Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dim Sum at Hock Chiang Hin Kopitiam 福振兴餐室 in Old Downtown (Near City Square), Johor Bahru, Malaysia

 

My friends from Singapore often asked me, where can they find traditional dim sum within walking distance from City Square in JB.

Recently, I stumbled upon Hock Chiang Hin 福振兴餐室, one of the oldest kopitiams in JB and it serves traditional dim sum :) There used to be at least three dim sum shops in JB downtown, but now, Hock Chiang Hin is the only one left.

Hock Chiang Hin had its grand heydays when it was the nearest kopitiam to the JB CIQ - less than a stone's throw away. In those days, many workers and commuters going to Singapore will pick up some paus from Hock Chiang Hin before crossing over to Singapore. After the CIQ shifted, most of these regulars were gone.

But good old Hock Chiang Hin is still here and the paus are still as good as ever - many still say that they are the  best in JB. After trying them, I begin to appreciate that claim :)

 
 
 
At Hock Chiang Hin, all the dim sum and paus are freshly made right here in the traditional way at the kopitiam everyday.


Hock Chiang Hin is the only such kopitiam in downtown JB, so if you want freshly made dim sum and paus, this is it.
 

Ordering is easy. Just say or point to what catches your fancy :)
 

This is Hock Chiang Hin's signature big pau 大包 at RM2 each.


The snowy skin was light and porous with many "holes". The skin tasted slightly sweet and the texture was soft, bouncy and fluffy.
 

The filling made with sliced pork was tender, moist and juicy. Well marinated, tasty and quite sweet.
 

The little brother was equally good - small (pork) pau.


The vegetable pau for herbivores.
 

The lo mai kai 糯米鸡 was a tight mound of glutinous rice well infused with syrupy sweet and savoury sauce. The large pieces of chicken were well marinated and tender. Made according to traditional tastes and needs, the lo mai kai might be a tad greasy for modern tastes. In those days, workers appreciate an affordable meal that kept their stomachs filled much of the day.

These were the other dim sum that we tried today.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hock Chiang Hin's dim sum had its roots as affordable food for commuters at the transit stop between JB and Singapore. Its traditional taste tended towards being filling, meaty and relatively plain compared to the dainty contemporary dim sum (especially in more exclusive restaurants) that emphasizes flavours. Hock Chiang Hin's dim sum had remained pretty much in the traditional mould of affordable street food.

Hock Chiang Hin's dim sum are reasonably priced - starts at RM1 and the most expensive item, their signature big pau, is RM2. 
 

A dab of this chili sauce makes the dim sum tastier :)

These are heritage pictures of Hock Chiang Hin (with much thanks to 陈由东, a third generation owner). For the owners, the shop is the centre of everything. All major events and milestones are celebrated at the shop.

 
Hock Chiang Hin in the 1940s. The gentleman in the middle is the founder.
 
 
The wedding of the second generation owners.


Seventies. That signboard in the background is still around, in the kitchen now. Panda was a popular party guest :))


Only one of that old style ornate marble tables is left at the kopitiam. Go take a look at Hock Chiang Hin. It's authentic heritage furniture - not a replica.
 
Heritage Photo

The founder is the gentleman on the left and the present owner 由东 is the little boy just in front on the left.

Eating dim sum at Hock Chiang Hin is an opportunity to appreciate our culinary heritage, and its flavours and tastes. It's also a chance to experience one of JB's rare historic shops.
 

Restaurant name: Hock Chiang Hin 福振兴餐室
Address: Along Jalan Siu Nam opposite the ESSO petrol station
Map:
http://goo.gl/maps/WB09l
GPS: 1.459103,103.766126
Hours: 6:00am to 1:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
Non Halal

Dates visited: 15 Nov 2012, 19 Nov 2012

20 comments:

  1. Bro JK, your GPS coordinates are for Lau Di Teochew Kway Teow Soup 老弟潮州粿条汤

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  2. Sry, it is the map coordinates, not GPS..my bad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh Lau Di is a tenant in Hock Chiang Hin kopitiam, so they have the same address.

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  3. makes up for the time the one in Impian Emas was closed!

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  4. wow! look at those buns!! and lor mai kai! I made my own lor mai kai today too! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hehe, thanks to your pops, I'm gonna include this place to my must-go-eat list! I love dim sum!!! So excited hehe :D

      Thank you too, Uncle!

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    2. Cathi, hehehe this is old style, so quite thick and meaty. Meant to fill stomach and not so much emphasis on flavours ;)

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  5. One would get some kway teow & tim sum = two in one at the same shop
    Wonderful arrangement. Shall be taking a bus ride there soon.
    PT





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  6. Too bad they are closed on Sunday. My friends and I are craving for dim sum. is there any nice dim sum serving around the same area?

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  7. Many JB foods are over-rated including Lau Di Teochew Kway Teow Soup and this dimsum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is possible as tastebuds differ. However, there are no advertorials and no paid reviews in this blog, just personal experiences and preferences. Thank you.

      Delete
  8. This coffee shop also serves one of the best traditional noodles I've eaten and went there almost every weekend to have it and it's always full. Great if you could write a review about it.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Lau Tee has one of the best old style Teochew noodles in JB. There is an article on Lau Tee or Lau Dee in this blog :)

      Delete
  9. I hadn't have the food yet, but I have to say this is the kind of post I had always been keen on reading. It shares the legacy of the store and the faces behind it's creation and this makes a connection at a personal level. Will be trying this store just because of your post. Great job JK.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind comments :-D Appreciate much.

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  10. Hi anyone of their contact number ?

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  11. Tried it today, consider cheap and quite nice..
    Just the steam ginger chicken bit too oily and heavy taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May I know how you get there?

      Delete
  12. Arrive at 10am and discovered that most items are sold out.

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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