Monday, January 25, 2010

New Formosa, No, Not In Melaka, But Right Here In PJ

When a restaurant has survived in PJ for 30 years, you know it has to have substance, and you wonder to yourself, "why have I never been here before". But actually, sitting there at New Formosa (Formosa means beautiful island in Portuguese), an unpretentious shoplot in SS2, which houses the other legendary restaurants of yore, I cant help but think I must have been here before.

Nothing warms you more to a restaurant that a gregarious, lovable hostess, who treats you like her own family. Whilst not a believer in Karma, I cannot explain the chemistry between humans, for there are people you meet and like instantly, and conversely, some just creep you right out at the first meeting. Jeanie, the wonderful hostess, falls into the former category, obviously. Again, the invite was via courtesy of Hooi Khaw, and as I've mentioned, an invite by Hooi Khaw is always good. Other fellow diners included Cumi & Ciki, A Whiff of Lemongrass and her husband, The Nomad Gourmand, A Lil fat monkey and friend, and Hooi Khaw.

I thought a few bottles of plonk would not go amiss, afterall, the lunar new year approaches, and it was Friday night.

The myriad colours of yee sang always make me happy. There's something about the communal tossing of salad that gives an air of camaraderie, and fellowship, and really does generate a lot of positive energy. The dish itself was yummy, not too sweet, not too sour, a perfect balance of texture.

I love soup. I have to have soup everyday. And when soup is served individually in these little porcelain pots, it's a happy day. That song rings in my head. It's gonna be a good night. Who sings it ah?

A mini monk jump over the wall, packed with goodness, abalone, scallops, chicken, wolfenberry, dried longan, sea cucumber, pork ribs, yam, ...Oh, Formosa is essentially a Taiwanese food place. Taiwan's old name was Formosa. And of course, we have our own Formosas in Malacca, a Portuguese colony once upon a time. Oh, hangon, is that Famosa? I digress. The explanation was because YAM is a favourite ingredient in Taiwanese food.

The soup, priced at RM36, is a steal!!! Lovely fragrant broth, warming the heart and tummy with homemade goodness.

Very unique. Buttered unagi. And deep fried battered... err....gosh, I have the memory of a goldfish. Anyway, the unagi is very interesting. If you like unagi, then you will definitely like this dish.

Mmmm, one of my favourites. Feng Sha Ji, roasted chicken with red scallions, garlic dressing stuffed with eight treasures. Unpolished rice with lots of goodies like chestnut, etc. Absolutely delicious. And the chicken itself was lovely and moist.

Another uniquely Taiwan dish, Yam and Duck Tart. Sounds saucy eh. The lovely smooth texture of the yam just melts in your mouth.

Their signature fried oyster (hou see) which according to Jeanie, is a must for Chinese New Year. Hou see fatt choy....which of course spawned the conversation about the environmental hazards of Fatt Choy, which apparently is a moss that sucks the land dry. Hmm, if this were a political blog, I'd expand on that topic.

Steamed Long Tan (grouper) Taiwanese style, ...In her menu, she described it as Nian Nian You (Every year has extra fortune) steamed fish with black fermented soy and minced ginger and garlic.

Gingko Ham. Lovely sweetened honeyed gingko surrounding the ham, which required lots of work. It's steamed first, to get rid of the excess salt, then sliced, then steamed again. Gingko, as we know, is supposed to help memory loss. Gingko, as we know, is supposed to help memory loss. Oh, did I already say that?

Buttered prawns, but by which time, I was stuffed. The prawns were nice and crunchy.

The garlic prawns on a skewer were also tasty. But as I said, by this time, oh, [loosening belt to the first hole]..... quite funny, at this juncture, we told Jeanie to slow down a bit, cos the food was coming fast and furious. Then, suddenly, it halted to a grind, and the vegetables came after a long hiatus, with the dessert.

Gorgeous greens, kailan plus another slimy vegetable, (dunno what its called), with pomelo sacs, and almond flakes. The pomelo sacs really give it an extra zing. I wonder if they employ that method of blanching and dipping the vege into ice water to retain the glorious greenness.

Assorted puddings, for dessert, honey herbal favourite.

Custard Caramel Pudding.

Green Tea Aloe Vera Pudding.

Mango Pudding 2nd favourite.

O Nee, a very unique dessert rarely found. A yam and gingko paste, that has a lovely texture. This one was low sugar vegetarian, ie, no lard, and was absolutely lovely.

Finally, the piece de resistance. A VERY interesting dessert I've never seen before. Not unlike custard apples, these honey & maltose (we think) coated fried yams and sesame seeds are plunged into ice water, to harden the exterior. As Bald Eagle said, looks like the Taiwanese invented molecular cuisine long before anyone else did. The result, a crisp, caramel coating, (which surprisingly wasn't too sweet) plus a warm delicious smooth yam filling.

Check out the strands of the pulled sugar, and the orange light from Ciki's camera. Very reminiscent of the "I see you" hair bonding thingie.

I Yam what I Yam.

The refreshing sour plum drink, to wash the palate.

This photo is screaming out for a caption competition.

Ciki, Jeanie and Hooi Khaw.

Monkey showing Jeanie his photography skills on his new toy.

Many thanks to Jeanie for having us. I can't wait to bring my family back here again for a cosy family dinner. And thanks HK once again.

New Formosa is located at 46, Jln SS2/24, PJ. Same row as Sri Siam, ESH. Tel : 03-78751894.
Biz hours: 12-3pm, 6-10.30pm. Open throughout CNY and CNY Eve.


aly said...

The Black Eyed Peas... Tonites gonna be a good nite, Wooo hoo! And looks like you guys had a GREAT nite! awesome post as usual x aly

minchow said...

Yee Sang season descends upon us, AGAIN! Which also means foul heat and nauseating annual encounters with irksome rellies hellbent on reducing me to the depths of self-loathing. Better start chilling the vino by crates!

Tummythoz said...

Good to know they're open during CNY.

thule a.k.a leo said...

yay! can bring my in-laws for Taiwanese treat during CNY :) also for the yee sang!!!

Kenny Mah said...

I so deserve die lah... This place been blogged so many times with loads of personal recommendations AND still I belum pegi. Must rectify it soon ... bawa Devil along oso.

Rebecca Saw said...

The soup was awesome hor!!
Ahh..we have much to thank Hooi Khaw for.. ;)

Rebecca Saw said...

what??? U drink soup everyday ah? No wonder the rosy complexion!
No need blusher!
Oh wait, u shouldnt be needing blushers in the first plc! Heh

But indeed u got the healthy strong look, whereas I alws get comments "R u ok? U look a bit pale".

Darn, so much for all the time I spent in the sun. How much more tanned should i get??

UnkaLeong said...

@TNG : chis. I start boiling soups for you lar ;)

@FBB : The tip of the wine bottle looks familiar. Hahaha...I lurve the or nee that they serve!

J2Kfm said...

The sticky dessert is very famous in China as well, had them for desserts for every single meal in Beijing.
probably the best dish, for the loadedwithbones fish and the other greens were not too droolworthy.

Ciki said...

alamak .. so nice.. now i've got to wait another 2 weeks before I can come up with a story and post my shots!

its true, place is so old and sometimes overlooked.. i just drive right past it and don't even realise. Time to revisit as the food is damn good:D

well written ahpa! love the bokeh;)

J said...

Time for more gingko ham?

fatboybakes said...

J, gingko ham is always good.

ciki, malaysia bokeh!

J2kfm, which sticky dessert ah? the or nee or the honeyed yam? i generally found the food in beijing to be atrocious. (then again, we were on a package tour).

fatboybakes said...

unka, yeah, you better play nurse and marmee more. cook soup for the girl. she's far too skinny. (hands on hip, telling you in an ahpa-like tone)

TNG, stay out of the sun....a friend i know just died from skin cancer.

LFB, call me along when you go, i want to go again...also to meet jeanie.

fatboybakes said...

thule, yeah, i am sure it'll be very crowded for CNY, so you better book ahead.

tummythoz, where have you been! long time no see.

minchow, i am so relieved those days are over for me. when getting married la, when getting kids la, .... now its "wah so fat hor" . what is it with blardy chinese and the need to comment on appearances. wah, so fat. wah, so chan. wah, so old. wah, so little hair oridi.

aly, ah, yes, that's the song. which i ALWAYS hear on redfm!

gfad said...

I did wonder if Sully and Neytiri bonded with their hair when they mated. Kinda symbolic, don't you think? Him putting his hair into..err.. whatever he wanted to bond with. I thot it looked kinda creepy when he held up his hair and those nerves were swaying and waving about.. like cacing in ubat cacing ad liddat..

And where do some people get off thinking they can have the liberty of making such rude personal remarks? Fat lah... thin lah.. anaemic lah.. muscular lah.. ;)

qwazymonkey said...

Now time to copy & paste from your post. LOL. Bring on the next yee sang

PerutBesi said...

I always find that yam dessert VERY unique...been eating there since I was a kid cos my family (uncles, aunties...etc) LOVE having dinner there, especially during CNY & birthdays!

rokh said...

wow! an inspiration to bring family there for pre/post-cny celebration! btw, buttered unagi! must try la since i only know unagi one way - grilled in jap restaurants and absolutely love them

Rarebeet said...

Food sounds amazing! What soup is that? Looks very herbalicious! And that yam and duck thing is unusual. I think I could eat the whole plate. Two of my fav ingredients! drool.... said...

hello FBB,

I've just stumbled upon your blog/flog & just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading them. I noticed that you enjoyed your trip to the FHM last year & would like to bring to your attention to the FHA which is held in S'pore in April this year. It's bigger than the one in KL & there's a lot more to see & people to talk to.[It took me almost 3 full days to see everything.]
They're also a lot more generous with food samples [I came home with a bagful of chocolates, miniature bottles of oil & flavour syrups, etc.] You would not need to pay extra to watch the competitions either! Do try to catch it if you could as I think it's almost on par with Hotelympia in London.

As to New Formosa Restaurant, it's a fabulous place that I used to go to with my parents before they moved to their current location & when we went again after a hiatus of almost a decade , the proprietress could still remember my dad & greeted him by name! Now, THAT is impressive!!

Once again, thanks for a wonderful read.

Term Papers said...

Whilst not a believer in Karma, I cannot explain the chemistry between humans, for there are people you meet and like instantly, and conversely, some just creep you right out at the first meeting. Jeanie, the wonderful hostess, falls into the former category, obviously. said...

I'm glad that you're finally back. Honestly speaking, I have been waiting for your updates; thank you for being so loyal with your visitors! Best wishes,