PUCHONG, Aug 10 — Following our call for readers to share their chap fan heroes with us, Ng Jin Han nominated Tuin Yuin Restaurant which is located at Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong.
The restaurant is operated by Lee Chai Hong and his wife Jasmine Lai. The duo have been in the chap fan business for a total of nine years, starting with a small stall before moving to this shoplot.
It's hard work maintaining the business with the lack of staff but they have pushed ahead despite health issues to serve wholesome meals to their regular customers, which is why Ng nominated them.
Some dishes like the butter fried fish will appear on the counter just before lunch time as it's best eaten freshly cooked.
You can place your takeaway containers on the trays so you can easily scoop your choices with the rice.
Be kind to the environment and bring your own container like Winnie Chew.
Previously, Jasmine was in the yong tau foo business while her husband fried up dishes at a dai chow. The switch to serving economy rice was prompted by the desire to spend more time with their family.
Ng describes Tuin Yuin's customers as "housewives, students and office workers who will visit the place to have a quick, tasty and close to home cooked taste."
True enough, the place is well known for their homestyle dishes which was affirmed by one of their customers, Sabrina Chan.
Some customers prefer just packing dishes to add on to their own cooked rice for a complete meal at home.
Jasmine Lai charges the customers based on the quantity they take.
The vegetables are cooked with less oil and selected so you don't get old and woody stems.
She had just moved to Cyberjaya and her friends recommended this place, so it was her first visit. Chan was seen taking orders on WhatsApp from her colleagues and packing different selections of the dishes with rice for their lunch.
Most of the customers here are regulars. Some, like Winnie Chew, will bring their own containers. She prefers the food at Tuin Yuin as they use less salt and MSG. Most importantly, the chicken used is fresh as her sensitive taste buds can pick up any funky smells.
The spread for lunch stretches to about 30 plus dishes. You have the usual chap fan items like fried chicken and pan fried luncheon meat. There's also sweet and sour pork, deep fried pork belly and butter fried fish.
If you dine in, they use a paper plate to avoid more work washing up since they are short of staff.
One of Jasmine's specialties is her steamed pork with egg that has a lovely fluffy texture.
Final flourishes like chopped spring onions are added to the 'lat chi kai' or the chicken dish cooked in a slightly spicy sauce with a beaten egg.
The vegetables are well prepared here with not much oil. Little details make a difference. For example, the watercress I had on my plate was tender shoots signifying time spent to omit the woody stems.
For those who like healthier steamed dishes, these are prepared by Jasmine. You have the wobbly steamed egg or fluffy minced pork encased in egg that is comforting. There's also steamed chicken with ginger and wolfberries.
Your meal here also comes with a glass of Chinese tea or water, so just help yourself. They don't serve soup these days since they are shorthanded.
The chap fan comes with a secret weapon... Jasmine's chilli sauce. That spicy umami sauce with chillies and belacan just adds an instant depth of flavour to your plate of rice and dishes.
The vegetables are quickly stir fried with less oil and served almost at the last minute.
You can also purchase 'ma cao' or horse grass chicken fed eggs sourced from Bentong too.
Each takeaway gets a small packet of the sauce. There's also a soy sauce studded with potent green birds' eye chillies too.
In terms of prices, this is calculated based on the quantity you take. For instance, the amount you are charged depends on the number of chicken pieces you place on the plate. Usually, your rice with one vegetable, one piece of chicken and one portion of beancurd will be around RM7 to RM8. Sometimes, you're charged RM10, if you add more on the plate.
It's backbreaking work for the couple as they serve both lunch and dinner. A day at Tuin Yuin can go up to 13 to 15 hours as the food needs to be prepped and cooked up just before meal times.
The preparation work in the kitchen starts from 8am onwards with the last dish coming out around 11am. After a break, the kitchen work starts again at 2.30pm. They finish by 9pm as some items need to be prepped and marinated for the next day's meal.
For lunchtime, you have customers like housewives and their young children dining at the restaurant.
Look for this place that is located next to the huge Hoo Yee Kee Restaurant at Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong.
You can also pick up ma cao or horse grass fed chicken eggs here too. Jasmine sells them as she gets the eggs direct from Bentong. The highly nutritional eggs are popular with her customers.
If you wish to tell us about your chap fan hero, just email email@example.com. Let us know who and why you're nominating the particular chap fan seller. Recommendations for special dishes cooked by them will also be a boon to us.
Tuin Yuin Restaurant, No. 109, Jalan Meranti Jaya 3/1, Taman Meranti Jaya, Puchong, Selangor. Open: 10.45am to 2.45pm, 5pm to 8.30pm. Closed on Sunday.