Did you know that a chef from Johor Bahru was featured on USA's News 12 channel, way back in 1994?
This chef from JB is none other than MR A.B. Lai 阿明, the owner and chief chef at the popular Ah Meng's Restaurant 阿明砂煲海鲜粥餐馆 in Taman Molek.
Ah Meng 阿明 was invited to demonstrate his outstanding culinary skills and his food carving art to News 12's American audiences.
Today, Ah Meng 阿明 runs his own popular restaurant in Taman Molek.
Ah Meng started working in a kitchen as a boy way, way back in 1965 and did a stint in the restaurants of the Chinatown of New York City before returning to Johor Bahru to open his own Ah Meng's Restaurant.
Ever since I was introduced to Ah Meng's Restaurant by my friend Francis, Ah Meng's has become one of my favourite restaurants in JB. Ah Meng's has an extensive menu mostly of Teochew cuisine and I have been returning to enjoy his delectable dishes.
The giant 55 gallon steel drum of chicken and seafood stock in the foreground.
It is also a pleasure to chat with the affable Ah Meng and watch him in high energy action, especially when the restaurant was serving a full house of appreciative customers and fans (as was often the case during lunch and dinner).
These are some of Ah Meng's dishes that I have tried and loved.
Ah Meng's signature Teochew style claypot seafood porridge was lip smacking delicious. The rice and fresh ingredients like fish slices, clams and prawns were boiled in a flavourful chicken and seafood broth. The broth was so tasty that I tipped the claypot in order to scoop out that last drop of yummy soup.
Ah Meng's fish head bee hoon is served with a savoury gravy made with chicken and seafood stock rather than in a soup.
The bee hoon soaked up the flavourful gravy and complemented the natural sweetness of the large chunks of fish head very well.
The key to Ah Meng's popular fish head bee hoon lies simply in using only the freshest fish which are prepared with culinary artistry mastered by Ah Meng through years of passionate, hard work.
Ah Meng learnt how to make these well loved siew mai during his stint in a Cantonese dim sum restaurant in New York City. Ah Meng's signature siew mai are densely packed with minced pork and shrimps.
Ah Meng's fried fish steak simply garnished with savoury gravy, shallot oil and shallot crackles.
Ah Meng's has many more famous dishes that I have yet to try, so I will definitely be back to try them all :)
Oh, I should mention that Great Terroir wine shop is just a couple of doors away from Ah Meng's Restaurant. I sometimes, walk over and pick up a wine to enjoy with Ah Meng's delicious dishes :)
Restaurant name: Ah Meng's Restaurant 阿明砂煲海鲜粥餐馆
Address: 32, Jalan Molek Dua, Taman Molek, Johor Bahru
Hours: Lunch 10:30am to 3:30pm. Dinner 5:00pm to 9:00pm. (Closed on Wednesday)
Dates visited: 14 Aug 2012, 27 Aug 2012
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