Thursday, 13 February 2014

Lei Cha 百家乐客家擂茶 at BESTMART in Taman Nusa Bestari, Johor Bahru

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

Dropped in early today, at the popular 百家乐 lei cha 客家擂茶 stall at BESTMART in Taman Nusa Bestari.

Lei cha is a Hakka comfort food of rice and grains eaten with yong tau foo and a green herbal vegetable gruel or ground tea (hence, the name lei cha 擂茶 which means ground tea in Hakka language). 

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

百家乐客家擂茶 is one of the stalls in 007 Best Court which is a medium size food centre with about 20 food and drink stalls.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

百家乐客家擂茶 run by the Lee family for over 6 years is well liked by their fans for their homely, flavourful lei cha made with market fresh ingredients

For example, each piece of yong tau foo is hand assembled at the stall.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶- BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

The chai poh 菜脯 is fried at the stall in slow heat so that the browned bits of preserved turnips turn out savoury and crunchy.

We were at 百家乐客家擂茶 at around 8:30am, in time to see the Lees busy preparing the food. I couldn't wait to start eating after seeing how focused and meticulous the stall holders were :D 

We quickly made our orders.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru
Lei cha 擂茶 set RM5

Our brown rice was invisible in the bowl - blanketed under the fried peanuts, chopped long beans, cabbage, spinach and preserved radish. The rice and nuts/vegetables came with a bowl of the green herbal vegetable gruel.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

The bright green ground tea is made with a mixture of tea leaves and herbs together with various roasted nuts, seeds, grains, and natural flavorings. The aroma of refreshing mint was present along with that subtle grassy smell of leafy greens.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

A common way to eat lei cha is to pour the entire bowl of ground tea gruel into the bowl of rice and nuts/seeds/vegetables. I also like to eat my lei cha this way.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

Some people say that lei cha, which is a Hakka comfort food, is an acquired taste for those not from the Hakka clan. Personally, I found lei cha very easy to like.

I like the interesting mix of textures - nutty seeds, crunchy chai poh, spongy toufu, tender yet firm rice and milky, slightly grainy broth.

I also enjoy the zesty aroma of mint, the grassy sweet taste of the leafy greens and the savouriness of the fried chai poh and tofu. 

I also found the green colour pleasing, appetising.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

To go with our lei cha, we had a piece each of the yong tau foo - eggplant, bitter gourd and toufu.

That orangey hued chili sauce (top right) was marvelous though deceptively mild looking. It has savouriness from pungent garlic and a sharp sting from chili padi that lingers - you have been warned. I like this.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

All the yong tau foo pieces were stuffed with a meaty pork and fish stuffing, and panned in the wok with hot oil before serving. The bouncy stuffing was juicy and savoury-sweet - I love it. From the mouth feel and taste, it was clear that the toufu, eggplant and bitter gourd were market fresh.

百家乐客家擂茶 serves one of the best lei cha that I have tried in Malaysia, Singapore or at home.

Must Try, if you are a lei cha 擂茶 fan.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

This lei cha is also popular with take-away customers.

Lei-Cha-百家乐客家擂茶-BESTMART-Taman-Nusa-Bestari-Johor-Bahru

Restaurant name: 百家乐客家擂茶 (stall in 007 Best Court food centre) 
Address: Jalan Nusa Bestari 2 1/1 (off Jalan Sutara Danga)
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/Eo2Sm
GPS: 1.495875,103.655097
Hours: 9:00am to 4:00pm (closed on alternate Mondays)
Non Halal

Date visited: 13 Feb 2014

Return to Johor Kaki home page.

1 comment:

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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