Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fong Lye @ The Gardens

Both are famous. And of Taiwanese origin, of course.

I sometimes wonder if the queue to getting a Jay Chou concert ticket is as long as the waiting list at Fong Lye.

This is where oriental (well, partially) taste meets contemporary style. Where Mandarin lyrics are sung to the beat of rhythm & blues and traditional-looking ceramicwares shine to a neo-fluorescent glow from above. Throw in a generous serving, pleasant service and comfortable chairs, it's no wonder that Fong Lye has become a favourite dining choice for many, especially the young (and trendy-looking) crowd.

Gui Hua And Oolong Tea (RM12.00)

Hollow, starchy and sweet. No, I'm not talking about some popstars of today. Just the Sweet Potato Balls (RM5.30). Is it just me or has the days of powerful ballads and solid sweet potato balls rolled on with the times? As much as I enjoyed the crispy skin, there was something about them balls that didn't leave an impression, though recommended by many. Then again, I am no fan of Taiwanese boybands. Or boybands of any nationality, for that matter.

Three Varieties Of Supreme Diced Chicken Set, which included side dishes and a bowl of minced meat rice (RM19.80) was perhaps my favourite of that day. Sweet was everything, like Jolin Tsai.

:)

The chicken, in dark soy sauce and mixed with some herbs was flavoursome and needed not the minced meat (which was also rather tasty) to complete the meal. Just the bowl of plain, white rice will do.

The side dishes, which included seasoned lotus roots, breaded, fried fritter and half an egg, though quite delectable in their own ways, were drowned by the flavourful chicken.

Watching some Taiwanese channels on cable television can be quite a draining experience. The endless political forums and parliamentary dramas always make me wish that life is simpler, like the voices of those cutesy teenage singers whom whisper (I believe it's called singing as well) about all things loverly.

But no, life's certainly more complicated than that, hence my very limited collection of that particular genre. Well, complexity is good sometimes and the Taiwan Braised Beef Noodle from the set meal at RM19.80 is a testament of that. The rich, complex taste of the broth, which comprised of five spice powder among other seasonings, was addictive. Coupled with tender pieces of beef and smooth strands of egg noodles, it was lovely. Not loverly but just lovely.

Perhaps not as distinctive as smoked bacon or salmon, the Tea Smoked Duck with Bee Hoon (RM15.80) was still delicious, thanks to the subtly salty and tender meat. The bee hoon has not much effect on the meat but added up to a rather substantial meal.

When I first heard Coldplay's Yellow, I thought it was a song Chris Martin wrote for his oriental girlfriend (way before the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow). But I was so wrong and wrong (about the dedication and the oriental girlfriend). Like how skeptical I was when stepping into Fong Lye for the first time as Taiwanese food to me was all about sweet food that has been blown out of mega commercial proportions.

Well, silly me as it is certainly good in its own way and I won't mind coming back for more.

Hmmm, now where is my Rainie Yang album? :D

I'm kidding lah. :D

Fong Lye
Lot T-208, 3rd Floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Tel: (+603)2282 8699

28 comments:

joycy said...

ooh .. my imagination is running wild with the sweet potato balls ..
hey, nice site, lets exchange links
www.joycyscravings.blogspot.com

Faye fly said...

look like my gu bak mee more delecious wor .... hehe ..i like ur 1st pic ! nice tea pot ^^

JeN said...

nice dining place..
i been there twice liao..
still the menu got many stuff canot finnish to try all

ai wei said...

i like this place a lot! but hav yet to try their potato balls. looks great and 'bouncy'

:P

thenomadGourmand said...

I walked pass it on Christmas day and it was so packed I made a u-turn ;p Frm ur review, guess I'll hv to brave the crowd n try it for myself one day.

thenomadGourmand said...

I walked pass it on Christmas day and it was so packed I made a u-turn ;p Frm ur review, guess I'll hv to brave the crowd n try it for myself one day.

Ho Jiak said...

I love Fong Lye too, their cod fish set is delicious, just melt in your mouth.

Simon Seow said...

Da Mouth, Y2J, Mayday

ladyironchef said...

you are the best man, now food description also can use pop music. hahahahah. yeah post number 8th. one more! shld be on the last day of the year come out? haha

J2Kfm said...

potato balls at RM5.30? haha ...

the 3CupsChicken's their forte ain't it? somehow, still feel Fong Lye's lacking,although judging from the crowd, nobody cares much ...

Big Boys Oven said...

Lovely and a place to be I think! Dont mind the que!

Life for Beginners said...

Hehe, I actually love coming here at odd hours simply to avoid the queue... the food is decent enough, but when rush hour catches up, aiyo then the service goes haywire! :P

Live2Talk said...

When i first entered the restaurant, the staff was speed mumbling something in mandarin and i've no idea what they are until the kind patron next to me told me it's 'welcome'! After a few attempts of listening careful, they are indeed 'huan yin kwang ling'. And I like the food :D

mimid3vils said...

Love the food but hate the queue *sigh*

PS: U like those sweet & hot singers like Rainnie & Jolin huh, hehe :P

backStreetGluttons said...

fresh and clean looking. must be healthy and nice and happy delicious even if no J chou but we gotta black tie from original Kepong its good enough for us so we dun need no unfunky taiwanese

jasmine said...

this, is probably the more "dainty" side of taiwainese cuisine. i feel like i have to behave when I step into Fong Lye, Lol.

Xiu Long Bao said...

Hardworking-nya, even in the land with -3°C.

Hav fun :)

550ml jar of faith said...

Rollicking fun post, this! Taiwanese pop and food has undergone some pretty radical transformation. I enjoy the new-ish fresh fish fillet with egg and tomato sauce at Fong Lye, not so much the melodramatic music videos and the whisper-singing... shivers...

TripleSix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic (KHKL) said...

joycy, hey, thanks for stopping by! ;) cool, will check out your blog soon! ;)

faye fly, hehehe, you are correct! and you are a good cook! ;) yeah, the tea is nice but quite expensive. hehehe...

jen, thanks for stopping by! ;) yeah, the menu is very extensive! so, i guess it'll take a few more visits to complete the menu. hehehe...

ai wei, the potato balls are not that attractive to me but the beef noodle is good! check it out! ;)

thenomadgourmand, haha, i think during public holidays, we must go and queue just as the gardens opens..heheh...saturday afternoons are good, me think. ;)

ho jiak, hey, thanks for dropping by! ;) cod fish set? cool! will check it out during my next visit! thanks! ;)

Nic (KHKL) said...

simon, oh, i forgot about MayDay! hehe...there are a few songs i like to sing during my K. ;)

ladyironchef, woah, thanks for the compliment, dude! ;) well, i like both music and food, so, it's pretty enjoyable writing this ;) yupe, one more post before the end of 2008. ;)

j2kfm, yeah, RM5.30 abit too expensive right? and yupe, 3 cups chicken is their forte. well, fong lye is kinda good for variety, taste and ambiance. nothing superlative but still good la.

bigboysoven, yupe, do check it out and let us know what you think, ya! ;)

kenny, the queues are such a turn-off hor? and ohhhh, you frequent fong lye? cool...must ask you what to makan when i go there again! ;)

live2talk, haha! we are always lost in translation, arent we? hehehe...and surprising as well, especially the staff of a japanese restaurant shouts, "irrashaimase!"...hehhe..

Nic (KHKL) said...

mimi, yeah, i agree the queue is a turnoff....but i dont like rainie leh...i think jolin is pretty but singing wise, hmmm...still a bit weak. i prefer songs from jay chou and eason chan. :)

backstreetgluttons, the latest update is that the kepongites are pretty much looking into more hawkering and restaurants that mushrooms like after the rain and includes some with jay chou as well. v r looking fwd! ;)

jasmine, hahaha! that is quite true! i din realise it until i read your comment! haha! well, the crowd's pretty fashionable as well, right? :)

xiu long bao, tomorrow maybe -2 deg C. am definitely not having ice cream when i get back to kl or sg...haha! am having fun, of course! hehehe...

550ml jar of faith, oohhhh, i am building up my makan list at fong lye as we speak. cool! and thanks for the compliment! these days, food is also abt ambiance etc. good and bad lar, but in the end, taste rules! :)

sc said...

Happy New Year nic! May next year be a year filled with joy, good health and of course, great feasting!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hahahha...good 1..

apparently jay chou concert queue probably 10 times worse..

Alex Chua said...

Nice photos, I went there before

http://just-4-you.blogspot.com/2008/12/fong-lye-taiwan-restaurant-garden-mid.html

Nic (KHKL) said...

sc, thank you! here's wishing you a new year of good food and more travels too! ;)

joe, ya lor. that's what i heard. i think the next round, he'll need to open at least 2 concerts here...hehe

alex, hi! thanks for stopping by. cool, will check out your page! ;)

pigpigscorner said...

Will keep this in my to-eat list when I go back! Love your pictures.

ling239 said...

i still like my fried sweet potato ball the solid type ~ ^_^