October 24, 2016

Putien Celebrates 16th Anniversary with A Starry Michelin Gala Night

A Fine Heng Hua Feast!

Heng Hua Cuisine is no longer unknown to many of us and its all tribute to Putien who has been serving up the cuisine to many of us for the last few years. Little did many know, Putien is celebrating their 16th Anniversary this year. What added to the glorious years of serving some of the finest Heng Hua cuisine is the recent win of the One Star Michelin Award for its Kitchener Road Outlet by the inaugural Michelin Guide Singapore 2016!

In conjuction with both joyous occasions, Putien celebrated their 16th Anniversary and One Star Michelin achievement with an exclusive starry and festive gala dinner recently as a gesture of appreciation for members of the media, bloggers and distinguish guests.

Putien’s General Manager, Ms Caren Poon giving her speech on the story of Putien and it’s glorious 16 years in the industry.

From Putien’s humble home kitchen meals to city cuisine, Putien’s story started when Mr. Fong Chi Chung, founder of Putien, couldn’t find Heng Hua dishes that he had missed dearly from his homeland. Putien started in a coffee shop in Singapore’s Kitchener Road in 2000, serving simple yet wholesome and down-to-earth meals from Mr. Fong’s native Putian home kitchen.

Putien’s authentic Heng Hua dishes took off so well, the restaurant expanded to 28 outlets internationally in the last 16 years with 5 more outlets in plan by the end of 2016. It’s all about the best and freshest ingredients for Mr. Fong. His constant focus on using the best ingredients possible even when it meant driving out in the early hours of the morning to purchase them. Using handmade Heng Hwa noodles from a particular family, he even made sure that the family continues their traditional method to make the noodles and supply Putien with this signature handmade noodles that is almost a long lost art. 

For Putien, it’s about Source of Ingredients, Revealing the Season’s Best Ingredients and Original Taste in all their dishes, who also features seasonal dishes from the various seasonal ingredients imported from Putian.

Putien’s Head Chef Li Shunrong

Dinner commenced with a tea tribute to the ceremony, showcasing some of the available teas at Putien. The three teas served were Shui Hsien Tea, Chrysanthemum Tea and Ginger Tea. This was followed by Putien’s signature dishes as well as some new dishes now available in the menu at all their outlets.

Our starter of Seaweed with Mini Shrimps looked deceptively simple but has such wondrous moreish flavors of the sea. Sweet, almost briny with hints of light tang, the soft and lightly chewy seaweed with bits of tiny shrimps whets the appetite for more to come.

Braised Putien Handmade Bean Curd showcases house made bean curd that is quite the staple in many of the Heng Hwa dishes. This one is nicely braised till tender and plump. The bean curd has well absorbed the flavors of the light braising sauce and is easy to enjoy on its own with just the right balance of savory note.

Bamboo shoot may not be everyone’s cake but I happen to enjoy them. Putien’s Braised Bamboo Shoot is relatively unique. There is still a good bite to the shoots and yet it is tender and juicy. A little smoky and delicate, the bamboo shoots are easy to enjoy as a light appetizer.

Putien Style Century Egg was much raved by many that evening. The century egg has a light crispy caramelized coating witht a gorgeous lush creamy inside. The light sweetness with the unctuous flavor of the century egg is sublime. So much so, I took my family back a week later and ordered a double order of this yummy dish. A must order at Putien!

New in the menu, Yan Pi Fish Maw Soup is another delicate dish that features ‘Yan Pi’, a wantan skin that is made from minced meat. Hence the Yan Pi has a lightly chewy meaty texture enveloping some meat filling. The contrasting textures of the Yan Pi dumpling and soft fish maw in a clean and delicate broth is quite unique and has a lovely comforting note that makes this soup wholesome and hearty.

The Shredded Meat with Bun is a popular dish that appears on many tables of diners. Golden fried mantao are served with a platter of stir fried shredded pork with onions in a delicious sweet and savory brown sauce. The crispy and fluffy mantao with sesame seeds together with the juicy tender pork showed that not all Heng Hua dishes are light in flavor. This one has a robust meaty savory flavor that goes well with anyone of all ages. My little one also loves this bun a lot whenever we dine at Putien.

Stir Fried Seaweed is a new comer in the menu. This seaweed is different from the earlier one. Thicker with a spongy texture, the seaweed is cooked in a light broth. The addition of onions and bell peppers gave the dish a sweet note. I prefer the earlier seaweed for its textures and taste over this one.

Putien is also having a promotion on yellow croaker, specially flown in from the waters of Fujian, for a limited time only. Prepared five ways, we tried their signature Deep Fried Yellow Croaker. Marinated over 24 hours with premium peppercorn and sea salt, these are then deep fried till crispy. The fish is so crispy, we could literally eat the bones and fins too. Simple but really tasty and love the textures of the fish!

Strawberry Prawn is also new and pairing the fruit with prawns may not be as odd as I would have thought after all. As strawberries have a lovely tangy fruity note, it goes pretty well with the crispy fried prawns. The light creamy and fruity sauce gave the prawns a pretty pink hue too.

One simply must order the Putien Lor Mee. It’s my all-time-favorite comfort dish at Putien. Slurp down soft velvety thick wheat noodles cooked in a gorgeous light thick broth full of seafood essences. We love how aromatic the dish is. The lor mee also has chockful of julienned bean curd, meat, prawns, clams, scallop, mushrooms, vegetables and more. This is one dish that you won’t want to miss when dining at Putien.

Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Fruits is a fresh and light ending to the evening’s gala dinner. The chilled wobbly jelly scented with lemongrass has some fresh fruits and tiny crunchy chia seeds.

Putien Festival Road Shows
Join Putien for a celebration with food-tasting, fun and games, plus a chance to win some festive prizes when you drop by at any of Putien Road Show booths on weekends at the following locations:

Date (Sat & Sun)                   Venue
15 & 16 October, 2016             One-Utama Shopping Mall (G213A Ground Floor)
22 & 23 October, 2016             SS15 Courtyard Subang Jaya (1-05, First Floor)
29 & 30 October, 2016             Sunway Pyramid (LG1.45, Lower Ground)

G213A Ground Floor, Promenade,
1 Utama Shopping Centre (Old Wing),
Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tel: +603 7722 1539
Fax: +603 7722 2139

Website: www.putien.com

Operating Hours
11.30am - 10pm (Last Order: 9.30pm)

October 23, 2016

New Beggar's Delicious Restaurant @ Ijok

More Good Dishes Besides A Yummy Beggar Chicken!

There aren’t many places to enjoy Beggar Chicken but those that exist are pretty decent in flavours. While some restaurants may offer this classic Beggar Chicken, many may not be as authentic as the two more famous ones in Banting and Ijok.

According to Wikipedia, Beggar Chicken originates from Changsu, Jiangsu Province in China. It’s a dish of whole chicken with herbs, wrapped in clay and baked slow for hours in hot fired up mud. The name of the dish relates to how a beggar once stole a chicken and hid the wrapped chook in mud, only to later cook it. The mud forms a crust around the chicken and cook the chicken till it was tender and aromatic.

Now I have been to both popular restaurants in Banting and recently to Ijok for Beggar’s Chicken. A recent with my glutton gang had us taking a day trip to Ijok to try out the much raved Ijok New Beggar’s Delicious Restaurant. The drive there was easy and it’s basically a short drive of 35 minutes from Kepong. Use Waze or GPS and it will lead you there. It’s advisable to make a reservation before you go to ensure that you get your order of Beggar’s Chicken and other signatures.

Unlike the one in Banting, New Beggar’s Delicious Restaurant offers more dishes including plenty of seafood choices besides the variations of Beggar dishes. The restaurant is located off site from the town and has a large al fresco dining area. We were there around 1pm and it is surprisingly cool and very comfortable despite no air-conditioning.

We were even allowed to roam the back kitchen area where the Beggar’s Chicken were cooking. The place is really hot from all the hot coals and we can see lots of Beggar’s packages uncovered from the blazing grey ashes. The restaurant has special built brick ovens to make their Beggar’s dishes.

The Beggar’s dishes are then brought here to be cracked open from their hard dough casing…

All their Beggar’s dishes are well prepared and sealed in foil and paper. We got really excited to see these parcels as we couldn’t wait to open them and hail in the glorious aromas of Beggar’s Chicken, Beggar’s Duck and Eight Treasure Rice.

Our Beggar's Chicken (RM49) was sublime. The aroma was lush of Chinese herbs. The beautiful pale yellow chook looked so gorgeous at sight. We dived in and was awarded with tender and juicy meat well infused with Tong Kwai and other Chinese herbs. Though the chicken wasn’t too big, it was really a perfect size with enough meat and yet tender.

There was enough herbal flavours to keep me happy and I gladly drank the broth. I also like how the chicken had very little fat and yet it remains moist and tender in the lean meat. My family loved it so much we order a second Beggar’s Chicken and polished that off as well.

There is also the Beggar’s Duck (RM49). Duck prepared the same way as the chicken and yet somehow the flavours are not as tasty as the chicken one. Nevertheless the duck was very tender and moist. It is tasty but we felt that it could have been better. We still enjoyed this but the chicken is definitely better.

The Eight Treasure Rice (RM39) is a must-order. I swear that there was more meat and salted egg yolk than the glutinous rice itself. Every spoonful was chockful of tender pork belly, mushrooms, dried shrimp and sublime salted egg yolk. The rice was soft without being mushy and tasty too.

We couldn’t resist putting in an order of Salted Egg Bittergourd (RM22). I like how they sliced the bittergourd thickly and braised it till soft. Unctously coated with a thick and creamy salted egg sauce, this was heavenly good. I could barely taste the bitterness but just pure salty luscious and creamy salted egg yolk.

A house special soup of Pepper Soup with Pig Stomach and Black Fungus (RM39) is very tasty too. Generously filled with lots of tender pig stomach slices, crunchy black fungus and straw mushrooms, the peppery soup is served in claypot to keep it warm. I love pepper soup and I love mine with bold hits of peppery note. The version here is one of the better ones and has all the sufficient taste of a good hit of peppers. It’s a big pot so do make sure to have enough diners to share.

Unlike the Banting one, Ijok New Beggar’s Delicious Restaurant serves up a long list of other seafood and dishes besides their signature Beggar Chicken. Since we are a family of crab lovers, we also took this chance and put in an order of Crab Beehoon (RM95). Happy to say, the Crab Beehoon was pretty good. The crab was fresh and sweet. The rice noodle was cooked well, soft and yet has a good bite with moreish flavours.

New Beggar’s Delicious Restaurant turned out better that we expected. I would come back for the Beggar Chicken and Eight Treasure Rice with that yummy Salted Egg Bittergourd anytime. Price was decent too and the restaurant is spacious and cool. Do call for reservation to avoid disappointment.

Total bill was RM369 inclusive of beverages and rice.

Lot 894, Jalan Hormoni,
45620 Ijok, Selangor
Tel: +603-3279 1936 (Mr. Tee)

GPS: 3.307116, 101.418736

Business Hours:
Wed, Sat, Sun & Public Holiday (1pm to 3pm / 5pm to 7pm)

October 19, 2016

Southern Rock Seafood, Bangsar

Seafood Haven in Bangsar!

There’s really not many restaurants that specializes in Western seafood menu here in the city but there is one that has been supplying seafood connoisseurs since 2008. Southern Rock Seafood didn’t started out as a restaurant when it first open. When one of the owner couldn’t find his favorite fish King George Whiting here, he decided to bring it in and introduce our locals. He started importing various fishes from all over and Southern Rock Seafood took off as a wholesale seafood supplier in our city.

Moving forward, the owners opened Shucked in Publika where I first met one of the owners, Josh a few years ago. Converted to a die-hard fan of Shucked, I simply could not forget how luscious their oysters were. Shucked was more of a casual niche oyster bar with some selections of the seafood from their wholesale. Nevertheless, the oyster bar became a big hit with oyster lovers and many were seen indulging in these aphrodisiac mollusks with their small selection of prepared seafood menu.

Southern Rock Seafood took on a full fledge restaurant in Bangsar some 18 months ago and even setup a small seafood shop about 6 months ago selling their seafood to consumers while still managing their wholesale distribution. Little did many know, Southern Rock Seafood restaurant has a glorious seafood menu fill with loads of imported fishes and seafood prepared minimalist cooking to showcase the freshness of their seafood.

We paid a visit one evening and immediately fell for their beautiful ambiance. Despite the heavily congested area in Jalan Kemuja, diners are immediately taken into an oceanic themed interior that may just sweep you off your feet. Themed in shades of neutrals after the colors of the sands and shades of oceanic blue, the soft glow from the lights added lots of charm and calmness to the dining room.

From banquette seating to long tables, there is even the bar set with high chairs for diners to catch some kitchen actions.

The dining area is cleverly sectioned into two rooms for privacy as well as functions and both dining areas also offers a bar area for casual dining too. If you’re seated at the bar area, you’ll surely be tempted at the rows of oysters set on ice as well as the tempting array of the freshest catch of the day in the chiller.

Both area has an open kitchen concept, showing off all the dishes prepared a la minute. We caught this young but talented Chef Nikita preparing a trio of appetizers with such concentration and finesse.

Josh, one of the owners, were also present to take us through the various oysters he has. I am sure his regulars called him the oyster man since he has so much passion about the various oysters and seafood he carries. His tales of how Southern Rock Seafood goes all out to find the very best of seafood from all over the world today and brings them in so that we get to really taste some of the best seafood in the world reiterates how passionate he is for the treasures of the sea.

Southern Rock Seafood prides themselves on making almost everything from scratch and so they make their own bread each day too. Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked bread from the oven as we catch these freshly baked ones waiting for us that evening.

London No.1 Special, SRS Bloody Mary, Mojito, Bloody Mary & Hole in the Water Sauvignon Blanc

Now what is seafood without wine, beer or cocktails? Southern Rock Seafood carries a small but solid list of imported wines as well as draft beers, liqueurs and cocktails. We kicked off our evening some cocktails before our meal. The Bloody Mary here packs a solid hit of heat! Do go for the SRS Bloody Mary special served with a prawn cocktail and the London No. 1 Special, a fruity concoction with gin that is sure to ease off your day with happy thoughts.

It is the first year that Southern Rock Seafood participates in the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival 2016 and here are some dishes from the MIGF menu. These are available in their regular menu but on a different portion. The MIGF menu has a sampler platter of these dishes with wine pairing.

The Trio of Appetizer of Smoked Ocean Trout & Marinated Goat Cheese, Semi Naked Cloudy Bay Diamond Shell Clams and Ponzu Soba Noodles with Barramundi.

My favorite of the trio has to be the Smoked Ocean Trout with Marinated Goat Cheese. The intensity of the smoky, salty and creamy ocean trout touted to be one of the best I have ever had and that tangy lush goat cheese elevated the flavours harmoniously. Simply divine…

The Semi Naked Cloudy Bay Diamond Shell Clam is moreish, juicy and tender. Light with clean oceanic flavours, one might actually need a few more of these clams.

The Ponzu Soba Noodles with Barramundi was decent enough. I suspected that the other two dishes were just so good, this one needed more to stand up to them.

Another dish on the MIGF menu is the Lobster Bisque & Caviar. A spoonful of this bisque and my palate is filled with a marvelous sensation of the king of crustaceans. The robust flavours of lobster is blissfully welcoming. Thick, creamy and velvety smooth, the bisque is enhanced by a touch of cream and briny pearls of black caviar. We hope Josh puts this bisque on their regular menu… and soon too because we loved it so much and would gladly come back just for this.

There’s really no way one should visit Southern Rock Seafood without ordering their oysters. That is unless you happen to not enjoy raw oysters. But then, they also served cooked oysters so make sure you order oysters at the restaurant.

The menu offers diners an order of 3 pieces or a dozen on their selection of oysters from Ireland, France, Holland, Australia and New Zealand. Occasionally and seasonal, the varieties of oysters varies on the timing of the year.

If you can’t decide on a single variety of oysters, go for their special The Kitchen Dozen (RM168). The platter features 2 pieces of each variety and is value-for-money. This Kitchen Dozen is available at the promotional price for a limited time only. Regular price for The Kitchen Dozen is at RM188.

Our Kitchen Dozen consisted of Gallagher Special, Fine De Claire, Creuses, Streaky Bay, Cloudy Bay and Irish Premium.

Gallagher Special – Ireland (RM60 – 3pcs| RM220 per dozen) is Southern Rock Seafood’s pride and joy. One of the best oysters grown over 4 years in Edward Gallagher’s farm in Donegal at Traghenna Bay, the oysters here are beautifully plump with a soft creamy outlook. Not overly salty, there is a lovely clean flavour with a rich creamy finish.

Irish Premium – Ireland (RM35 – 3pcs| RM132 per dozen) is also farmed by Edward Gallagher. Though these are not as excellent as the Gallagher special, these are still delicious with a sweet finish from Donegal’s pristine coast. Smaller in size, I do enjoy the sweetness of the oysters with a tiny hint of mineral aftertaste.

Fine de Claire – France (RM44 – 3pcs| RM148 per dozen) is one of my all-time-favorite oysters. One of the more famous oysters, these are finished in knee-deep Claire or salt ponds for the final month to produce its signature fine sweet notes with a salty finish. There is a gorgeous elegant flavour that I really enjoy in this one.

Then there’s the Dutch Creuses – Holland (RM36 – 3pcs| RM121 per dozen). Round and plump, these are really decent oysters. Takes them at least 2 years before they can be consumed, Creuses are cultured in Oosterschelde and in Grevelingen Lake. These have a sweet note with fresh fruity flavours.

Streaky Bay – Australia (RM45 – 3pcs| RM150 per dozen) took me by surprise. These smaller oysters are round with a plump outlook and they tasted really lovely with a clean sweet finish. They are quite in demand in Australia and it’s a family own business that has been farming oysters over 20 years.

Cloudy Bay – New Zealand (RM44 – 3pcs| RM148 per dozen) are long and medium plump with a pale creamy outlook. These are available from October to December. They have rather delicate flavour with a fine salty finish. Though not as rich as some other oysters, they are still really yummy.

There’s plenty more choices of oysters so diners are definitely spoilt for choices at Southern Rock Seafood

Oyster Shooter (RM15 each) is another option to enjoy oysters. Paired with an intense shot or tomato base liquid perked up with peppery heat and tangy citrus, it was indeed a lovely way to enjoy oysters too.

I will be bias in this dish of Herring Matjes (RM38). It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but since I happen to really enjoy pickled herring, I love the dish for its raw and pungent tang of the herrings. Served with house dried tomatoes, chopped onions, herbs and crusty toast, the dish really whets our appetite for more to come.

Southern Rock Seafood also has a raw bar serving various raw seafood. We had the Canadian Scallops (RM30 – 70gm). The scallops were huge, fresh and sweet.

Moving on to Live Boston Bay (SA) Blue Mussels, enjoy them in Legendary Laksa with Mussels (RM88 – big|RM56 – small) or with pasta. While the laksa broth is not as similar to our local city version, I must say that the laksa broth here is still superb. It’s creamy and has enough spices to give the broth its umami note without overpowering the sweetness of the blue mussels. The plump mussels were tender and so yummy. I couldn’t resist dunking bread into the broth to soak up all the moreish flavours. This is a full meal by itself with the generous potato wedges served with a creamy sauce.

For a different carb, one can also opt for the Angel Hair Mussel Laksa (RM36) prepared with the same laksa sauce.

Southern Rock Seafood prides themselves in bringing in some of the more unique fishes from other waters. For fish lovers, one should always check out their daily board menu for the fishes available. We went all out for fish for our mains. From the much-beloved Barramundi to Lemon Sole, there are also unique ones like Tarakini and Alfonsino as well as Ocean Trout and Sea Perch.

The Barramundi with Squid Ink Pasta & Pot Roast Veggies (RM88) proves to be a hearty fish that goes well with pasta. Cooked just right, the fish was lightly firm, creamy and sweet with a lovely crisp skin. No wonder barramundi is loved so much by Aussies. The pasta with its light tomatoes makes a solid filler for the fish.

Tarakihi with Grilled Veggies & Sauteed Potatoes (RM77) is one fish that I have never had before. The fish originates from New Zealand and has a fine flesh that is sweet and delicate. Its pan seared here and has a subtle sweet and soft flesh, pairing well with the veggies and sautéed potatoes with onions.

The French love their lemon sole and so do I. Lemon Sole ala Meuniere (RM66), classic French fish prepared French way is smothered in buttery capers and lemon sauce. Too much capers I would say as it gave the fish too much salt. However, the sole was cooked perfectly and was so tender and tasty. I didn’t eat much of the capers because the sole was already so delicious on its own with the potatoes. Love the sole, lessen the capers.

If I have to choose my top favorite fish among all the ones I tried that night, it would have to be the Alfonsino with Arugula Salad & Croquettes (RM66). Another first for me, Alfonsino fish is such a tasty fish. The flesh is firm and yet tender and rich with a creamy note. Love the fish with the creamy herb sauce as well as the croquettes and light salad.

Sea Perch with Broccoli, Anchovy Dressing & Herb Mash (RM72) is another option to choose if you enjoy delicate white fish. I love how the fish here are cooked with minimalist, letting the freshness of the fish take limelight. The anchovy dressing is punchy and bold, lending a rich and savory note to the fish.

Our last main of the evening was the Grilled Ocean Trout with Grilled Veggies & Potato Wedges (RM65). Highly prized for its creamy richness, the oils from the ocean trout make the fish gorgeously tasty and sublime. It is served with a light tomato sauce, cleverly boosting a light tang to the fish instead of using the usual lemons. Make sure to have your ocean trout cooked to medium doneness for rich and luscious texture that ocean trout is famous for.

There’s just so much more on the menu that we barely tried. From lobsters to mud crab to prawns and more, there’s plenty of seafood to satisfy everyone.

Desserts are also on the menu. There are special desserts on the daily chalkboard and Southern Rock Seafood also takes some of their desserts from a charity organization named Bake with Dignity.

Pavlova with Chocolate Mousse & Summer Berries (RM26) is a creation of Chef Nikita and it was a light and sweet one with hints of chocolates. Crisp meringue with chewy middle goes so well with the light chocolatey mousse. The berries gave a nice tangy note to the sweet meringue and chocolate mousse.

Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies (RM23) is sinful dessert from Bake with Dignity. Decadent dark chocolate brownie has a savory sweet caramel in the middle. I enjoyed the fudgy dark richness of the brownies. It is served with more berries and cream.

Lemon Torte (RM26) is another option if you are a citrus fan like me. This one was decent with its solid hit of lemons. A generous portion for sharing if you ask me.

Whether you’re seeking to buy or indulge in seafood, Southern Rock Seafood has it all. We’re glad that we get to enjoy the various seafood from all over the world without having to go there. Prices here are high but these are imported seafood and quality is another solid reason to justify the price tag. Southern Rock Seafood has so much to offer in their shop and I even spied Salmon Bacon, Smoked Ocean Trout, Caviars and more gourmet seafood.

32 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 1800 88 3474

Business Hours:
10am to 10pm