I’m no way a connoisseur when it coms to “the best of Fuzhou/Foochow” food.
In fact many of the dishes here were a first to me; and for this trip in Sept 2018, Yungsen (YS) had introduced Fuzhou cuisine to me in the best possible way, providing me with dining experiences at both restaurants and street side.
For Foochow restaurants, I started with Ing Hua (images HERE) followed by Bei King. Both differs greatly in prices, and while the dishes possesses “homeliness” in Ing Hua, it was a better feast in Bei King due to the amount of dishes ordered. 🙂
In writing my Ayer Tawar “makan chronicles“ I did due research and for Bei King there were claims (online) that Bei King is no longer “as good as before” when compared to its days when they were operating as a standalone restaurant.
Well, I can’t comment on that since this is my first visit to Bei King.
What I can say is, in Sept 2018, I enjoyed the food here and so did my friends!
MY FOOD GANG!
WHAT WE ATE:
In contrast to Ing Hua (it is the only comparison I have currently), the Red Wine Mee Suah (Rice Vermicelli Noodles) here packed more punch (more kick so to speak) and thus I preferred Bei King’s over Ing Hua’s.
Instead of serving the noodles submerged in soup, the mee suah was placed in a separate bowl so it was easier to portion out and to avoid the noodles going soft from absorbing the soup.
Next is another epitome of Foochow signature – the Fish Maw soup. The combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavours serves to titillate the tastebuds very well. A starchy soup, thickened with flour and egg whites, this can get quite filling even if you consume a small bowl!
Fish maws are considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and thus pretty pricey.
Cooking it require skills, but done right – braised until soft yet maintaining that bouncy texture, it is a thoroughly enjoyable ingredient, especially so when it has soaked up all the flavours in the soup.
I love oysters so anything remotely like “oh chien” is a must-try for me.
The Foochow variant of oyster omelette is different from the Penang, Melaka (moist and gooey) or Kuching (super crispy) oyster omelette.
This Foochow version is alike a firm pancake with baby oysters mixed into the batter.
It was so good that we ordered double portions of it; thanks to the good amount of oysters in tasty batter, albeit greasy as hell. 🙂
Another famous Foochow dish is the fishball with minced pork fillings soup – Foochow Fishball Soup.
Generally I love such comfort soups; light with good flavour from the soup base and loaded with ingredients.
This bowl boasts of an assortment of bouncy, big Foochow fish balls, meatballs and more vegetables.
Needless to say, it was another dish I enjoyed.
The same can be said for the homely (Tofu) Beancurd Soup – another delicious bowl with chockfull of ingredients cooked in flavourful gravy.
Sweet and sour flavours seems to be a staple of Fuzhou cuisine.
We requested “ popular” Fuzhou dishes so for our pork dish we were recommended the sweet and sour pork ribs. And for fish, it was sweet and sour fish!
No complaints from me though since I love sweet and sour pork.
And as observed during my Ing Hua lunch, the sweet and sour pork ribs had added fried yam (or potatoes as in the case in Ing Hua); versus the common version which has tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Both pork and fish version were adequately prepared with crispy batter, meaty succulent pieces (not just bones) in a fantastic sauce that possesses good sweet and sour nuances without being too starchy.
We ordered a total of 9 dishes and I enjoyed 7 of them, with exceptions for the gravy noodles (Loh Mee) and FooChow Mixed Vegetables.
Not that they were bad, but both were just passable if compared to the other 7 dishes.
A tad pricier than most, but you’re paying for the comfortable dining space and, undoubtedly a bit of history and also for the brand. Bei King boasts of nearly 3 decades in the food business and remains one of the more famous Foochow restaurants in Ayer Tawar and Sitiawan vicinity.
LOCATION & CONTACT:
Bei King – Hotel and Restoran
Lot 35535, Jalan Kampung Selamat,
Taman Desa Selamat,
Hotel Tel:+ 605-6931252
Email : [email protected]
* There are also ample free parking available outside the building.
WHERE IS AYER TAWAR/SITIAWAN?
If you do not know where Ayer Tawar is, here’s a map – it is about 3 hours drive from KL.