** Yup yup, what you are thinking is right – Karak, as in Bentong, as in Pahang. Pahang food yawwww! It was not simply named after a town, I know some eateries do that but apparently, these guys are from Karak itself and the restaurant, is a generation thingy, having been around for decades. I know of the specialty that comes from the West coast such as the ever famous Nasi Dagang, which literally originated from that side of Malaysia, the distinct different in flavors and taste is evident but when it comes to Chinese food though – is there a difference between this side and that side of the country? I cant really say, considering the rarity of my visits to Pahang. I wouldn’t know.
I stumbled upon this restaurant while taking a slow drive around PJ New Town/PJ State, on the lookout for something new, untried.
It amazes me – I’ve been coming to this particular area regularly for the past 10 years, at least once in two weeks and yet, just when I thought I had it all covered, I discover something new. Amazing indeed. This restaurant has been around for more than 2 decades, I wonder how I missed it.
I would rather have paid this eatery a visit during the day/lunch time because not only do they offer a selection of noodles and fried rice, there also is an array of individual dishes – fish, chicken, fresh water prawns, duck, beef and even ostrich and deer meat, in addition to vegetables and desserts. I, unfortunately, am not a heavy eater for dinner, which meant that I had to forego most of the dishes offered. It did not stop my tongue from wagging though. The table next to me ordered a large fish dish and when it arrived, seeing it on display, was a visual torture because it smelled real good. I am gonna head back here sometime soon for lunch and then, I shall feast and indulge.
The eatery occupies two floors and it is your usual family friendly Chinese restaurant. As is the case with many of these kinds of restaurants, Sri Karak too has been around for decades and you would be able to notice it visually, the slight oldies feel to it. It also seems to be a popular spot for family gatherings/ get-togethers, the kind that includes grandparents and grandchildren, having their weekly or monthly family catch up sessions. I must say, to be in the midst of it all, there is a certain kind of charm to it, an appeal that modern cafes rarely are able to replicate.
Sri Karak Seafood Fried Noodle (dry), 14.50 ringgit + Spicy Kampung Fried Rice. 12.90 ringgit + Shrimp Omelette (Regular), 16 ringgit
If you want a neighborhood eatery that offers you decent Halal Chinese food with a variety to choose from, do consider Sri Karak. Of course, what they are known for are the individual dishes – fish,fresh king prawns, ostrich meat and their range of durian desserts but as I mentioned above, it was dinner time and we did not want to over do it. So, we decided on a plate of fried noodle, fried rice and some omelette.
Between the three dishes ordered, I liked the fried noodles the best. It had a rather unusual but appealing flavor. The dish originally comes in wet form, Cantonese style. I wasn’t in the mood for wet noodles and requested for a dry version, which they were nice enough to accommodate. The dry version, still came with a little gravy at the bottom but just enough to provide the noodles with some texture – thick, sticky, gooey feel. That gravy though – it was ginger-ish. I usually am not a fan of anything ginger, I simply do not like the overwhelming flavor but here, it somehow worked. It still was the first thing you’d taste but I guess the fact that it was mixed with the gravy that had on several other items, made it tolerably appealing. I liked the extra ‘kick’ the noodles offered.
The Spicy Kampung Fried Rice was not spicy. Worry not though – on the side, we were given some garlic,chili in ketchup and we decided to use that to make up for the lack in spiciness, it worked. The portion of the dish was generous, it comes with a lot of rice. There was a fried egg on the top and lots of anchovies and seafood scattered all over. To me, this dish tasted more like a Chinese style fried rice as oppose to kampung fried rice. Either way, it tasted pretty good and certainly filling.
The Shrimp Omelette was my least favorite dish. It was not because it tasted bad, not at all. It simply is a matter of preference. I can make omelettes at home, I am pretty sure most of you can too and yet, I still order them at restaurants because they usually make them in ways I cant – crispy edges, buttery taste, it simply melts in your mouth. The ones I got here though, was the kind we could make at home and it cost me 16 ringgit. It was priced even more than the fried noodle and the fried rice. It seemed a lil overpriced considering the fact that there wasn’t anything spectacular about it. I would rather have used the money to get myself another dish or a dessert.
Would I head back here?
Yes, I still do intend to give their fish, prawns and durian desserts a try. Will pay them a visit for lunch one of these days.
Address: No 17, Jalan 52/8, Section 52, Petaling Jaya
Opening hours: Everyday. Mon to Sat, 10.30 am – 10 pm. Sun, 10.30 am – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm.
Signing out now, Ciao