Creamy butter 'loh shu fun' anyone? Get cracking combinations and good classic dishes at Song Lim Restaurant
KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 – Sometimes living out in the suburbs means one might miss out on some hidden gems tucked away deep inside the city, but the flip side is when a long overdue trip to the city finally happens, the ephemeral joy of finding something new and delicious for the first time is second to none.
Even more so, when the place is doing something pretty unique like at Song Lim Restaurant, found off Jalan Loke Yew.
Look for the brightly coloured sign on the corner.
Most of us familiar with lou shu fun will have no doubt seen or had it in a clay pot, as is most commonly found. But at Song Lim, it’s done with a "creamy butter” sauce, though I think there’s a little more to it than that.
I know what you’re thinking. I felt the same on my first impression. Butter Lou Shu Fun ?
But I kept an open mind and was thankfully rewarded.
The signature here, it’s RM34 for a medium portion and comes looking... not very buttery.
Instead of the bright yellow, viscous and gloopy mess I was expecting, I was faced with something far lighter, dyed an incredibly light orange by the presence of curry powder, with a thin and almost watery texture.
Butter Lou Shu Fun that’s mild with a tinge of curry flavour and full of crispy 'har mai.'
Strands of lou shu fun, smooth and slippery as they are, take on the mildly-flavoured sauce pretty well, while plenty of goodies like bits of shrimp and squid are scattered everywhere along with a generous helping of crispy dried shrimp or har mai that adds some much-needed umami to the overall dish.
The central part of the restaurant, the main dining area is to the right.
Butter Lou Shu Fun sounds off the wall, but the menu here is literally on it. You can also get a regular menu but what’s the fun in that?
Like many other Chinese establishments, Song Lim does a wide variety of dishes that are a little less far out, and you can find pictures of most of them on the wall.
Salted Egg Mantis Prawns (RM34 for small) is a pretty recognisable dish that doesn’t always bring much surprise, but the version here is free from the unpleasant grainy texture that’s often a consequence of using salted egg powder as opposed to actual salted eggs.
Salted Egg Mantis Prawns that aren’t sandy and powdery: real good stuff.
The result is equal parts savoury, rich and funnily enough, buttery and is a great bite in between bowls of lou shu fun.
Dark Beer Braised Chicken (RM30 for small) is probably more accurately fried chicken pieces in a stout-based sauce.
Similar to Guinness ribs, these pieces of chicken are fried and then coated in the characteristically sticky, sweet sauce.
A preparation that’s also found with pork ribs, the crispy fried bits of meat are glazed in a dark, sticky and caramel-like sauce with notes of coffee coming from the bitterness in the stout.
The Three Egg Spinach was unexpectedly bold in flavour, particularly in the broth.
Perhaps the most unassuming dish, the Three Egg Spinach (RM26 for small) has everything you want: hefty chunks of both salted and century eggs and a broth that’s well-seasoned, possibly with a superior stock base.
The largest dish was the Salted Sauce Fried Fish Head (RM58), though I think braised might be more accurate.
Salty, tangy and just plain addictive, it’s hard to not want more of the Salted Sauce Fried Fish Head.
Bits of soft, tender fish head meat are absolutely drenched in a dark, salty and tangy sauce with bits of black beans, fried ginger and tomatoes. If we weren’t already eating noodles, this would be a dream to eat with plain rice.
The full menu at Song Lim is an exhaustive list, but the forte here seems to lean towards noodles as opposed to rice.
Classic dishes like Hokkien Mee and Mapo Tofu can also be found here, but with something as unusual as Butter Lou Shu Fun, wouldn’t you rather go for that instead?
Song Lim Restaurant
No 3, Persiaran Jubilee, Off, Jln Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur
Open Monday to Sunday, 11am-10pm; Closed on Tuesday
Tel: 019-380 2926
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