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Restoran Pan Heong @ Batu Caves, Selangor

Tucked in a corner of a row of shophouses in Batu Caves is Restoran Pan Heong. The signage is as ordinary as it can be. However, spotting it is not hard visually, because it is the only restaurant in the area with 2 rows of red plastic chairs outside. This quirky touch instantly caught my eye and heightened my curiosity. Things got better as I got to the restaurant.

Restoran Pan Heong, Batu Caves

Restoran Pan Heong, Batu Caves

The first thing that caught my eye was, Restoran Pan Heong had a self-service touch screen queue numbering machine, like one of those that you see at the banks. Noticing this, I couldn’t help but infer the restaurant’s bustling nature, as such a system is typically employed to manage high volumes of patrons. To navigate this novel addition, diners must specify the number of people in their party, a savvy move by the restaurant to maximise seating capacity. They also plastered a few sheets of bi-lingual instructions at the machine for good measure.

Restoran Pan Heong - Queue Machine

There were also reminders that the restaurant is a non-halal, non-vegetarian establishment. Other than that, there was also the good old traditional printed menu for patrons to peruse while waiting to be seated. Shelves were also neatly arranged outside for delivery services to pick up the orders. I took a look at one of the orders waiting to be picked, and there was a note for the rider not to shake the food.

A chain at the entrance stopped people from walking into the restaurant. I guess there must have been attempts in the past to cut queue by patrons, and the restaurant wanted to make sure that order is maintained.

Restoran Pan Heong - Self Ordering Kiosk

For those who would like to tabao, there is also a self-ordering kiosk. This is certainly a traditional Chinese restaurant that has adopted technology to facilitate its business, and by the looks of how things looked, it seems like it has been quite successful. But there were also the traditional posters with instructions, reminders and appeals for things such as dining limit and giving a like to their social media account. It’s evident that Restoran Pan Heong has successfully embraced both tradition and technology.

Restoran Pan Heong - Notice Board

Arriving just before 11 AM, we joined the queue. Fortunately, as it was still early, we only had to wait for awhile. However, the restaurant was already quite filled with people. Despite the restaurant already teeming with patrons, it was surprisingly quite cool, thanks to strategically placed mist fans that effectively countered the hot and humid Malaysian weather.

The food

The menu was promptly given to us as soon as we were seated. We ordered their porridge, lor mee, wat tan hor and drinks. The drinks came promptly and were served by the robot servers, which are increasingly present in many restaurants.

However, I noticed that the robots were spilling the contents of the cups and glasses which they were serving. If you look at the floor tiles, I guess you can guess why. In many cases about ¼ of the drinks would be spilled by the time they got to the intended diner, due to the shaky journey that it had to make from the drinks station. However, one type of drink remained safe – tea in their pots, and of course the ice.

Pork rib porridge (1 pax) – RM12.50 & You Tiau (1 piece) – RM2.70

Restoran Pan Heong - Pork Rib Porridge (1 pax) & You Tiau

Service was prompt. The first order that came was the pork rib porridge. We ordered you tiao to go with it for good measure. The porridge came with century egg (pi dan). This order was a winner. Each mouthful was flavourful. The century egg tasted like duck century egg. Duck century eggs are usually more creamy than the chicken ones. The congee-like texture paired exceptionally well with the crispy you tiao, making it a definite highlight worth revisiting.

Lor Mee (2 pax) – RM18.50

Restoran Pan Heong - Lor Mee (2 pax)

We also ordered the the lor mee. This noodles used were the fat yellow noodles. Most lor mee that we are accustomed to at most hawker stalls usually has dark gravy. Restoran Pan Heong’s version featured a lighter-coloured gravy. The eggs are well mixed into the gravy to the extend you don’t see much of the eggs streaks. I think this is the main reason why their lor mee is different.

The lor mee is served with black vinegar. Pouring a bit of vinegar into your bowl enhances the taste of the noodles somewhat.

Wat Tan Hor 3 pax – RM25.00

Restoran Pan Heong - Wat Tan Hor (3 pax)

Next on the order list is one of their signature dish – the wat tan hor. Again you see the same well-mixed egg into the gravy texture in the gravy. One mouthful of the wat tan hor kway teow and you will understand why this is one of their signature dishes. The wok hei smell can be experienced with every mouthful. As a matter of fact, you can smell it the minute you scoop the kway teow from the plate.

You have a choice of having the wat tan hor plain, which I did the second time around, or have it with fish slices or even tiger prawns. Be mindful that there is a minimum order of 2 tiger prawns, and each prawn is priced between RM50 – RM90. So, you can expect your wat tan hor to cost more than RM100 if your get the big prawns.

A look around also indicate that their roast meat is quite popular, as it can be seen on many tables. By the time we finished our meal close to noon, the restaurant had transformed into a bustling hub, with both rows of chairs nearly full and a growing crowd signalling its unwavering appeal.

Restoran Pan Heong - Hall of Fame

Like many popular restaurants, Restoran Pan Heong also has its very own wall of fame. You see pictures of notable people dotting the walls, affirming that this unassuming eatery holds a special place in the hearts of many.

Verdict

Indulging in delicious food is undeniably a sought-after experience, but what often elevates it is the overall dining journey. In this particular culinary adventure, what stood out was the intriguing integration of technology, transforming the waiting and dining process into a more enjoyable experience. Typically reserved for higher-end establishments, witnessing these innovations in your everyday mom-and-pop restaurant added an unexpected layer of sophistication to the overall dining ambiance.

What made this experience particularly noteworthy was the seamless fusion of traditional flavors with cutting-edge technology. From the traditional printed menu for perusal to the use of mist fans for climate control, and even a self-ordering kiosk for takeaways, Restoran Pan Heong proved that technology could enhance the dining experience across a spectrum of establishments.

This blend of tech-savvy convenience and the down-to-earth charm of a local eatery provided diners with not only delectable dishes but also a unique and memorable dining journey. It serves as a reminder that innovation in the dining industry isn’t exclusive to high-end venues and can, in fact, be a delightful addition to the charm of your regular neighbourhood restaurant.

Check out other food in Selangor:

My Rating

70%: Ambiance
80%: Price (value for money)
80%: Taste
75%: Location
80%: Service
77%: Overall Rating

Opening Hours

Open daily from 8 AM – 3:15 PM

Address / Contact Information

+603 6187 7430

2, Jalan Medan Batu Caves 2
Medan Batu Caves
68100 Batu Caves
Selangor
Malaysia

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