When I first Googled about Big Big Bowl Cafe, there were already numerous blogs raving about their Hakka Lui Cha being the best in town. I felt that it was interesting to try it out although admittedly, I haven’t eaten Lui Cha in my life (despite my mum being a Hakka herself). Lui Cha means pounded tea where an assortment of tea leaves are pounded until it turned into greenish liquid. The liquid or what is commonly termed as the soup, is consumed with either rice or noodles top up with peanuts, bean curd and vegetables.
Depending on how you view the cuisine, it could be either a sumptuous meal (if you are a Hakka or Hakka food lover) or an odd mixture of gooey green liquid with rice or noodles (if you never like seen this dish before).
I kept an open mind when the Lui Cha (RM 7.50) was served as curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to try it out for my first time (and possibly make my mum proud.. lol). And my verdict? There was a strong taste of basil and mint infused inside the soup which took me a while to get used to it.
From what I understand, the soup is made using the restaurant closely guarded family recipe. Moreover, there is no preservative which will certainly delight health conscious foodies out there. The Lui Cha is served with eight different type of ingredients including peanuts and ‘choi poh’ and painstakingly pounded although I believe it is now done using machine. After being enlightened over the technicality aspect of the dish, I started to like it better and even ordered an additional bowl of white rice to eat. From what I heard, most Hakka restaurants out there do not make soup as thick and flavoursome as the one in Big Big Bowl Cafe.
The claypot rice wine chicken RM15.50 (regular) RM20.50 (big) was another dish which I seldom eat. This is because the soup carries a concentrated taste of ‘wong chau’ or Chinese wine which doesn’t appeal my taste bud.
Surprisingly, the claypot rice wine chicken at Big Bowl did not have strong wine flavour. On the contrary, it was much sweeter. According to Angie Lim who is the Operation Manager of the cafe, better quality wines will tend to taste sweeter which is how authentic Hakka rice wine chicken should be done. What is even more special about the dish is that the wine is home made by them.
The claypot vinegar trotters RM15.50 (regular) RM20.50 (big) is another popular dish at the cafe. I will be honest to say that I never like eating ‘chu kiok cho’.
When my mum prepare this dish, I will request her to cook a separate meal for me to eat. Perhaps the sourish smell emitting from the claypot wasn’t exactly what I would term as yummy. Well, at least I did try a few pieces of the pork at Big Big Bowl Cafe and the experience wasn’t that bad.
The soup was sweet with a tinge of sourish taste as how I expected it to be.
The cafe also recently introduced a new dish called the claypot siam style pork belly RM13.50 (regular) RM16.50 (big). This one reminded me of those Kung Pow style cooking with dark sauce and dried chilli. But what made it different was the inclusion of Basil leaves which lends an interesting taste of clove-like flavor with spicy chilli. I like this dish a lot.
What is even more interesting to note is that the all the dishes that are served with claypot are made instantly to ensure that they are served fresh from the kitchen.
Belacan fried lady finger (RM8) is also one of my favourite dish. The lady finger was big and crunchy while the sambal packs a punch.
Aptly called seven veggie pan mee RM5.50 (regular) RM8.50 (big bowl), the noodle is made from seven types of vegetables without preservative or colouring. This means that the noodle is full of wholesome goodness and fibre.
The soup is boiled only with ‘ikan bilis’ or anchovies without any pork and thus retaining the traditional taste of pan mee soup. While the soup was a bit plain to me, the seven veggie noodle was flavoursome as a result of the blended vegetables and this sort of makes up for the lack of soup taste.
I guess we are all too spoilt with eating MSG laden food huh? The bigger portion is served with a big bowl and thus the name of the restaurant.
Angie told us that her cafe started with selling only Pan Mee before adding a host of other cuisines to cater to the larger audience. She also mentioned that the pan mee dough are kneaded daily to ensure freshness.
The signature curry pan mee RM10.50 (regular) RM13.50 (big bowl) was my favourite as I love the taste of the curry soup.
Apparently the curry paste is also home made as well. The curry soup wasn’t too spicy and it has a nice sweet-ish flavour to it.
Perhaps owning to my half-Hakka roots, I am used to eating this sort of curry mee prepared by my mum. Love it.
The udon special with sambal / black pepper (RM8.50) was nicely presented with a layer of egg wrapping around the noodle like pattaya fried rice. Thumbs up for the food presentation. This is a new dish catering for the younger crowd that prefer something special. I didn’t really eat much as my stomach was half bloated by the time it was served.
Finally, our dinner ended with the signature mix platter (RM 19.90) which comes with fried pork, marmite chicken, fried dumplings and toufu with peanut toppings.
Personally I like the marmite chicken the most which can be ordered separately.
Being an eatery that specialises in home cook food, it is easy to recommend Big Big Bowl Cafe to health conscious foodies.
Given the popularity of the Lui Cha at Big Big Bowl Cafe, Hakka food lovers ought to give this place a try.
Big Big Bowl Cafe
No. 31, Jalan Metro Perdana Barat 2 (Opposite Jusco Kepong)
Taman Usahawan Kepong
52100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-211 5564
Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. till 9 p.m.
Sat – Sun: 11 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Close on every alternate Tuesday