In the mood for HK noodles, claypot rice and congee at Oriental Express

Eu Hooi-Khaw

Oriental Express is a haven for Hong Kong-style noodles, porridge, claypot rice and BBQ meats. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 20, 2021.

HONG Kong style noodles and porridge, claypot rice and BBQ meats are food I can never tire of, especially if they are done well. We have been to the Oriental Express in Petaling Jaya twice in a week since it opened.

On our first lunch there, we zeroed in on its braised beef tendon and brisket noodles (RM20), Ting Zai style congee (RM17), claypot rice with meat cake with salted fish (RM20) and a three-combination BBQ platter of roast duck, roast pork and BBQ pork or char siu (RM55).

BBQ platter of roast pork, roast duck and char siu in the three-combination platter. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 20, 2021.

We couldn’t expect everything to be perfect on the first day, but we did like how the noodles were generously heaped with braised beef tendon and slices of brisket. The cake of minced pork with salted fish almost covered the rice drenched with sauce in the claypot.

Stirred up, the rice made a yummy meal with the meat, together with bits of fried salted fish in the rice too. I enjoyed the slightly burnt rice crackling at the bottom of the claypot as well.

Claypot rice with meat cake and salted fish. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 20, 2021.

Standing out in the three-combination platter was the roast pork which had the crispiest skin and the right amount of fat and the sticky caramelised char siu. Ting Zai congee is that iconic Hong Kong “sampan” porridge, cooked by families that lived on the boats.

The porridge featured mostly seafood, cuttlefish, meat and peanuts. That at Oriental Express had strips of yu piu (fried fish maw), cuttlefish, chicken and peanuts in the creamy and smooth porridge. The only flaw was that the porridge was served warm; it would have tasted better if it had been hot.

Ting Zai congee. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 20, 2021.

On our next visit, we shared claypot rice with wild mushrooms and truffle (RM16), pan-fried French beans prawn pancake (RM16), Hong Kong-style soy sauce chicken (RM20), braised beef tendon and brisket noodles, and Ting Zai congee (again).

The mushroom claypot rice was so good: Shimeji, sliced eringi and shiitake mushrooms completely covered the rice. Combined with the flavourful sauce, the aromas of the mushrooms and truffle oil wafted up from the rice. We scraped up all the crispy scorched rice from the bottom of the pot and left nothing behind.

Claypot rice with mushrooms and truffle. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 20, 2021.

The pan-fried French beans prawn pancake (RM16) offered bouncy and sweet bites. It’s an appetiser that I would happily order again. The HK-style soy sauce chicken (RM20) was done well too, in a lightly spiced, sweet and dark sauce.

The second time around, the egg noodles in the braised beef tendon and brisket noodles turned out springy and nicely flavoured (they were soft on our earlier visit). The almost-translucent tendon had a more tender bite too.

So good, the braised beef tendon & brisket noodles. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 20, 2021.

The Ting Zai congee was just warm (again). I guess the kitchen needs a little reminder to serve it hot on request. Other varieties of congee include a smoked duck one (RM16), beef with pickled mustard greens (RM20) and with century egg and meatballs (RM16).

I would go back for more claypot rice which they do so well, this time with signature waxed meat (RM26) or with king prawn medallion with chef’s special sauce (RM26).

Oriental Express is part of the Oriental Group of restaurants. It also serves an express lunch of rice or noodles with char siu, roast pork, roast duck, steamed chicken or soy sauce chicken, with a drink, at RM19.80 nett.

Oriental Express is at Lot PG-01B & PG-D, Ground floor, Plaza 33, Jalan Kemajuan, Seksyen 13, Petaling Jaya. Call 03-2382 0288 for reservations. It’s open daily from 10am to 9pm. – March 20, 2021.

* Eu Hooi-Khaw has been writing about food for the longest time, covering all aspects, from restaurant reviews to cooking and recipes, as well as the healthy side of it. She has written for major newspapers and magazines, published the cookbook Fresh Ingredients, and also writes for her website

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