New Formosa Restaurant – SS2, PJ

I totally adore old establishments.. especially those which had been around for decades.
Nothing bears a more solid testament than the years its been in operational .. and the fact that its food has appealed to both the old folks (then years ago; young.. ahem) and still satisfying the taste buds of the current generation.

New Formosa Restaurant in SS2, PJ happens to be celebrating its 3rd decade in business this year.
To survive the change of PJ, the evolvement of then a town to now a city, its demographics of people which has changed so much since then & the onslaught mushrooming of probably hundreds of chic-er, posher and fusion food eateries around does warrant some respect in that sense.

New Formosa Restaurant

At the invitation of Eu Hooi Khaw, author of Fresh Ingredients & seasoned and respected food writer for about just as long as New Formosa is in business, I roped in Sean, UnkaLeong, WC and Horng for a night out.

Now, I’ve heard and read much of its Or Nee (steamed yam paste) and its legendary butter eel, and New Formosa has been on my “to eat list” for the longest time.

Truly its famed dish did not disappoint!

The not-overly sweet and healthier version of lard free OR NEE.

Formosa Pumpkin & Gingko Or Nee

It came with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and the correct way is to enjoy it all in a scoop! Lovely!!

The infamous butter eel was part of the Formosa’s Special Combination Dish we had that night.

Starter

The deep-fried pig intestines with sesame seeds didn’t go down well with me. I may be overly sensitive, for Sean thought it was odourless yet it seemed to really stink to me!
Both the three-cup top shell (clams) stir fried with basil leaves and the stuffed lotus roots with special fish paste and seaweed was good, but I guess the Butter Eel just stole the limelight. Soft and slightly salty, the fragrant curry leaves added a nice kick to the overall taste.

I could do with more of this seeing my current stage of health!
Heartwarming and robust, it requires pre-ordering as it was simmered for 4 hours and loaded with all the goodies your grandmama would throw into a pot of nourishing soup; wolfberry, red dates, diced chicken, pork, mushrooms, gingko nuts, lotus seeds & lily buds.

Simmered Winter MelonAlign Center

Dinner was not only about gorging ourselves silly. Jeanie Lee, wife of the Chef and Sole Proprietor Mr Lee Weng Eng regaled us with tales of Taiwan, its history, the restaurant’s history and of course, we had a lesson or two on Taiwanese food.

The natural Ai Yu jelly served with fresh lemon juice is a very popular dessert in Taiwan, we were told. Here, it is made fresh in-house, and we were shown the natural Ai Yu seeds that they were made from.

Taiwan Lemon Ai Yu jelly

Hence, you can be assured this is no powdered premix! The zesty drink was a great starter, as it got all of our appetites perked up and we were more than ready to chow down a horse.

Nothing of a horse proportion were served though, and instead we got ourselves a succelent suckling pig.

Suckling Pig

This must have been the most anticipated dish of the night. Pictures were snapped extra speedily and within minutes, we stripped the poor baby of its crisp skin.

It was a first for us to eat this with vinegar as one of the dipping sauce, but like any foodie we dunk the meat, skin and whatever other parts of the little one into both the sauces served and gamely pronounced everything to be excellent.

The Braised Snapper with Sichuan hot bean sauce was fresh & the flesh soft and sweet. Good with the silver thread mantous (of which supposedly to be of a better quality compared to the normal ones customarily served elsewhere) sponging up the thick piquant gravy.

Braised Snapper w Sichuan Hot Bean Sauce

mantous

By now, sleeves are rolled up and it’s time to work the stomach harder.

readyto get yrs hand dirty!

We barely chowed half-way through the feast prepared for us that night and most of us were almost stuffed!

Fret not, Jeannie said.
Drink up on their 1st grade Oolong tea to ease disgestion…

Oolong tea

Then 2 ducks waddled in, and miraculously sections of space in our tummies became available.
The Longan Pipa Duck was deboned, flattened and marinated with herbs before applied with a solution of white vinegar and maltose prior to being roasted.
The final stage was a quick deep fry for the crispiness and then a quick bath of sweet bean sauce with longan just before serving.

Longan Pipa Duck & Sichuan Crispy Duck

I actually prefered the Sichuan Crispy Duck. Maybe it is because it was not so heavily flavoured and still boasted of a layer of fat ;p

Wrap a piece in lettuce, spoon over a trickle of plum sauce and take a bite.
Hmm.. dabbing the greasy juice from the side of my mouth, I remembered vaguely fleeting feelings of guilt, (but it was indeed very fleeting) and then all was forgotten as I reached for my next piece.

Fellow gluttons of the night…

The peeps!

The steamed crabs on top of unpolished rice, onion, scallions, shallots, mushrooms, dried shrimp, minced meat and Chinese sausage was just awesome!
Ok, I’m a rice person.. totally love rice but resistance is futile even for carb-haters when the rice was so wonderfully infused with the flavour of the crabs and its other ingredients.
Very fragrant and absolutely delicious, I could have this on its own minus the crab.

Taiwanese Crab Rice

I had my apprehensions when I saw shelled prawns served with steamed yam and sweet potatoes.
But its got an impressive name; “President Ma Banquet Dish” and who’s to argue when the President lends his name to a dish?
The sticks of sweet potato and yam you see below were very tasty and seriously a good substitute when the cravings for french fries hits.
The bouncy prawns married beautifully with the smooth yam and even the deep fried lonely piece of kai lan was devoured.

Stir Fried Yam Prawns

The next dessert got all of us burning a few calories clicking away in the hope of getting the best shot of the action.

Caramel Yam1

Basically the triangular pieces of yam (yes, more yam..) were deep fried and then bathed in a lava of hot caramel sauce with sesame seeds.

While it was still piping hot, each piece is yanked from the plate and dunked into a tub of cold water. The rude cold shower instantly hardens the thick coat of caramel on the exterior of each piece.

Caramel Yam2

The result is sugar- rock hard on the outside yet the yam insides remained mushy and warm.
It was a delight to bite into each and savour the extremes; cold and hot, bland and sweet.
My, another new dish learnt.
And I thought Taiwanese food was meat balls and noodles, Taiwan sausages and fried chicken ala Uncle Bob.

Jeannie, being the fantastic hostess she is, treated us to their more of their signature desserts. I’m glad to announce it has nothing to do with YAM.

New Formosa choices of puddings – mango, green tea, aloe vera, custard and herbal.
I love them all! As usual they were made in house, with no preservative and addictives.
Very refreshing and cooling guilt free snacks no?

Puddings


Great mains, fantastic desserts and there’s PORK!! What’s not to like?? They serve individual portions of food as well here so it’s ok to drop by even if you dining alone. Else you can always drop me a text ;)

New Formosa,
46, Jalan SS2/24, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 7875-1894, 7875-7478

Pneumonia is no fun

or any sickness for that matter.

but pneumonia had rendered me bedridden for the last one week
and all I remembered was being shrouded in a haze of pain
there was pain everywhere
a deep throbbing one in my head that was killing me!!!
a sharp uncomfortable twinge in all my joints
cramps in my tummy as well
and
my back aches like crazy..

I drifted in and out of my semi-comatose state of sleep and consciousness
and wondered how the heck could one possibly be diagnosed with Pneumonia in hot humid Malaysia???
Am I the unlucky one as usual??

for the last few days I thought I could never be well again
after all I did pop those damn antibiotics and medication diligently and for days it did nothing to improve my condition…
I was worried too…what if it was something else??
Then I have to go see the doctor again! Take more stupid tests!! Spend more $$$!!
NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Calling back to Daddy was so tempting,
But with disastrous consequences I know,
Hang in there, I told myself..
Give it ONE more day…

Finally today I was able to sit up
and walk further than 100 metres
finally able to crave for nasi lemak and burgers
and I’m so freaking thankful that I am on the path to recovery!!

So, though I’m still coughing my lungs out
at least I’m conscious and sitting up
going through all the blog posts I missed!
Now, to start job-hunting!

also… anyone out there with advice (other than rest more).. on how to deal with pneumonia is greatly appreciated!!

Buka Puasa at Bangsar Seafood Restaurant

you can hide or run on your stubby claws..

you can try to put up a fight

Act nasty if u wish

Go ahead, flash your menacing claws at us


Or plead and debate for your life


But you know we are coming for you…


We want you slathered, smothered & drowned in rich creamy butter..

butter crabs

Or fried coated in salted egg yolks…

And we know where’s the BEST place to get your crabby fix…FOR FREE!

For each of their Ramadan buka puasa sets that comes with 9 signature dishes, Bangsar Seafood throws in ONE KG of crabs at no extra charge, cooked in your chosen choice of style.

Yups, this place is HALAL and after personally trying a few disappointing Ramadan buffets priced at RM75++ and above, I honestly think this would be a better deal if you have a group of 10 pax and above.

RM 498+: Appetizer, Shark’s Fin Soup, Chicken with Ginger, Spicy Fried Fish, Lychee Prawns, Signature Beancurd, ‘Kampung’ fried rice, Custard Buns, Dessert

RM 598+: Appetizer, Sharks Fin Soup, Chicken with Plum Sauce, Pomfret with Bean Sauce, Prawns with Sweet Corn Sauce, Steamed “Sang Gan”, Tom Yam Noodles, Banana with “Gula Melaka”, Dessert

RM 698+: Appetizer, Double boiled soup, Roast chicken, Red snapper, Otak Otak Fried Prawns, Braised Sea Cucumber, Oyster Fried Rice, Chinese Pastries, Dessert

RM 898+: Homemade appetizers, Sharks Fin Soup with Pumpkin, Boneless Duck, Curried Garoupa, Braised Seafood, Mango Prawns, Garlic Fried Rice, Banana & ‘Gula Melaka’, Dessert

Recently a mob of us stapled some of their dishes and generally, the food left a good impression on us hard core foodies.

What we ate

And of course, desserts must not be neglected..

Delicious pureed Mango Sago for dessert..

Mango Sago

Not a drop wasted.

a glutton in action

And since the food had already been described to death.. here, help yourself to their reviews below ;p

A Whiff of Lemongrass
Lots of Cravings
Kampung Kayell
Superwilson
Bangsar Babe
Babe In The City
Paranoid Android
Memoirs Of A Chocoholic
Eat Drink KL
FBB

The Pak Ya Popia Power empire, The Mall, near PWTC

It was by sheer chance that I found this!

Who would have thought… tucked in a little “run-down” food court (if this place can even qualify as a food court!) a roaring multi -million business exist (ok, fine, maybe a bit of an exaggeration here ;p) BUT DEFINITELY thousands of ringgit daily at the very least, I kid you not!

Me: “Pak Ya, tiap -tiap hari berapa ratus popia Pak Ya jual?” (Pak Ya, how many hundreds of these popia (spring rolls) do you sell daily?)

Pak Ya: ” Ohh…TIDAK..tak sampai beratus- ratus… beberapa ribu saja… (Ohh.. NO..not hundreds… only a few thousands…)

Me: *gulps*

POPIA5

The popia (spring roll), fried to a crackly crisp with its ample filling of yam bean and bean sprouts is best eaten doused with the THICK sweet spicy sauce plus a sprinkling of crunchy nuts.

And the skin deserves a special mention, as it tasted very fresh.

stack

Simply cos it is handmade right here too!

POPIA3

Using their hands, these popia ladies grabs a blob of the batter (1st pic), gives it a yo-yo swing in the air (2nd pic) (the batter is surprisingly elastic and it bounces right back to her hand, and this step supposedly gives the skin a more elastically chewy texture, which is noticeable if you eat the popia basah version) before she swirls a thin layer on the flat griddle. Over a slow fire, each film of batter is given approximately 2 mins before it is peeled off the pan.

POPIA4

Once “cooked“, the skin is stacked up and transferred to the production line outside.
Here it is separated layer by layer (these skins stuck together due to it being piled up while it was still hot) before each is rolled up with the required fillings.
POPIA

Below: The yam bean being machine – shredded.
The humongous amount of bean sprouts used in a day, basket after basket of these are stacked on top of the other.

POPIA1

The rolled up spring rolls are then fried in batches in another kitchen (which is essentially another stall in the same row)

POPIA2

Fresh off the wok, tanks of these crispy babies are lined up at the side of Pak Ya’s stall, in a row, ready for pick up by other proprietors in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
Pak Ya himself can be sighted at the TTDI bazaar, (remember my previous post?) where a snaking queue is ever-present from the moment his stall is set up.

Contact:
Pak Yah

012 237 0302

Operating hours
For Puasa month: 5pm onwards. Fried popia from lunch onwards but the basah (wet version) ones are only after 5pm.

Normal days: 9am to 8pm, Mon to Sun. Both versions available from morning.

Address:
Lot 401 & 404
Medan Hang Tuah Food Court
4th Floor, The Mall
Jalan Putra
50350 KL

Walk into the food court and his stalls would be on your right. You might have to go closer to each stall to find out which ones exactly, as they do not carry any signboards that says Pak Ya popia or anything remotely of that sort.
But one certainly can’t possibly miss the group of popia ladies all hard at work & cheerfully rolling the spring rolls!

Pasar Ramadan – Kg Sg Penchala & TTDI

Had some time to spent with my best and closest friend since childhood last weekend, and both of us being gluttons, bonding & ‘us’ time is naturally spent over a meal or MEALS.

In the spirit of Ramadan, she has decided to go on fast too, and both of us went Pasar Ramadan hopping in the vicinity of Kampung Sg Penchala and TTDI.

Pasar Ramadan Kampung Sg Penchala
GPS: N03. 09 683
E 101. 37 593

Kpg Sg Penchala - ramadan baz

Roti Jala.
The proprietors here are a friendly lot and would happily obliged posing in mid-action of cooking or packing their wares.

roti jala

For RM2.00, the chendol was a nice huge packet with thick fragrant gula melaka (palm sugar). The green wriggly jellies were toothsome and fresh too.

cendol

The murtabak is an ubiquitous item at every Ramadan bazaar, and the version here is swollen with generous filling of meat and egg, hence the snaking queue that guarantees a wait of minimum 20mins for one.

murtabak

Ice cream ketam?? One certainly can’t accuse the proprietors of being boring.
Even the chicken skeleton is fried to a crisp frame and sold for RM3.00.

fried repertoire

I had a hard time trying to curb my appetite with the fantastic visual feast before me.

sweets
My favourite, the kuih Akok from Kelantan, made from eggs, brown sugar and coconut milk. I couldn’t help trying one of the colourful “Kueh Peria”, which was basically thick glutinous rice skin wrapping sweet coconut flakes, green mung beans and peanuts.

kueh

The assiduous Man and his buddy, contactable at 017 615 9283 for his family secret recipe cheese tarts, of which I had the opportunity to staple one. Luscious and creamy, the bite sized cheese tarts are perfect gifts for Muslim friends.

man

The Kg Sg Penchala bazaar however, is small (with stalls numbering at perhaps, the most 40?) and therefore has pretty limited range of food (at least to gluttons like us).

So we hopped over to the next nearest bazaar we could think of…

Pasar Ramadan TTDI
GPS: N03. 08 441
E101. 37 709

Here, things were a little bit more interesting.

The “making of the peneram tradisional“.

peneram

And also the Sup Tulang stall, with its myriad of a cow’s parts in proud display. The mushrooms, wood fungus and vegetables somehow got me thinking of “bak kut teh”.

sup tulang

Then I watched wide-eyed as a couple was handed a plate with clippers. And they started to plunk items from the display onto the plate ala Yong Tau Foo style.
Wow, the revolution of Sup Tulang!

Once satisfied with your choices, hand over your plate to the proprietor, and your bag of Sup Tulang (or should I say Cow Kut Teh??) will be packed accordingly.
Since we can’t imagine slurping our hearty Sup Tulang with floating buttons mushrooms and celery sticks, we stuck to the good ole version of sup with beef fillets and briskets.

It turned out to be quite mild in flavour as the spices were very much toned down. Furthermore, it lacked the necessary ‘herbal’ flavours that such a dish demands. What happened to the complex, thick & aromatic soup tulang we know??

suptulang2

Next, HALAL dim sum and paus.

dimsum

And fried rice with top marks for presentation. The same can’t be said for its taste though.

fried rice

And of course, chicken, chicken and more chicken. Roasted, grilled, BBQ-ed, fried, curried … they even got a HALAL version of Uncle Bob’s fried chicken!

chic

Another ubiquitous favourite, the ikan bakar stall. Strange that there were not that many stalls for this. We waited for over an hour for our stingrays, and it wasn’t even cooked through.

ikan bakar

Wajik Durian!!
Sweet, pungent and gooey!!

wajik durian

There was, however, no lacking of stalls hawking rice; Nasi Melayu, fried rice, Nasi Tomato, Nasi Briyani…

rice n dishes

And everything else…

others

Another interesting find, Sambal Tempoyak.
Durian with anchovies (ikan bilis) and petai. Do check out the youtube link!

sambal tempoyak

I guess us Malaysians have got a soft spot for simple food. The longest queue was spied for these orbs of white, cottony snack.

sign - putu

putuPiring

After standing in queue for a good 40 minutes, I witnessed pretty much the repetition of the below.
Anti- clockwise from left:
Put one layer of the flour in each depression, top with about 1/2 tsp brown sugar, cover with more flour, press down, cover with a piece of muslin and steam for 15 minutes.

putuPiring1
Once done, each are painstakingly lined with a piece of banana leaf before being packed in minimum set of 4 (RM2.00) . I liked the small ‘touch’ of lining it with the banana leaf, for the leaves impart a lingering fragrance when wrapped with the steaming hot putus.

putuPiring2

Another simple food that commands another long queue. The fried and wet spring rolls by Pak Ya Popia Power!
Pak Ya himself stands at the front of the queue and cheerfully takes orders. The efficient workers churned out packs of freshly rolled spring rolls at his command. His booming shouts of “Next!!” assured the queue that their turn is soon!

pak yah popia

After hours of queuing and jostling with the crowd, we finally buka puasa at her place..

There were homecooked curries and spring rolls, soups & Auntie Pretzels, in addition to what we bought from the bazaars…

home dishes

Top that off with crabs and chicken wings from Fatty Crab, Taman Megah.

fatty crab

What a feast!

I just had to ask her.. Can I come over to buka puasa everyday with you ahh?? ;p