, Hokkien-Styled noodles even in unassuming street stalls. And these places only charge between RM6-7 per serving and their sizes are very much more reasonable.

Overpriced and over-rated. Definitely not worth your time or money unless it's just to sate your curiosity as to how good Kim Lian Kee Noodles actually taste. But then, you know what they say about curiosity.

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