Kuala Lumpur - Taste Of Foochow 福洲滋味馆, Pudu
Fuzhou (Chinese: 福 州) is the capital of Fujian Province in China. Its inhabitants - the Foochow - spoke a unique sub-dialect (Hok-chiew) which is distinct from the Hokkien (Min) dialect spoken by the general Fujianese populace. In Malaysia, the Foochow people are a small minority amongst the 7 mllion strong Chinese community, but are predominant in cities like Sibu (Sarawak), Sitiawan (Perak) & Yong Peng (Johore).
That's why it's a delight to find this rare Foochow restaurant here in KL, where the Chinese population are predominantly Cantonese. Now called "Taste of Foochow", the restaurant actually started its life in 1959 as Hup Yick, which then specialized in selling the famous Foochow fishballs, differentiated from other Chinese fishballs by its minced pork filling.
Today, the founding chef-owner, Wong Tai Hoong, was still busy in the kitchens, cooking much of the food himself, although he's now assisted by his 2 sons & daughter.
What we had today:
- Deep-fried Foochow pancakes with crisp, golden crusts, and nice, savory minced pork, prawns, chives, mushrooms & seaweed filling;
- Foochow red wine "mee suah" ( 米線 or rice vermicelli) soup with chicken, ginger & wood-ear fungus. This was the best bowl of noodles (of *any* genre) which I'd had in quite a while! Loved the slightly sourish tinge which the home-made Foochow red-hued rice wine lent to the chicken consomme, with a nutty hint of sesame oil;
- Foochow fishballs with its trademark minced pork filling, absolutely delicious here;
- Fried sausage-shaped pork balls, which had a crisp, translucent skin. Addictive.
Taste Of Foochow 福洲滋味馆
14, Jalan Gajah, Off Jalan Yew
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Ah, yes, the stall by Pudu Market.
(Have you gone to the market itself yet?)
I seldom eat that thin rice vermicelli (米線), and didn't like it much even when I was younger in M'sia. My father loved it. I found it too liable to either end up in a congealed lump or oversoftened/breakable into tiny pieces (the longer they sat in hot broth), and too "wat" (滑) to handle easily with chopsticks (they kept sliding off!) without some concentration on my part. :-)
Clearly this place serves a delicious bowl of soup and noodles, however. Wish I could "ta pow" a portion and try it here!
[Note to others who may be reading this and are not entirely familiar with East Asian/Chinese ingredients: this form of rice vermicelli (米線)[Yale: mei5 sin3][See: "Mee Suah/Mee Sua on http://www.malaysianfood.net/glossary... ; http://www.makantime.com/ingredientgu... ] discussed above is distinct from the type commonly referred to in English also as "rice vermicelli" (米粉)[Yale: mei5 fan2][Hokkien: beehoon] for which see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_ver... . Both types come in varying thicknesses. Mei5 fan2 also comes in varying widths and "flatness", whereas mei5 sin3 is almost always round.]
I haven't had Foochow fish balls in a long while. Can't say I loved them in earlier days, I wasn't too keen on having that burst of HOT sauce/filling in my mouth when I bit into the fish ball. Heh.
The pancakes and pork balls look nice too. No veggies? ;-) [Just chopped scallions doesn't count]