Luckily I had someone to show me around Seremban when my wife and I visited the place earlier this week. And nothing is more important, actually, than to go on a food trail with someone who is familiar with the place. Ask me to go there on my own and I will probably end up eating the worst of the worst food, but a foodie guide changes all perspective on filling the stomach properly!
Take for example, the night we were there. We were taken to the Sin Yit Sing Restaurant which, I am told, served one of the best soup noodles and marmite crabs around. Here is the interior of the shop. Very typically a Chinese restaurant. What's important is the food and its quality. Nothing else would matter.
And this is one of their signature dishes: a soup noodle with chunks of fried fish head cooked in a broth containing ginger and pepper. Boy, was it spicy! I almost choked at one point when the spices flared up in my throat.
Here's how it looked like when scooped into your own personal bowl.
Another of the restaurant's signature dishes, which is marmite crab. There were other flavours but we decided on their most popular one. We ordered two crabs.
And finally, there was this fried pork knuckles done in the Filipino style. The skin was crispy enough but I would say that the frying was overdone and the meat turned out tougher than expected. Total damage to the pockets was around RM160.
Who haven't tasted Seremban siew pau before? We were told that when the original Seremban siew pau maker passed away, his business was continued by the son. However, he had two daughters too who opened their own separate siew pau outlets. We visited one of the sisters' shop in Temiang, called Kedai Siew Pau Asia. But the shop's more commonly known as the Siew Pau Master.
When we arrived, many of the pastries had just been removed from the oven. Wafts of fragrant aroma filled the air. As usual, my wife was thrilled to see so many pastries in the shop.
We bought one siew pau each for tea, and then headed to the Seremban central market in search of their famous hakka mee. There are several places serving hakka mee but we were told that this stall in the market's hawker centre was just about as original as we can get. It sells only in the morning. Interestingly, the hawker's brother has his own stall elsewhere that opens from the afternoon. They cater to different crowds of people.
Markets are very vibrant places. Usually very colourful too. The Seremban central market wasn't any different from large markets elsewhere in the country.
And here it is, the Tow Kee Hakka Mee outlet in the hawker centre. Curiously, we did not see droves of people lining up to order. I think to the locals, this was just one of several hawkers operating here. And nothing much to excite tourists too, which is good, because too much fame can cause food quality to deteriorate fast.
Finally, the hakka mee came. At first glance, it looked like Singapore bak cho mee, but I preferred this version for its simplicity and authenticity. It may not look attractive but the taste was delicious.
For lunch, we went to the Silver Dragon Restaurant somewhere in Seremban2. This is supposedly one of the biggest Chinese restaurant in Seremban with a seating capacity of 2,000 people. We had arrived early and were the first patrons. The place was empty but because of the size of the hall, I could well imagine how busy it would be when filled with people. We selected from the set menu and had fried prawns, vegetables and steamed tilapia.