Restaurant Pan Heong, Gombak: Batu Caves’ Other Star Attraction

The temples of Batu Caves is probably best known as the focal point of the Hindu celebration of Thaipusam ?????????. Every year around January or February, a sea of devotees would climb up its 272-steps grand stairway – often with heavy offerings on their backs – to receive blessing from Lord Murugan. For the rest of the year, this limestone hill cave is a serene place for one to view the splendorous work of Mother Nature.

Not very far from the foot of this hill is another popular house of worship. However, this temple is solely dedicated to another form of devotion, more commonly known as food. Not just any food, it’s good food. Hundreds and thousands of devoted foodies from all around the country (and every corner of the world) make their pilgrimage to this sacred shrine every year. And what do they pray for? To be blessed with a happy belly and, hopefully, a healthy artery at the end of the meal.

Pan Heong Batu Caves_1.jpg

With dishes like the intensely rich and smooth Cantonese-styled Sang Har Kway Teow (fresh water prawns with flat rice noodles in egg drop gravy) laden with prawn roes and the sinful Kow Yuk Mai Fun (fried vermicelli with stewed pork belly) fragrant beautifully by tonnes of zhi yao ja (pork lard croutons) as their signature dishes, it’s must be a divine miracle how anyone is still able to walk out of lunch without going into a cardiac arrest. If that’s not enough kill your heart, you ought consider an onslaught of crispy Nam Yu Pork Belly, which is marinated with fermented red bean curd. Every bite results in a burst of juicy pork fats into your mouth. You better pray hard it won’t kill you. Then again, if it did, it’ll be the best last meal you’d ever have.

A little trivia, the name of the restaurant is made up of two separate Chinese characters. ? which means “(wooden) plank” and ? is “fragrant”. Together they signify a Fragrant Shack. Why a shack you asked? Legend has it that until recently, they were operating from a run-down wooden hut right under a big tree. Hence, the restaurant also go by their unofficial name of Tai Shu Tao (literally, under a big tree). The walls of the restaurant is also adorned by many printed blog reviews by their devoted followers and believers. Judging from the impressive wall decor, I would have to say that this must be one of the most blogged about restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. One of which is courtesy of our very own Queen of DSLR!

Pan Heong Batu Caves_2.jpg

Speaking of queens, I’m thankful to Queen Masak-Masak for (finally) making this food trip a reality. The Lord must have heard our hungry prayers, after rounds of cancellation, to grant us this meal. So was it worth all the hype? Ambrosia it is not, but it was a great lunch nevertheless. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Plus, the prices are very reasonable too. It’s a meal I wouldn’t mind driving 1/2 hour to, fighting for a parking and queuing another 1/2 hour for a table. Don’t call yourself a foodie until you’ve paid your homage here.

Note that Pan Heong is also famous for their silky smooth and almost creamy Century Egg and Fish Porridge. You should try it too. Perhaps, it is this healthy dish that has kept us alive.

***

Pan Heong Restoran
No. 2, Jalan Medan Batu Caves 2,
Medan Batu Caves, 68100 Batu Caves.
Tel: 03-6187 7430
Business hours: 8.00am to 3.30pm.

To view pictures of the other dishes, head over to my flickr gallery HERE

13 Responses to Restaurant Pan Heong, Gombak: Batu Caves’ Other Star Attraction
  1. CUMI & CIKI
    April 21, 2010 | 1:28 am

    zomg! there goes the DIET! wonderful sanghar kwey teow .. there is NOTHING like the texture of the noodles here man.. nothing i tell ya.. NUTHIN:P

  2. UnkaLeong
    April 21, 2010 | 1:46 am

    Hands down ze best Sanghar Mein in the Klang Valley! Only the Queen could muster the troops together for this foodie outing. All hail the Queen!

  3. Eugene
    April 21, 2010 | 1:46 am

    I was just there two days ago. :)

    Love the noodles and the fried fu chuk with egg.

  4. Lyrical Lemongrass
    April 21, 2010 | 2:53 am

    Just when I want to eat my oats for lunch, I see your kau yuk mai fun and all thoughts of starvation has been thrown out of the window. Chis munkeyboy! Eh, your tamil words for Thaipusam is correct! You're worthy of being an Indian girl's BFF! ^_^

  5. Sean
    April 21, 2010 | 4:24 am

    thanks to my inability to wake up for lunch on weekends, i've never managed to visit this place! very sad, since i do consider myself a major fan of sang har meen! :D

  6. eiling lim
    April 21, 2010 | 4:37 am

    I love pan heong! yums

  7. Life for Beginners
    April 21, 2010 | 8:34 am

    The Century Egg and Fish Porridge gets my vote for the best dish that day! Delish! :D

    P.S. Didn't know you speak Tamil also, on top of Munkeyese… ;)

  8. thule a.k.a leo
    April 21, 2010 | 8:54 am

    Then I am a foodie already :) I came here… TWICE!
    but now I have to find the right time to have a meal in Pan Heong.. as the timing is not always within my control

  9. minchow
    April 21, 2010 | 11:55 am

    Oh dang! I always knew I was a half arsed foodie but why did you have to go confirm that!! No I haven't been to Pan Heong, and I'm deeply deeply regretful!

  10. J2Kfm
    April 21, 2010 | 12:09 pm

    "Don't call yourself a foodie until you've paid your homage here."

    Oh shucks. This is sooo out of the way lah. Erm, next outing then? :)

  11. NekoHime
    April 21, 2010 | 1:23 pm

    aiyo. the sang har meen looks gorgeous!!

  12. qwazymonkey
    April 21, 2010 | 4:14 pm

    Ciki: What diet? Hehe

    Eugene: Can't wait to go back there again. Craving for the kway teow

    Unka: All hail to the Queens!

    LL: Doncha wish your lunch was hot like mine? Doncha?

    Sean: Go to bed early on friday/sat.
    The silkiness of the sang har hor fun should be enough to motivate you

    LFB: It's yummers too, but I prefer the noodles. To each his own

    Thule: You big time foodie. *bow bow*

    Minchow: Hurry, go earn your stripes and 4square badge there

    J2KFM: Set! when u coming down next?

    Neko: It's yumzzzz

  13. PerutBesi
    April 22, 2010 | 6:29 am

    Aiyo…SO many ppl have mentioned bout this place, but to travel all the way there is like traveling halfway back to Kuantan d…hahahaha…one day I MUST try this place out!