Ah Yat Ah-Baloney
Wild horses couldn't drag me to PJ on a weeknight at peak hour traffic. That is, unless the wild horse is called Mum. Mum was taking us out for dinner as a birthday treat for my brother. So at 7:30pm on a rainy Monday evening, we were stuck in slow-moving traffic out of KL. It wasn't all that bad, barely 45 minutes which was a good 15 minutes under my estimated guess. The only restaurant I know well in PJ is Greenview. Greenview is one of the best Chinese restaurant that I have been to. I was hoping that Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant (yes, what a mouthful) would be another buried treasure waiting to be discovered.
It has a "banquet hall" feel to the restaurant, like every other Chinese restaurant. It even has floor mounted lights like a runway, for tipsy brides perhaps? Mum had only been there for lunch and apparently the dinner menu is exponentially more expensive. My mum thought the set menu was RM788++ per table but it was actually per person. That was the top of the range menu with dishes like abalone, sharks fin (very bad!), ginseng, birds nest,... We ordered siew yoke, claypot vegetables with preserved beancurd, black pepper beef, peking duck, stir-fried duck noodles and crispy fried tofu.
We all agreed that the siew yoke was the best dish of the night. It was still warm and had a thin layer of fat separating luscious tender meat from crispy golden skin. It was served with salt and mustard. I could've eaten the whole plate by myself but my family beat me to it. The peking duck came rolled in a rather egg-y and chewy pancake. The duck itself was crispy and tasty. The tofu was surprisingly good. It was almost crunchy on the outside but the inside was smooth and wobbly.
The black pepper beef was nothing out of the ordinary. My mum doesn't eat beef and therefore does not cook beef at home. So everytime we go out for dinner, she feels the need to order beef for us. No surprise at the tenderised tofu-like texture! I liked the claypot vegetables because it had aubergine in it on top of the usual beancurd skin, black fungus and vermicelli. However, there was no hint of the main ingredient, preserved beancurd, anywhere. That was odd. The noodles were suspiciously sweet. As were most of the other dishes actually. It was all confirmed later that night when my eczema started acting up like crazy! To be fair, my skin is quite sensitive. And since we did not have any seafood that night, it must've been oyster sauce, a lot of it! With so many other fantastic Chinese restaurants like Overseas Imbi, Imbi Palace, De Foodland and Foong Lye on my favourites list, this place just didn't make the cut.