Friday, August 28, 2009

Soon Wah Seafood Restaurant

Chinese baroque?

There’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing families of few generations boisterously having meals in a restaurant. And some of us did just that, on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon. Reservation is advised, here. Well, we did but perhaps we were late or outnumbered by a larger family, our only option was the table left at a corner, which was basically miles away from the air-conditioning system and nearest to the door. So, imagine when you are about to chill and someone just opens the damn door, causing the faint cool air to escape into the hot outdoor. It happened throughout the meal. Not so heartwarming a lunch afterall, eh?

Sweat and tears aside, some dishes here were quite interesting. I wouldn’t say that geography played a part as there was nothing Hokkien about the signatures despite the Klang postcode. Simply, interesting.

Soon Wah is famous for its fish soup, served in a stainless steel pot. In the rich, briny stock was a mélange of ingredients such as large chunks of fish, Chinese cabbage, beancurd, yam strips and my favourite, garland chrysanthemum. There’s something about this, what I would call, oriental aragula that makes soups tastier by providing a slightly bitter zing. Aromatic and crunchy as well. Kudos to the constant supply of heat that kept the soup boiling. No 10 minutes paraffin wax business here. Refill of stock is welcomed, so no worries about the pot getting all dried up. A meal by itself with just a bowl of white rice.

Another signature we had was the pork served with watermelon. It was on every table. Loosely inspired by the Italian staple of parma ham with rock melon, maybe? Rather ingenious. Fried and glazed, the tender pieces of pork, when eaten with the sweet, cool watermelon balls were scrummy. No irrelevant taste of mayonnaise detected as well, so that’s cool. Too much mayonnaise in fruit-related dishes in dai chow these days, I think.

Apparently, the Three Cups Chicken is quite the hit with the regulars too. Elegantly presently and garnished with a topping of basil leaves, the dish that’s synonymous with Taiwan was good. The amalgamation of sesame oil, soya sauce and rice wine was flavourful, threefold. Like the garland, basil leaves added extra taste and aroma to the dish as well.

Stir-Fried Potato Leaves

I pushed my luck a bit and ordered the Hokkien Mee, despite it not being a signature. Definitely not my day as it came rather watery and dull. There was no shine which meant it lacked the essential amount of lard oil. Then again, if you like the wet and slightly sweet type, this is for you.

Before this lunch, Taman Berkeley was no more familiar to me than UCLA, Berkeley. One trip around the neighourhood had already shown some probable good eats like the infamous pan mee and the perpetually impenetrable bak kut teh havens. With the long weekends coming our way (at least one in every month!), friends have made travel plans across the globe.

Me? Probably a makan tour of Taman Berkeley.

Soon Wah Seafood Restaurant
69, Tingkat Bawah
Jalan Angsa, Taman Berkeley
41150 Klang, Selangor
Tel: (+603) 3343 8055


Selba said...

Ah... so nice.... should I say I envy you? hehehe... coz'I hardly experience family gathering especially for having meals.

Pork with watermelon? that's so new to me... gotta try it... most of the time, the fruit cooked with meat that I know is usually pineapple :)

PureGlutton said...

I want that fish souppppp!! I love seafood in clear slurpy fragrant soups and that looked like it fit the bill!
Hey, can i come along on your Tmn Berkeley jaunt this weekend?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

theres just so many eateries that even ppl staying in klang prob dont know abt..!

i had the watermelon ribs in klang too..looks like its spreading ard!

thenomadGourmand said...

ohh..all the food looks really good!
And i can see tht the dishes aren't shiny slicked by oil, so this is definitely my kind of tai chow!

Can literally smell the fish soup frm r pic! hehe..

550ml jar of faith said...

Bet the folks at UCLA don't get that wonderful fish soup in their neighbourhood! Hmm when did mayo start becoming a dai chow staple ingredient? I'm no purist, but I find the whole intro of mayo into the trusty daichow aggravating!

Precious Pea said...

OOooo...nice fine. Should be quite near to my house..gonna jot tis down so that i can try it when i come back.

Timothy Low said...

Oooo .. my hometown. Err... but I don't even know this place .. paiseh. Got to check it out the next time i go back. Tenkiu buddy ....

Bangsar-bAbE said...

I find the food in Klang pretty good in general. The three cup chicken looks mighty yummy!=D

backStreetGluttons said...

Finally you have discovered a tiny part of the Hokkian enclave ! Used to be a bsg playground , full of adventures and Burmese

fatboybakes said...

i could just lick the screen aitelyu, looking at your pics. yes, let's do a berkely crawl!

J2Kfm said...

oooh .... pork ribs and watermelon balls?!! aiks. a little clashy there.
and true, the mayo kills the fruit flavoured dishes.

and i tried 2 hokkien mee in KL/Klang this time, and both faltered miserably. except for the lards as saving grace.

~Christine~Leng said...

i passed by this restaurant before. Will only drop by Tmn Bekerley once in half a year now for dental.huhu.
Too far from my place ;P

jason said...

Yo dude, your pictures can match those in cookbooks oredi!

Nic (KHKL) said...

selba, yeah! i was thinking of pineapple as well! haha. i've tried Thai salad with kiwi before. it was rather good! :)

pureglutton, too bad abt the crawl as i was in sg last week. :( we'll do another crawl next time, ya! hope you had a good long weekend. :)

joe, ya know, i should ask you where to eat in klang next time. u must know at least a handful...hehe. ohhh, i certainly din know abt the watermelon ribs craze in klang!

thenomadgourmand, now that you mentioned it, yeah, it's not really that oily la. healthy, yes. but i want my hokkien mee greasy like my face! hehehe

550ml jar of faith, the mayo craze has been in the dai chow scene since salad prawns, me thinks. and it has been misused ever since. definitely agree on the aggravating part. gimme sesame oil and soya sauce, anytime.

precious pea, yeah, i think it's quite near your house! :) do check it out when you are back. or we can go for food crawl there! followed by karaoke.. :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

timothy, no prob, dude. lotsa interesting makans in that area. i must go more often already..haha

bangsar-babe, agree! i think klang is a different makan zone altogether. a good one of course. cant wait to explore further. i like the 3 cups chicks too!

backstreetgluttons, oooh, the playground stepped by the team shall be honoured and tried! fun! some mohingar action is always welcomed.

fatboybakes, thanks so much for the compliment, dude! :) yeah, must plan something already next time i'm back. miss y'all lah!

j2kfm, clashy, crunchy and yummy..heheheheh...mayo's really a killer, isn't it? sad. agree on the lard. but you'll be surprised to know that i had some really bad hokkien mee with SOGGY lard too. extra sad, i tell ya...

christine, woah, you travel all the way there for dental? that's kinda far, isnt it? :) do check it out on a long weekend. at least once every month now! :)

jason, woah, thank you so much for the compliment la, dude! i'll work harder! hehehehe...