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