Pau, anyone? – Restoran Yat Lai

Whoever said Yik Mun’s pau is good, has obviously never been to Kuala Kangsar.
– a comment made on a photograph of Yat Lai on

Yat Lai - a Kuala Kangsar institution to this day.

Restoran Yat Lai (or Yut Loy, as seen on the old rectangular sign above its entrance) is considered an institution amongst the people of Kuala, namely Perak royals and boys of The Malay College (budak Koleq). Yat Lai is well known for its pau, soft steamed buns containing luscious inti the likes of kari daging, ayam, and kaya.

For 'western' food, Yat Lai does a mean Hainan chicken chop, and a unique dish called Egg Steak (a 'cheaper' version of bifstik).

Word has it that the pau is so good that Tuanku Sultan Pahang would bring some along if he was to go to England (Tuanku was an old boy of The College). The pau is sold in the afternoon but punters have to be quick as they would have sold out by tea time.

‘Tradition’ has it that Yat Lai can only be frequented by senior Koleq boys (‘certain’ fifth formers, really). Nevertheless, Yat Lai can be filled with networking old MCKK boys on occasions like the Old Boys’ Weekend.

Left: The balcony on the first floor. Right: The man himself, Ah Loke, manning the till.

If you are worried that the pau will be sold out (it can happen as there are some occasions when a customer can buy the entire day’s supply), apparently you can call the restaurant and book your habuan!

Restoran Yat Lai is located at 51 Jalan Kangsar, 33000 Kuala Kangsar.

[Photos are from the personal collection of Raja Yusuf Izzudin Raja Lope Ahmad.]


Footnote: For more photos of Yat Lai, we recommend you to visit this photo gallery on, with photos uploaded by various photographers (and surely pau fans!). Click here.

3 thoughts on “Pau, anyone? – Restoran Yat Lai

  1. Other than pau, one should also try the “MICHITOD”, mince meat on toast. At the cashier’s counter, there are few old photos of Kuala Kangsar among others the 1967 Big Flood.


  2. Pingback: The Kuala Kangsar that I knew and love… « SembangKuala BLOG

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