西北有面 Xibei Good
Photos and videos by Gisele Soo
SeeFoon Declares her love for Lard and Lardons
Have you ever pondered on what transports you back to your childhood? For some of my friends, it is songs, for others it’s ambience.
For me it’s primarily food and smells.
The smell of fish frying in the pan, or a rempah being sauteed or sambal belacan being toasted will jog taste memories and bring me back to a state of joy.
And the biggest instant jolt of all is the taste of certain dishes: like a raw egg on top of hot rice, ladled with homemade lard and sprinkled with Chu Yau Char (fried lardons).
I was recently transported back to my childhood when I had lunch at Xibei Good Restaurant. This is one restaurant which has gone under my food radar owing primarily to MCO but when John Chong posted pictures of the dishes on Facebook recently, I just had to make a trip. Not that it was a long trip.
Tucked away in one of the relatively new shophouses behind Tao Boo Keong Temple, my troops and I had difficulties finding parking but after circling a little, we made it.
My first choice was naturally their Double Sunny Egg Char Siew Rice. This was instant nostalgia but elevated to a standard my childhood never knew. There was double of everything: double sunny-side-up egg with the egg yolk still jiggly, double whammy topping of yummilicious Char Siew, charred on the ends with layers of fat and lean plus Chu Yau Char. Two tender stalks of Choi Sum complete the dish. Soy sauce and homemade lard at the bottom made mixing a delight. Worth every mouthful at RM12.50.
Not content with just the rice dish, I had to also order the similar mixture with noodles. John Chong had mentioned in his FB post that the noodles were more ‘song’ (or had a bite)—or al dente, if you wish to go Italian! They are homemade and sure enough, John was right on! The noodles were more toothsome than a lot of the other wonton noodles I have had outside. This was the Minced Pork with Pork Lard on Noodles, another superlative offering, very generous with the minced pork and lard topping, with a heavenly sauce mixed with Char Siew roasting drippings. RM7.50 (S); RM8.50 (M); RM9.50 (L).
With Beef Stew Rice, I thought it would likely be stringy beef brisket topped with a brown Chinese sauce. But was I wrong! This turned out to be ultra tender chunks of brisket with equally tender tendons, all velvety smooth and gliding down my throat like jelly. The sauce was robust, thick and smothered the beef and tendons, with hints of cinnamon, star anise and married to rounds of white radish. The rice was topped with – what else?- lardons, of course, and when mixed together were totally divine. Even now as I sit here writing about it, I am drooling and wishing I could dash out and have my fill! RM12.50.
Beef Meatball Noodles in soup at RM9.50 (S); RM10.50 (M); RM11.50 (L) were very delectable, the noodles al dente and the beef balls, which are made in house, were absolutely bouncy and tasty.
Xibei Good are known for their Char Siew Wonton Noodles and it is a ‘must try’ here. (Mind you, so far, everything I have tasted are ‘must trys’). I ordered a dry one and this came with a bowl of soup with three huge wontons. The soup was redolent with the fragrance of prawns which is a sign of a great stock. And let me not forget the ubiquitous Chu Yau Char…!! An irresistible signature of this restaurant. RM8.50 (S); RM9.50 (M); RM10.50 (L).
I also had to sample their Chicken Chop which comes with their wonderful noodles. I was not disappointed. The chicken chop was crispy on the edges, tender and well seasoned with their special marinade on the inside. It came with dry noodles so the chop wouldn’t have a chance to get soggy, as well as a separate bowl of their tasty wonton soup which can be ladled onto the noodles to make sure that the noodles wouldn’t dry up. A very tasty but very spicy chilli sauce completed the combo. RM10.50 (S); RM11.50 (M); RM12.50 (L).
One fact about Xibei Good: it is a pork lover’s paradise. Every dish has pork lard and lardons which appear to be their specialty, the smallish lardons crispy and tasting fresh out of the wok. Those who worry about their cholesterol may rest assured, it appears that lardons have all their fat fried out of them, plus pork lard apparently has health benefits.
Some Information on Lard
BBC listed pork fat in the top ten of its 2018 list of the 100 most nutritious foods. Lard is one of the best sources of vitamin D, a nutrient most people are deficient in today. Research conducted by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that lard from pasture-raised pigs contains 1100 IU of vitamin D per tablespoon. Even sunlight can’t compete with pork fat.
Another compelling reason to use pork lard is heart health. After olive oil, which consists of 77 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, lard has the most monounsaturated fats at 48 percent. These fats help to lower blood cholesterol levels and maintain healthy cells.
Lard contains about one third as much cholesterol as butter… that’s 12mg per tbsp vs. 31mg per tbsp for butter. And in terms of its fatty acids, it’s better than butter: Lard is 60 percent monounsaturated fat, which is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. Butter is 45 percent monounsaturated fat.
When you cook with lard, you get the bonus of adding extra vitamin D to your diet, something no other cooking oil (except butter) can boast. “You basically have a vitamin D supplement built into your fat,” says Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT. A tablespoon of lard from a pasture-raised pig has about 1,000 IU of vitamin D, according to Nichols. By comparison, 1 tablespoon of butter has 9 IU of vitamin D, while the same amount of olive oil has none. In fact, lard is one of the highest dietary sources of vitamin D—a nutrient in which a lot of people are deficient.
So dear readers, make your own decisions about Lard!
西北有面 Xibei Good
124, Ground Floor, Jalan Bharu, 30250 Ipoh, Perak
Opens daily from 7.30am – 3pm
For inquiries: 010-928 4822
Deliveries available through foodpanda