Chinese New Year 2014: New Formosa SS2 – enjoy suckling pig, Taiwanese dishes and desserts

Becky’s 1 Minute Summary:
What: Casual Chinese dining, dishes with Taiwanese influences, special creations which I believe may not be available elsewhere.
What to order here: Pork based dishes, the legendary butter eel, the or nee (yam paste), soups, suckling pig (if available) and well, check out my previous posts for more!
1. Celebrating 30 years: Crispy Duck, Butter Eel, Or Nee, Steamed Crab Rice and Deep Fried Yam
2. Chinese New Year 2010 : Monk Jump Over the Wall, traditional Hunan ham with Honey gingko nuts & lotus seeds, Yee Sang and more!
Overall experience: 3 visits so far (this review being my 4th) and there are hits and misses on each visit so it really depends on what you like and what you order.
Price: The CNY set menus are really reasonable in comparison with other restaurants. Normal ala-carte menu prices are standard PJ restaurant prices.

For the long story, read on. :)

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From my previous visits years back, since 2009 and 2010, I’m now back to say hi to a long time friend; both the owner Jeannie and her restaurant, who has stood the test of time and still churning out good-for-the-belly, easy-on-the-pocket food.

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Jeannie remained radiant, while the crispy suckling pig remained a signature of New Formosa Restaurant. This absolutely marvellous piglet; non-greasy with superb crispy skin, melt-in-the-mouth fat, was tasty without being overly salty with a thin layer of tender meat.
Good news for many of us is; there isn’t a need to order a whole pig. For RM289 NETT, HALF of this crispy suckling pig Hong Kong style plus 5 more dishes of chicken/duck, vegetables, dessert and prawns should feed 5 pax nicely.
Look for Package ADA5 offered by New Formosa Restaurant for their current Chinese New Year set dinner menu.

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Below: ADA5 for 5 pax, ADA3 for 8 pax. No need to sweat and despair looking for 10 pax to make up the numbers for a dinner.

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However, if you do have 10 pax for dinner, the ADA1 and ADA2 – still very reasonable at RM638 & RM588 respectively and both offers a whole suckling pig, the requisite fish, prawn and fowl dishes.

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Speaking of fowl, New Formosa’s signature of Three Cups Chicken plus half a braised chicken with seafood and vegetables was the fowl for the evening.
While the Three Cups chicken was strong flavoured and fragrant, I prefer the braised chicken which imparted more delicate but complex flavours with its myriad of seafood (squid, fish maw and clams) and vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas). You can opt for the duck version if you wish.
Whichever it may be, the gravy and meat just begs to be eaten with rice!

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During the festive season where most restaurants offers pretty much the same method of preparation for most dishes, it is always refreshing to sample something unique, be it in some or all of the dishes in a set dinner menu.
In symbolization of “happiness” and laughter (prawn is ‘har’ in Cantonese and ha in Cantonese sounds like someone laughing) we were served a bamboo trough of prawns prepared Taiwan Hakka style.

The broth was the highlight for me; strong nuances of wine while being simultaneously both sweet and herbal-ish. The ginger, wolf berries and longan contributed to the essence of the broth.

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Even the greens were made more interesting. We had the humble lotus root stuffed with New Formosa special fish paste with stir-fried leafy greens (this is called wong tei miu – any English translation anyone?). I’m not sure about you but I got tired of the broccoli, mushrooms and sea cucumber dish in such CNY set meals.
Give me this crunchy lotus roots with slightly spicy fish paste any time!

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Take your pick of promfret or seabass for the fish dish from New Formosa’s CNY set menus this year. I personally love promfrets but the seabass would yield more meat I bet.
Our seabass was done Hong Kong Teochew style which was tangy, salty and sweet from the sour plums, salted vegetables, ginger and chilli. Simple and delicious.

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More vegetables from the ala-carte was delivered to our table, a good showcase of some of the more compelling items on New Formosa.
A low fat, high nutrient dish would be the appetizing pickle of bittergourd, lotus root and wood fungus.

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The fried leek was delicious too with slivers of waxed sausage, choy poh (preserved radish) and chilli. All in all a very savoury dish that again begs for rice.

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We ended the meal with New Formosa signature puddings, all as good as I remembered them to be, years ago.
The mango and custard ones are crowd-pleasers while the aloe vera and black herbal versions leans towards the healthy palate. I personally loved the caramelized taste of the custard and the slightly bitter subtlety of the aloe vera one. 

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For the finale, Jeannie served us New Formosa’s famous Taiwan Ai Yu Ping, a bowl of sweet, zingy dessert with chewy yu ping jellies and the trademark of Taiwanese desserts, the sago pearls.
All of the desserts are made in house minus any preservative or additives.

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Congratulations Jeannie and family! 3 decades and counting of serving good food with reasonable prices. Keep it up! 🙂
* The CNY set menus are available from January 29, 2014. – February 14, 2014.

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

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