Fine and Sumptuous Shunde Cuisine
I never knew much about Shunde cuisine that is till I kept seeing some restaurants flagging bragging rights in serving exquisite Shunde cuisine. Shunde or Shun Tak (in Cantonese) is a district in Guangdong province, hence it can also be classified as a precursor to the world famous Cantonese cuisine that many favors. It does have its own unique identify through its diverse and intricate cooking techniques that produces some of the richest and flavoursome fine dishes said to befit for royalty.
There are not many Shunde restaurants in the city but one that has been standing out over the last few years is Youmiqi Cuisine. Located in Old Klang Road along the main road, the restaurant is discreetly housed in its own building. We headed there one evening to experience what Shunde cuisine is all about with some foodies.
The restaurant has a decent number of seating but if you’re determined to dine there, do call for reservations to avoid disappointment. There is the main general dining area sectioned into various rooms while few private rooms are also available on the level above of the restaurant. Though I am sure the restaurant was once in full glory in its design, it seemed that the ambiance feels lack luster except for the tables which are still nicely set in beautiful shades of blue, green and peach. Maybe it’s just because of the various items unconsciously placed all over the restaurant like rice, plastic chairs and etc. Nevertheless, we are here for the food and if the food satisfies, I would certainly return gladly.
If one has no clue what Shunde cuisine is, Youmiqi’s menu has plenty of pictures of the dishes that makes ordering so much easier. Choices are plenty and making them does not seemed any easier simply because the pictures looked very enticing with lots of seafood stealing the limelight here.
Shunde cuisine focuses on the freshest ingredients they can find and this includes seafood kept in tanks to ensure that it is as fresh as it gets. Youmiqi also has lots of seafood kept in tanks in their restaurant. There is even the highly prized sturgeon!
Every table gets a small plate of Chicken Feet and Pickled Cucumber when dining at Youmiqi cuisine. The chicken feet has a generous flavour of tong kwai infused into the pale claw of the phoenix while the garlicky and moreish chilled cucumber has lots of juicy and crunch factor.
The cuisine’s freshest ingredient concept can be reflected in Master Chef Flaming Wine Prawns (RM120). Live prawns soaked with generous splashing of Chinese wine before being lighted up in flames had us tucking into the sweetest prawns ever.
When the flames died down, the prawns looked gorgeously bright red and ready for us with its delicious aroma of distinctive Chinese wine. Firm to a bite, the prawns are super juicy and sweet, emphasizing that freshness is and will always be the key ingredients to a superb dish.
Shunde Braised Live Seafood in Wok (seasonal price depending on choice of ingredients) is one of the jewels of the cuisine. Using large copper wok, the cuisine showcase live cooking actions on diners’ table where lots of seafood and meat are usually cooked in special broths or steamed. These copper woks are said to have exceptional insulating properties that can cook ingredients in an even temperature. It also allow diners to savor the cuisine piping hot in a slowly manner.
Youmiqi’s Shunde Braised Live Seafood in Wok allows one to select their favorite seafood. A pot of this can be relatively affordable as well as going all the way to premium lavishness. Our copper work consisted of Meat Crab, Lou Fu Pan or Tiger Grouper, Clams, Seafood Ball, Yam and Bean curd sticks.
After firing up the stove beneath the wok, more broth is added table side to cover up the glorious spread of seafood. And then it’s just a matter of time before the whole wok comes to a boil and we get to dig into this one pot of wonders.
The broth is very unique and complex in flavours. While it is robust and tasty, I can’t quite figure out what ingredients make this broth so ravishingly flavourful. There is seafood essence in the broth for sure. The longer the wok slowly braised on the low fire, the broth thickened lightly and the flavour is further intensified to delectable umami notes. The seafood is very fresh and sweet. I was particularly fond of the bouncy seafood balls and the clams while the tiger grouper is excellent.
There are plenty of options available for this braised live seafood in wok so choose your favorite from prawns to lobsters and plenty of fishes as well as other seafood.
Now I have had a standing chicken elsewhere before but this one tasted slightly different. Youmiqi’s Roasted Standing Ovation Chicken (RM88) had a beautiful lacquered skin of amber hue. Diners can opt to be more savage by simply tearing off the meat or have the restaurant cut up the chook for you.
The meat is nicely moist and tasty. A side bowl of chicken jus is also served to allow diners to dip the chicken into the jus for more juiciness and flavour. Though the skin is not super crispy, the overall flavours are deliciously decent.
For our carb, we savored a popular signature of Youmiqi. While there are few variations, we opted for their Claypot Rice with Village Chicken (RM40). Literally covered with lots of spring onions, the aroma was certainly heavenly when the pot was placed on our table. I can even hear the light sizzling sound of rice scorching in the clay pot. A quick mix and we tucked into glorious fluffy rice grains imbued by umami soy sauce, tender pieces of chicken and aromatic oniony note. The little bits of crispy rice scorched on the pot is simply divine! Must order…
For snacking, we also had the Fried Spiced Frog with Salt & Pepper (RM48). Little nuggets of smooth and unctuous tender frog well-seasoned with salt and spice with a liberal does of pepper. Hand me a beer please..
A new special dish of Pan Fried Meat Patties with Wong Tai Choy (RM38) is super scrumptious. The QQ texture of the meat patty, studded with bits of a vegetable named Wong Tai Choy, has a unique moreish note that I went back for a second piece. These are dishes that I can certainly enjoy daily…
We also tried the Golden Sands Yong Tau Foo (RM23), pieces of bean curd puff stuffed with yong tau foo filling, fried till crispy and smothered in a sandy salted egg sauce. There is a sense of sublime satisfaction when enjoying this dish, simply because I happen to love salted egg for its unctuous deliciousness in any dishes.
Oatmeal Custard Bun (RM29) was our sweet ending of the evening. The golden buns looked utterly delightful and inviting. Gorgeously light, fluffy and golden, the bun has a luscious creamy caramel filling made from oat and maltose. I like how pillowy soft the bun is and the rich deep sweetness of it. Not the lightest ending to a meal but so heavenly on the palate.
Youmiqi Cuisine has such unique dishes from the Shunde district that is worth of a visit. There are plenty of dishes that guarantees to please many and though the prices are on the heavier end, the quality of the seafood is excellent for the value. It is often packed so a reservation is highly recommended and do come with a big group to try their copper wok seafood for more choices.
57 Jalan Klang Lama
Jalan Klang Lama
58100 Kuala Lumpur
+603 7980 0855