I landed in the land of spicy!
Looking for a mind-boggling thrilling gastro affair? Go the Hunan route like I did! Another explosive gastro feast led me to the newest outlet of Restaurant De Hunan in Bandar Puteri, Puchong. The initial outlet unleashed its dishes to Malaysians in July 2007 in Old Klang Road and today, it’s still a popular hangout for spicy gourmand lovers. Due to popular demands, the latest outlet of De Hunan is now located in the busy district of Bandar Puteri Puchong shop lots opposite Giant hypermarket.
Checking into De Hunan, we were greeted with familiar décor echoing it’s another outlet previously located in Sunway. Dark wood contrasted beautifully with bright colored theme walls while marble tables and picturesque Hunan and Chinese art graced the ambience. To read more about Hunan cuisine and its trademarks from my previous post, click here.
While waiting for others to arrive, we munched on the traditional Xiang Cai served at De Hunan. Having sampled this a few times, I am pleased to say consistency is a plus point here as all the little dishes are always delectable in whetting appetites before the main dishes.
My favorites are still the Pickled Spicy Cucumber and Spicy Seaweed Salad.
Having experienced the authentic Hunan spicy level before, we decided to reduce the level of spiciness this round so that everyone can enjoy the dishes together. Our first tuck in was my all-time favorite Stir-Fried Beijing Cabbage. Unbelievably flavorful despite the simplest ingredients of cabbage, pork and chilies, I still cannot get enough of this sumptuous dish. Lots of wok heat and a little pungent with chilies and fish sauce, this vegetable dish screams for a bowl of rice!
Hot Spicy Fresh Frog on Sizzling Stone Hunan Style came bubbling ferociously on a hot plate with lots of spicy smoke lingering in the air. Succulent tender frog meat was laced with a spicy garlicky chili sauce and spring onion. Not my cup of tea since frogs are not my favorite, I still enjoyed a few bites of the tender sweet meat.
Sweating a little from the previous dishes, I was glad to see another favorite comeback of Uncle Mao’s Special Braised Pork. From the picture, one can see how meticulous each cube of pork belly is cooked to a rich amber glazed. With fats that melt and lean meat that yields upon each bite, it probably is a dangerous high-cholesterol laden dish but then again, this is always something that I can never resist. Many have tried to perfect this dish but only little has succeeded. Savory with a trace of sweetness, this is a must for pork belly lovers!
De Hunan’s signature dish is the Hot Spicy Steamed Fish Head. This round, the chef has created another version of this infamous fish in the form of Hunan Yin Yang Style Fish Head. Featuring two types of Hunan pickled salted red and green chilies, the flavors are pungent and definitely not for the faint-hearted. On a saltier edge, one needs rice to counter balance the taste and to also tone down the spicy level of the chilies. My preference leaned towards the salted green chilies for its robust and flavorful heat. As we had chicken-out and reduced the level of the heat, we enjoyed this comfortably with rice and noodles. My only gripe in this dish was the Soong fish head used that is full of bones so one has to be careful in enjoying the sweet flaky flesh of the fish.
Let the noodles sit for a bit to soak up the flavors of the broth before enjoyment!
I guess it’s the weather condition in the region that Hunan dishes are mostly served on hot plates or claypots. Another sizzling dish of Stir-Fried Cube Beef on Flat Pot was served with lots of hissing effects! The dish was peppery and spicy with cubed beef, celery, and onions. Decent flavors but minus points as there was a bit too much oil lingering on the meat.
Fried Spicy Deer Meat in Special Hot Stones Style fared better than the beef! Tender thinly sliced venison was rocked up with loads of salted chilies, coriander and bits of vegetables. Sublime flavors and beautifully aromatic, I believed I hogged quite a bit of this dish to myself! As we finished the dish, I noticed two stones embedded beneath the meat to keep the dish hot. Someone whispered to me that it’s the stones that made this dish so flavorful… do you believe it? J
Everyone was glad at the appearance of Pork Rib and Corn Soup!! Aching for some warm and soothing comfort, there was a silent moment at the table while everyone quietly sipped the sweet pork broth. A classic soup as my family makes it too. The version here is bursting with fresh sweet corn and utterly comforting as the broth glided down my throat. I polished off two bowls of the creamy soup and all the corn!
As the feast continued, we savored crustaceans in the next two dishes. Sautéed Prawns in Hunan Claypot Style was served in a mini wok sitting on top of a grandeur mini cauldron with heat beneath. Big prawns fried and coated in a slightly spicy sauce, I thought it was mediocre in my books as I wanted more oomph in the flavor department. My other fellow foodie Xiang loved it which proves that taste is really an individual preference. Freshness of the prawns made up for the dish.
Spicy Skewered Prawns in Hunan Special Style was awesome! The prawns were so crispy, I ate the whole crustacean, shells and all with the mouth-tingling spicy sauce. This one reminded me of another restaurant that served a fabulous version of the dish. The only slight difference for the sauce here is that black beans and sesame seeds are added for earthy and nutty aroma and taste. Must-order!!
We were rest assured that Stewed Bean Curd with Green Chives taste better than it looks! True enough, lurking among the brown broth amidst the blades of green chives, soft wobbly pieces of bean curd braised in the broth was pretty good. The broth was quite strong from the chives and fairly salty but every ingredient seemed to blend in well in flavors. I recommend this dish only if you like chives.
There is just something fabulous about salted egg yolks… in my books that is. Ever since the dish of salted egg yolk sauce appeared, Malaysians have been creating and devouring more and more salted egg yolk than we can produce them! And so we strived to ease out the cholesterol by savoring Baked Pumpkin with Salted Egg Yolk. Crispy and creamy sweet pumpkin pieces are lusciously crusted with a sandy orange salted egg yolk sauce. The combination of savory and sweet is quite addictive as we consoled ourselves that cardiac arrest sucks… this is good!
I had this before… Homemade Potato Pancake served with ultra-sweet condensed milk. The starchy potato is whipped into slight chewy paste before it’s crusted and deep-fried to a golden patty. The pancake was decent and unique since this is not commonly found here. Do also try another dessert called Deep Fried Bee Hive with Corn at De Hunan which features a crispy disc of batter embedded with golden nuggets of corn.
Another new dessert by the chef was Pumpkin and Sago Dessert Soup! Echoing a popular dessert of honey dew and sago, this was a nice variation. Creamy and sweet, the dessert rendered a sweet ending to our spicy Hunan feast!
One thing’s for sure, consistency is a plus point at Restaurant De Hunan. Dishes are authentic as most of the ingredients are brought in from China to ensure they remain true to the culture of the Hunan cuisine. Levels of heat can be adjusted accordingly by informing the wait staff up front. If you are up for a spicy affair with Hunan cuisine, head over to De Hunan for a taste without having to visit the region!
DE HUNAN RESTAURANT
42, Jalan Puteri 2/4,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
Tel: 012 6345 218 / 012 2828 048
Business hours: 11.00am to 11.00pm