Monday, October 05, 2015

New Formosa .... That Warm Familiar Feeling

There are some places that I actually feel guilty I don't visit often enough.  The last time I was here in New Formosa was for lou sang with my cell group, for LAST LAST Chinese New Year, gasp,...as in 2014...time just flies, but this is one of those places that I always feel at home, coming to, not least because of the wonderful effervescence of the lovely proprietress, Mrs Lee.

The inimitable Mrs Lee, unlike the restaurant, hasn't aged a bit!!!! One of the reasons for the invite by Makan Fairy Godmother was to celebrate the restaurant's 36th Anniversary.  Anyway, one doesn't really need a reason to revisit, and it's always a delight.  That a restaurant can survive and thrive for 36 years in KL speaks volumes.  I can't think of many others that have survived the ravages of time, and recessions, and currency fluctuations.

I arrived just in time to capture this lovely Village Chicken With Black Fungus and a liberal dose of ginger that really gives it that added zing.  I love village chicken, the meat is firm as opposed to the vapid supermarket chickens whose meat melts in the mouth for all the wrong reasons.  More like disintegrate in the mouth. This juicy fowl with its glorious skin reminds me of my Hainanese ancestry.  Speaking of ancestries, the name Formosa does not refer to a water theme park in Malacca, but the original name for Taiwan.



Bamboo rice, their signature rice dish.  I am not sure if there is any involvement of real bamboo, or if the name refers to the receptacle in which it is served, but regardless of nomenclature, it is one tasty rice dish, with bits of delicious chinese pork sausage, dried shrimp, crispy shallots... a meal on its own really.

Formosa special combination, Yam Balls, that just melt in the mouth.  Yam features  a lot in Mrs Lee's menu, so they seem to take great pains to ensure their yam is totally yammy.. oops, I mean yummy.  Taiwan famous 3 cup sotong (squid), which actually I believe is an ala carte item on its own, butterfish slices formosan style, which is actually fish cooked in that butter style, and not butterfish as in butterfish you get in Japanese buffets that I hate, (the fish, not the buffet), deep fried oysters Taiwanese style, and their signature stuffed lotus root with fish paste.  Something similar to the concept of yong tau foo but this is yong leng ngau...


I was shocked to see this dish, because it's such a luxury to be served crabs with only the claws.  I wonder what she did with the rest of the body.  Glorious crustaceans in that fabulous chilli crab sauce accompanied with fried mantau.  Actually by this time we were, or at least I was, already quite stuffed, not unlike the lotus root from the earlier dish. I could just eat that sauce with toast and some butter and be happy.  It takes so little to make this person content.  This dish is part of the RM598++ set dinner for 10.

Local Seabass in Hot Bean sauce.  A bit unphotogenic, but hey, the fish is dead.  Okay, I am not really fan of fish drowned in sauce, I am more a clear steamed fish person myself, but if you are the saucy type, then you'd like this dish, especially slathered on a bowl of rice.  (back when it was still respectable to eat rice... poor rice, like eggs and butter, 20 years down the line research might say, oh, it's actually good for you).  I digress of course.

Mrs Lee expertly dissecting the fish for easy serving.  She's one of those Nigella Lawson-esque personalites who after fluttering around in the kitchen and serving food and still look immaculate and unflustered.  Like this...

This is in between flitting from table to table, chatting with guests, serving some, and making sure food is eaten correctly.  I lurve Mrs Lee!!!


For the finale and piece de resistance, the Formosa Stone Fire Pot...Actually this dish alone is enough to feed a small army.  The dish starts with the sauteeing of some onions, garlic, chilli to give it a fabulous aroma, and chicken...which is fried, the smells wafting through the entire restaurant...


To get this dish of chilli chicken...


As a special treat, (this is apparently not on the regular stone fire pot menagerie of livestock), because we were with Makan Fairygodmother, fresh plump sea prawns, sauteed in the residue of the chicken oils, before all the rest of the stuff is tossed in to one big hot pot.



Round two is for the vegetables, like the taro (yam lah), corn, seaweed, pumpkin, and by this time, of course that broth is to die for.  Never let it be said that too many cooks spoil the broth...the myriad flavours from that soup... so good that I even packed the balance home.

This stone fire hot pot is available for only RM20 per head!!! What a steal!


A special matcha pudding (matcha as in green tea, not the Indian brother in law), with red bean paste.  Probably inspired by green tea ice cream with azuki, and what a great combination it is too.  The pudding, or jelly, milky green tea and lovely wobbly texture.




And no visit to Formosa is complete with I YAM WHAT I YAM...  Yam covered in caramel and then plunged into cold water to crystalise it...initially I thought I'd give this a miss, as I was stuffed, but succumbed to temptation, with no regrets.  Crispy sugar coated on the outside, soft and tender on the inside.  A bit like me...Oh, wait, I am not sugar coated.  Just crispy and cold.

In conjunction with their 36th Anniversary, these celebratory set menus are available at RM498++ or RM598++ per set for 10 people.

New Formosa
Tel: 03 7875 7478.
Address: 46, Jalan SS2/24, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.



1 comment:

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