Saturday, October 3, 2015

New Formosa Restaurant @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

Celebrating 36 Years of Deliciousness!

It’s a rare gem to find a restaurant that has been serving up good food over three decades and those who do, deserves a standing ovation. Run by a husband and wife team, New Formosa Restaurant, located in SS2 at Petaling Jaya, certainly deserves an accolade for their joint effort. New Formosa is one of the oldest Taiwanese restaurant in the vicinity and has been serving authentic Taiwanese cuisine to many since 1980. The owners, Mr. Lee Weng Eng and Mrs. Jeanie Lee, are such dedicated owners who runs New Formasa every day throughout the year and only closes for a few days a year. While Mr. Lee, who happens to be the chef, runs the back kitchen, Mrs. Lee is the perfect hostess in the front of the restaurant.

With 36 years and counting, New Formosa is celebrating their 36th Anniversary with a delicious bang, which includes celebratory menus of New Formosa’s signature dishes and the Taiwanese Formosa Stone-Fire Pot promotion. Diners are treated to a long list of scrumptious Taiwanese dishes that has continue to be favorites throughout the years. Seating are limited and New Formosa gets really busy so make sure to make your reservations if you are dining in parties.

To celebrate any special occasions, diners can opt for New Formosa’s Set Menus that caters from a minimum of 2 pax to 10 pax. Prices ranges from RM68 to RM598 for the various set menus. For more details, please check out the full menus here.

To celebrate any special occasions, the Formosa Special Combination is a great and gorgeous platter for indulgence. Showcasing five various dishes all on a platter, diners are treated to New Formosa’s signature dishes that are truly unique and deliciously tempting. Besides the pretty Oriental presentation of the dish, the portions are generous as well.

The Butter Fish Slices Formosa Style is a treat of crispy golden fish slices sautéed with lots of buttery crumbs and curry leaves. The dish is beautifully aromatic and has a lovely richness of buttery notes. I heard that New Formosa does a mean Butter Eel version too!

Yam Balls sounds a bit mundane but rest assured, these are delicious with a lovely creamy powdery yam note. Another favorite dish of mine on the platter as the croquette is really flavourful and moreish.

The Deep Fried Oysters Taiwanese Style is simply divine. Just the perfect size oysters in light golden crispy batter enhanced with crispy basil leaves are beautifully succulent. As soon as one bites into the oysters, the juiciness fills the mouth with a glorious briny flavour of the oyster.

Taiwan Famous 3-Cup Sotong is a twist from the classic chicken version. No complaints here as the squid makes a nice change from the chicken and really took on the savory, sweet and aromatic flavours of the classic 3-cup sauce.

The last one turned out to be quite unique. Stuffed Lotus Root with Special Fish Paste combined the unique texture of crunchy lotus root with the bouncy fish paste. The subtle sweetness of the lotus root goes well with the savory notes of the fish paste.

Moving on to another dish of Steamed Village Chicken with Black Fungus, it was a unanimous agreement that we all enjoyed this dish a lot that evening. Firm village chicken is smothered in a garlic and ginger sauce together with black wood fungus. The chicken flesh is smooth with a lovely firm skin and is firm yet tender. It was the gingery sauce that really took the chicken flavours to another level of deliciousness. A dish that revels comfort in very sense and perfect with steamed rice…

Bamboo Yam Rice is another signature dish of New Formosa. There is much to love about this dish. Served in a long bamboo case, the fluffy yam rice is gorgeous in flavours. Lots of ingredients of yam, pumpkin, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, mushrooms, fried shallots and scallions made up the rice. It’s no wonder the rice is so tasty. The dish is literally a complete one-dish meal on its own!

In every Chinese meal, fish is always a must. Here, we had the Local Sea Bass with Hot Bean Sauce and Mantao. Albeit unusual to serve fish with Mantao but it is there for a reason. The sea bass is drenched in a piquant hot bean sauce that beckons for that bun to soak up the flavours for more enjoyment. The sweetness of the silky flesh of the sea bass still manages to stand out pretty well against the heavy rich sauce.

Crab lovers will rejoice at New Formosa’s Sweet & Sour Crab Claws. I know I did. And one of the best perks of the dish is that New Formosa serves crab claws alone in this dish. The claw is the more sought after part of the crab and here, diners can dig in and enjoy the crab claws cooked in a luscious sweet and sour sauce with light laces of egg strands. The sauce is simply marvelous and it hits all the right balance of sweet, savory, spicy and tangy notes. I couldn’t resist enjoying the sauce with mantao buns.

Besides all the signature dishes from the set menu, diners can enjoy New Formosa Stone-Fire Pot promotion for only RM20 per person (minimum 3 persons per table) plus a free MuaChi dessert. Featuring 22 ingredients, this hotpot is such a treat and great to end the day with such a soothing meal of soup and fresh ingredients. This promotional price is available on weekdays only and for a limited time so call for more details.

There are various steps to enjoying this Taiwanese hotpot. First, the staff will sauté the aromatics and the special Taiwanese Sa Cha sauce (Satay sauce) and add in chicken and squid.

Once that has finished cooking, we are told to enjoy the chicken and squid as they are dishes up and served. The smoky moreish flavours of the Sa Cha sauce is quite addictive.

Prawns are added to the pot and the cooking continues. These large prawns are additional order and are not part of the promotional price package.

Then the rest of the ingredients are slowly added in different stages of cooking to be enjoyed throughout the meal. Stock is added for the ingredients to be cooked in.

What makes New Formosa Stone-Fire Pot worth savoring are the classic and unusual ingredients that goes into this hotpot. From Chinese cabbage, fried yam, tomatoes, assorted mushrooms, corn, angle luffa, seaweed, boiled mustard leaves, bean curd to fish maws, meat balls and fish balls, minced pork balls, pig stomach, pig intestines and the list goes on.

The soup was so sweet and tasty as the ingredients continue to be added and cooked. There is a nutty and sublime flavour of the soup that I enjoyed that night. It is quite different from our usual hotpot flavours as this one is richer and nutty with a smoky note. At the end of the hotpot meal and if you still have more room, do enjoy homemade noodles, vermicelli and egg!

Just when I thought the meal cannot get any better, Mrs. Jeanie whipped out her favorite dessert of Green Tea Pudding with Red Bean and Sweet Yam in Honey Sauce. Though both are not part of the hotpot package, it might be worthy of an order as these are unique desserts that end your Taiwanese meal on a fresh and sweet note.

The chilled Green Tea Pudding with Red Bean has a QQ textured konyakku green tea jelly with an intense bittersweet green tea note. The red bean paste offset the green tea with some sweetness.

The Sweet Yam in Honey sauce is simply a must-order! Cooked yam is coated in caramelized honey sauce and quickly soaked in cold water to give the yam its famous crunchy crystallized texture with a soft creamy inside. Simply aromatic and super scrumptious!!

If you have never been to New Formosa, head on over for a taste of Taiwanese cuisine from the passionate owners. Food at New Formosa are dishes that diners will enjoy after a long day at work. The dishes are comforting, reflecting memories of home cook dishes that many will enjoy. With their various set menus and promotion going on this 36th Anniversary, it’s a great time to taste what New Formosa has been offering all these years to many diners.

46, Jalan SS2/24,
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 7875 7478 / 019 335 3274

Business Hours:
Lunch 12noon – 3pm
Dinner 6pm – 10.30pm

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mido Korean BBQ Restaurant @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

Korean BBQ in Style

Korean cuisine has taken our dining scene by storm. Many have sprouted all over our nation and now Korean cuisine is gearing up to be as popular as Japanese cuisine. The Koreans are indeed famous for their Kimchi. You’ll either love it or hate it. Glad to say, most Malaysians do love it as well as their other signatures like Korean BBQ and stews. Even my family admits to indulging Korean cuisine at least 3 times a month.

One of the latest Korean restaurant in Petaling Jaya is Mido, located at the bustling SS2 area. Mido is the brilliant brainchild of young Korean business owner Mr. Joseph Lee and his partners. After arriving in Malaysia, Joseph has decided to pursue his F&B interest to add on to his other businesses. The young entrepreneur opened Mido in July this year, serving up lots of Korean classics of BBQ, stews and even Korean Fried Chicken.

The restaurant’s front is designed to look just a like a Korean house with big heavy wooden doors. There are two windows on each side and unlike most restaurants, one cannot see the dining unless the windows are open. Walking into Mido, diners are immediately transported to warm and vibrant interior filled with lots of wood. We were told that Mido’s interior is actually designed and finished by Joseph and his team as well. Vibrant warm walls, sectioned panels giving diners privacy, Korean Hahoe masks, paper lanterns and more earthy elements summed up the gorgeous interior. Mido also has private rooms with seating on the floor.

Dining at Mido certainly feels like I was transported elsewhere, without any trace of the bustling SS2 traffic outside since the whole restaurant is closed up. Another plus point for Mido, they use the underground ventilation system which is better as it prevents the usual BBQ smoke from seeping into our clothes and hair.

Let’s eat! Korean meal is never without Banchan. These side dishes are always such a treat and most restaurants allow refills in moderate quantity. Mido serves less Banchan than other restaurants I know but they have more types of sauces and plenty of fresh lettuce, seasoned lettuce together with the fresh cut garlic and green chilies. Their Kimchi is really yummy and we kept having refills of this gladly. Mido serves four sauces – Sesame Oil with Salt, Ssamjang, Basil and Peanut sauce. Though classics are good, I really enjoyed the Basil and Peanut sauces as they really perked up the BBQ meats in flavours.

Mido’s menu has limited options of the various cuts of meat but I personally think the ones they have are sufficient for me. The Korean BBQ meats available are Chicken BBQ (RM28 for 200gm), Pork Collar (RM30 for 200gm) Marinated Pork (RM33 for 200gm), Chili Paste Pork (RM33 for 200gm) and Marinated Beef Rib (RM65 for 280gm).

The meats here are cut thicker than most other places I have had and I certainly didn’t mind this at all. The wait staff helps to grill the meat for you so you just need to enjoy them. Once grilled under the hot coals, these meat are deliciously tasty, moist and so irresistible with the sauces and lettuce. I was particularly fond of the Pork Collar and Marinated Pork because of their tasty flavours and tender texture.

While man cannot live alone on BBQ (or maybe they could!), we also had other goodies. 

A bowl of Pumpkin Soup came complimentary and this was a good bowl to settle our tummies. It had a good balance of sweetness and savory notes.

Besides the pumpkin soup, we had an order of Doenjang Soup (RM22). A Korean favorite, this bean paste soup has seafood and fresh tofu. It is quite nutty and pungent with a saltish edge but it goes really well with rice.

I love Korean pancakes. We had both of the Seafood Pancake (RM25) and Kimchi Pancake (RM25). Crispy edges, tender doughy inside filled with lots of seafood bits and spring onions, the Seafood Pancake was a big hit among us that evening. The Kimchi Pancake didn’t fall too far behind and had solid kimchi flavours. Look how lovely and crisp the Kimchi Pancake is…

Talk about having a secret weapon at Mido, they serve this wicked dish of Spicy Pork Skin (RM20). Pork skin has loads of collagen so enjoying these are bound to give one some lovely doses of beauty benefits. The gelatinous pork skin is cooked with a good hit of heat and is served with bean powder on the side. We attached this with so much gusto and had a reorder of the dish!

Ok so fried chicken wings are not seen at Korean BBQ places but Korean Fried Chicken are getting quite the attention these days. Mido has two styles of one non spicy and the other spicy. The Korean Fried Chicken Wings (RM25) were decent with a nice balance of savory sweetness while the Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Wings (RM25) had a spicy sweet heavy note.

It was unanimous that we all enjoyed the Tofu Kimchi Casserole (RM45). A big iron pot filled with lots of ingredients such as kimchi, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, Korean vermicelli, rice cakes, sausages and more sat in a pool of kimchi based soup. As the stew boils, the soup intensify in flavours and the ingredient are gently cook to absorb the pungent and spicy kimchi flavours. It’s very comforting in many ways or maybe I just happen to be a big kimchi lover… yum!

We also had their Bulgogi Casserole (RM48). Bulgogi is a classic favorite dish in Korea. Here the beef is marinated in the classic sweet flavours of Bulgogi and is accompanied by lots of vegetables, mushrooms and Korean vermicelli noodles in a beefy sweet broth. It was slightly a tad too sweet for my preference but that’s how Bulgogi taste and so there’s really nothing to fault here but my own taste bud. Others didn’t seemed to mind and enjoy the beefy sweet stew happily.

Don’t forget to order Makkoli (RM28), a Korean rice wine that went so well with the BBQ meats, Spicy Pork Skin and Korean Fried Chicken Wings. I love how it was served in a big clay bowl to be ladled on smaller bowls to be sipped slowly.

Mido serves solid authentic Korean BBQ and stews. Their plus points are the gorgeous ambience to enjoy a hearty meal of Korean BBQ and stews. Highlights includes Spicy Pork Skin, Korean BBQ, Seafood Pancake and Tofu Kimchi Casserole. Oh… and don’t forget to order the Makkoli for extra happiness…

11-G, Jalan SS2/64,
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7865-9779

Business Hours:
Mon to Fri – 11.30am to 3.00pm (Lunch) / 5.30pm to 11.00pm (Dinner)
Sat to Sun & Public Holidays – 11.30am to 11.00pm

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