Cheras Business Centre isn’t an area I would have thought of exploring for food, but a friend took me to Zheng Ji for dinner a couple of months back and I liked what we ate. Jien and I returned again for dinner with the family last weekend and since there were 10 of us, we got to order quite a few dishes to try. Like the steamed wild patin, which is a signature at Zheng Ji Restaurant.
We ordered half a fish (RM200 per kg) in advance, and it weighed approximately 1.7kg. The fish was sweet and tasty, and because it’s not farmed, there was no muddy smell or taste. I especially enjoyed the gravy it came with – light yet packed with umami. The belly of the fish was especially delicious; melt-in-the-mouth texture and a creamy finish.
Another popular item at Zheng Ji is the claypot lamb (RM70 – large) where lamb chunks are cooked with ginger, a generous amount of scallions and black fungus for a bit of texture. The lamb was tender and well infused with spices, and liked how the ginger cuts through the gaminess of the lamb and you get a spicy note from it towards the end.
I also enjoyed the claypot pork belly with salted fish (RM30) – a simple dish done well. I was told the chef formerly worked with Oversea Restaurant before branching out on his own. I reckon this dish is tastier than the one at Oversea. The pork belly slices were crisp around the edges with enough fat for flavour. This was aromatic and robust in flavour from the salted fish and caramelisation of the dark soy sauce and pork fat.
I suspect one of Zheng Ji’s specialty is claypot dishes as even the claypot kangkung belacan (RM18) was tasty. You get a good amount of char from the cooking process and I liked how the vegetables were cooked just right so there’s a nice bite to it. This begs for more white rice, I tell you.
The house special kawi fah tofu (RM24 -large) features simple blocks of egg tofu, deep-fried and topped with minced pork for flavour. Nothing spectacular, but good enough as an accompanying dish. I like the tri-colour steamed egg (RM15) at Zheng Ji because the texture is silken and it’s adequately seasoned. My only gripe is the amount of century and salted egg in it – there wasn’t enough to go around.
The lady boss recommended that we try the roast chicken (RM35 – half) and it was good stuff. I really liked how crisp and tasty the skin was, and the flesh was also nicely seasoned and aromatic from the fried garlic and spices. It was good enough on its own – no dipping sauces needed. I’m definitely ordering this again.
Our bill came up to RM566 for all the above. Considering what we ordered (wild patin fish) and the quality of the food, that’s somewhat reasonable. You’ll definitely pay less if you skip the steamed wild patin, but that’s Zheng Ji’s highlight. Do call ahead to reserve a table as they are always a full house during dinners on weekends. ;)
Food: 8/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Try the steamed wild patin, claypot kangkung belacan, claypot lamb and roast chicken.
Zheng Ji Restaurant
No.20, Jalan Jalak 2,
Taman Sri Bahtera,
56100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 017-359 6380 (Ah Seong), 017-886 9806 (May)
Business hours: 11.30am till 2.30pm, 5.30pm till 10.45pm
Closed alternate Thursday