Monday, 30 November 2009

Review: Capon Chicken & Seafood @ Jin Chwan Seafood & Chef Tam


After our first taste of ma cho kai (horse grass chicken) at Hakka Republic, Gerald of Sunshine Chicken invited us and a group of bloggers, as promised, to taste the elusive capon chicken known as yim kai in Cantonese. I had never tasted yim kai in my life but listening to Capt'n Hook's description of how a man on his bicycle going round his kampung (which is now part of KL city) offering his service to castrate roosters is well... very interesting indeed.

This time round Gerald rounded up Kedai Makanan Chef Tam and Jin Chwan Seafood Garden in Taman Bidara, Selayang to offer us some fresh seafood off the tank and a few of Chef Tam's specialties. Jin Chwan is not a stranger to us as we have been visiting them during their early opening days. They're amongst the early "live" seafood provider where we could picked from their tank and they will send the seafood over to either Chef Tam or North Ocean (shifted to Bandar Menjalara and strangely wrapped up within months of shifting). I spied Chef Tam recently but I was skeptical thinking it could be an imitator since Chef Tam at one point had shifted to Bandar Sunway but has since sold his business to his friend and move to Indonesia for a few years before coming back to Selayang again! So it was the real Chef Tam indeed ;-)

First up was the visit to Jin Chwan Seafood Garden. Whoa, the place seems to be having more and more tanks. There are rows and rows of live seafood ranging from fishes, crabs and shellfish... lots of them are very exotic stuff, very educational indeed for boiboi. All one need to do is pick up the seafood and wine (if you forget to bring any) here, pay at the cashier and their staff will send over to your choice of restaurants of either Chef Tam or Bei Hai (in replace of North Ocean). The restaurants will prepare and cook your pick with some charges thrown in.

Jin Chwan
Canadian Pacific Oysters

We walked back to the restaurant, a very cool reprieve indeed under the hot afternoon sun. We started off with very huge Canadian Pacific oysters, definitely bigger than my palm. Ben of Jin Chwan was around to explain to us about themselves and the oysters of course. Was surprised that these luscious babies costed only RM4.80 per oyster.

Ben of Jin Chwan

Next was the piece de resistance, the Steamed Yim Kai that came with a dip of chopped ginger and spring onions plus a type of rice from XinJiang. The rice was kinda glutinous and sticky, wonderfully fragrant as Chef Tam had used the broth from the chicken to cook the rice. As for the chicken, my first bite into the chewy meat was unforgettable. Since I've tasted ma cho kai before, this I tell ya, it's totally different. The texture is smooth but unlike normal chicken this is chewy and bouncy... very different indeed as compared with normal kampung chicken.

Steamed Yim Kai (Capon or Castrated Chicken)

Since I was forbade from eating chicken skin since young, I never developed a liking for them well except when they're deep fried, even then I still just have a couple of bites and discard the rest, yes even with KFC :p Since Gerald said the skin is a must try, I soldiered on and surprisingly the skin texture is not soft and slimy but instead bouncy and crunchy, yeah crunchy! No wonder my boiboi kept asking his daddy to scoop for him the pieces with the skin on!!! *roll eyes*

Xinjiang Rice with Steamed Chicken Ginger and Spring Onions Dip

The plate shown above is half a chicken errr 1 whole chicken was about 4.5kg up to 5kg and yes please call ahead to reserve one or half a yim kai. The price is around RM120++ for half and the price is seasonal.

Close up on yimkai

A plate of sea snails buried in gratined creamy cheese sauce came next. Pure Glutton's boy loved this but I find it very jelak, perhaps it had turned cold and the sauce was just too cheesy. I've tasted similar style in Jun Kee where the sea snails were coated with a light cheese sauce instead of buried in one which is more agreeable. Sorry no picture cos it turned out terrible looking.

Our table got this Australian Jack Pearl fish which is lightly steamed and served with superior soy sauce. The flesh is firm and sweet, wished the fish was bigger in size though. We found out later that our neighbouring table had gotten a different type of fish - Sea Garoupa which is done in similar way, must be good since the entire fish has been deboned!

Steamed Australian Jack Pearl Fish in Superior Soy Sauce

The obligatory tofu dish turned out to be superb. The chunks of tofu are deep fried placed on top of blanched baby kailan. A drizzle of light sauce complete the dish. The eggy tofu ought to be homemade and it was delish. I polished 2 chunks!


This time I tasted roasted ma cho kai which we all thought was roasted but in fact it's deep fried after the chicken is hung dry for many many hours. Hence, Chef Tam mentioned that this dish need pre-ordering if possible. Our table loved this chicken! It's so satisfying biting into the crispy skin amidst the bouncy meat.

Roasted Ma Cho Kai

It's my first time tasting this plate of super dark green vegetables. Pure Glutton explained that this is snow pea shoots (a type of dao miu). The shoots are plainly stir-fried with garlic, the flavours of the vege is intense, definitely does not have the greenish taste. I'm hooked.

Stir-fried Snow Pea Shoots

Our meal ended with a refreshing gwai ling goe and mixed fruit cocktail and Chef Tam explaining the dishes cum answering questions fielded by us. We would like to thank Gerald, Jin Chwan and Chef Tam for the hospitality served.

Gwai Ling Goe Chef Tam and Gerald

In the meantime, if you're hankering for some ma cho kai or yim kai, do give Gerald a call as Sunshine Chicken do delivers to certain areas in the Klang Valley. Otherwise, click here to check where you can eat these yummy free range chickens.

Check out what the rest have to say about this:
Cumi dan Ciki
Eu Hooi Khaw (gosh I was so "star" struck having to finally meet Hooi Khaw in real after reading NST for yonks :p)

Jin Chwan Seafood Garden
9 Jalan 2/4,
Taman Bidara, Selayang
Tel: (603) 6138 2633
Business Hours:
Weekday 8:00am - 10:00pm
Public Holiday and Sundays 8:00am - 10:30pm

Kedai Makanan Chef Tam
6A Jalan Bidara 2/4,
Taman Bidara, Selayang.
Tel: (603) 6138 8751
Business Hours: 12:oopm - 3:oopm & 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Sunshine Chicken (Sales & Marketing)
45-2, 2nd Floor, Jalan Menara Gading 1,
Medan Connaught
56000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 9102 3950


  1. cannot wait for the road trip! looking at your shots, makes me wanna eat yim kai .. like NOW!

  2. can't believe that so many floggers are coming to Kuala Lipis just to see the yim kai :)

  3. Yup, the Yim Kai and Ma Cho Kai were lip-smacking good. Hope I can make it to Lipis too.

  4. c&c, me too!!!

    leo, not just see but EAT!!!

    Jon, you must come!

    hi Camelia, I'm already a member of petitchef


Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

16 Oct 2012