July, 2018 - Sek Yuen Restoran - Chinese

On 12thJuly, 15 Enakkers including two children ventured to the legendary Sek Yuen Restaurant at 315, Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. Sek Yuen serves old style authentic Cantonese food using the old method of cooking - wood block, and helmed by elderly cooks in stained white t-shirts. Sek Yuen was once the restaurant of choice for upper class Chinese diners during pre-Merdeka/Independence days. It was also one of the earliest Chinese restaurants where Chinese wedding banquets were held. If you are lucky, you might get to see how rice is cooked using wooden blocks at the back of the kitchen.

To say Sek Yuen is steeped in history and nostalgia is probably understating the obvious. Its walls are filled with black-and-white photographs of chefs and patrons from decades ago, and its floors are of the same black-and-white tiles so commonly used back in the day. The restaurant’s original building was erected in 1948 and still stands today. There is now an addition of a newer, air-conditioned building just next door at which I chose to host the group this time as Enak had featured the older Sek Yuen some years back.Parking may be tricky in the lanes around them however one can easily use a ‘Grab’ or the LRT as the Pudu station is right behind the two buildings.

We ordered seven dishes with the addition of their popular seafood soup. Obviously, there was too much food as two dishes were cancelled by the 'restaurant captain' without me asking.  For starters, we had the chicken cold dish, a signature of the restaurant. Later, the other ordered dishes came streaming in. They were the yam basket, Sek Yuen’s famous roast duck with special home-made plum sauce, sweet and sour chicken, tofu seafood soup, vegetables in garlic and a fermented red bean curd vegetable dish called Nam yu chai choy, ordered specially for our vegetarian Enakkers. For dessert, we had sweet fried pancake.

It was good to see Enakkers catching up and we had a good time enjoying the food and everyone's company. It was one of our members' last Enak as she and her family were leaving Malaysia and returning to Helsinki. We will miss Seija after getting to know her through MCG and Enak! events.


We ended lunch at around 1pm and went for a short tour of the original Sek Yuen next door, checking out the old black and white photographs and the historical ambience of the restaurant.


By Elena Mei Yun