PUCHONG, March 20 — If you think of Hakka food as soul food, this is the place for you.
Owned by a family from Kulai, their signature dish is fu gua thong or bitter gourd soup. That humble jade green vegetable is sought after for its health benefits since it’s said to be rich in antioxidants. The belief is it helps reduce blood sugar levels.
As Hakka food tends to be rich, you will find bitter gourd features a lot in their cuisine. There’s stuffed bitter gourd for yong tau foo, fried in an omelette or in this case, made into a soup.
This place’s menu is more family oriented where dishes are meant for sharing. However, you can order just the fu gua soup with mee hoon for RM13.90 to make a one-person meal.
Portions are huge as you’re given a mountain of vermicelli topped with finely shaved bitter gourd and an assortment of pork and offal. There’s pig’s liver, heart, kidney and intestine on the menu but your bowl is mainly sliced pork and liver.
Who can resist deep fried pork belly marinated with ‘nam yue’.
The minced meat omelette may not look much but it has a fluffy texture and tastes good.
What I liked was the crunchy bitter gourd and the clear pork soup that was comforting. This is perfect rainy weather food.
You will be tempted to order other goodies from the menu like their signature fried pork belly. It is featured in numerous pork dishes that include classic Hakka ones like pork belly with yam and vinegar pork leg.
The fried pork belly is addictive; thick sliced pork pieces are marinated in nam yue and deep fried. The meat has a variety of textures, due to the cut of meat used.
On one end of the spectrum, there’s fat and meat mingling in layers that makes it a soft, rich bite. Then you also have leaner pieces that tend to be harder but crunchier.
The portion is generous for a small size (RM11) and so addictive that you won’t stop at just one piece.
The yam and pork belly was well prepared… even Hakka grandmothers will approve.
The vinegar pork leg was packed with meat but a little out of balance with the vinegar broth that was mild in taste.
Another dish that was recommended was their omelette. You can select from various types with a choice of onions, minced meat, bitter gourd, prawn meat or preserved radish. Prices range from RM9.50 to RM10 for a small portion.
It may not look impressive on the plate but it was a simple yet tasty omelette filled with minced meat that you could happily eat with a plate of rice. I liked how this omelette was fluffy rather than the usual flatter types cooked at home too.
As I was keen to try out their Hakka dishes, I packed home the two classic ones. The pork belly with yam (RM18 for a small portion) was superb. You get thick sliced pork belly mingling with soft, fluffy yam.
This was a rice killer dish that was perfect for a TV dinner as the sauce was well balanced too with the distinct taste of soybean paste. Even my fussy mother approved of this dish.
The vinegar pork leg (RM18) didn’t fare as well. You get small pieces of meat and gelatinous fat swimming in a black vinegar broth, which is rather mild. I wasn’t a fan too of the meat since the ratio of the portion was more meat rather than gelatinous fat which made it an unbalanced dish.
The restaurant is the typical set-up with bigger tables for families and some small tables for solo diners.
Look for this sign at the busy Bandar Puteri Puchong area for comforting, family fare.
Apparently this dish is pre-packed ahead in portions so even if you order it at the restaurant, it’s that mix of meat and fats.
You can go all out with bitter gourd at the restaurant as the vegetable can also be found in braised chicken with black beans or their Hakka yong tau foo. The sweet potato leaf must be a popular order too as I saw them preparing stacks of the vegetables to be stir fried on its own or with sambal belacan.
If you’re looking for fried noodles or rice dishes as a solo diner, they also do stir fried pork with ginger and onion or gung bao pork with dried chillies, paired with rice. You also have the quintessential fried rice and also fried pork dry noodles and Sin Chew noodles.
Restoran Fu Gua Thong, 32, Jalan Puteri 2/4, Bandar Puteri, Puchong. Tel:+016-7100006. Open: 11am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm.
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