Foong Foong – The REAL Ampang Yong Tau Foo?October 12, 2011 | 20,557 views
Ampang Yong Tau Foo – Like bread and butter; “Ampang” and “Yong Tau Foo” are inseparable entities.
The hunt for good Yong Tau Foo in Kuala Lumpur continues, in a fashion that’s most relevant now since this task started way back then when we were dejected over Ampang Homeland’s meagre version. Ampang Homeland, Orchard View and Foong Foong are neighbours, so to speak.
Situated adjacent to each other, you can’t help but feel sorry for the team on the losing end of the stiff competition. Though the first two names have had branches all over Klang Valley (correct me if I am wrong), while Foong Foong stays adamant with just one solitary outlet serving their range of 37 years-rich legacy.
Did this experience leave us enamoured with the some said over-hyped Ampang Yong Tau Foo?
Freshly stuffed, then deep-fried or boiled, the pieces of Yong Tau Foo at Foong Foong screamed of utmost freshness and good, homemade quality.
Some people say; if you have high expectations, more often than not you’d be disappointed as the dining experience may not deliver or up to your sky-scraping standards.
But once you leave all reservations behind by visiting an eatery with an open mind and set expectations at an all-time low, you might just walk out smiling from ear to ear, and a full belly with vivid, jolly memories of the feast.
We sure did, that afternoon.
Abundance of tofu stuffed with their killer combination of fish paste (and probably pork and/or salted fish), prior to being cooked and served with a soup-like liquid bursting with umami flavour yet did not leave us thirsting like camels post-meal.
Best advice? Come early. Or between meals; like 11am-ish, or 2pm-ish. Usually, Foong Foong will be the shop that’s most crowded in comparison to the other duo of competitors.
And why shouldn’t they? When their YTF is still priced at a reasonable (for KL’s standards) RM0.90/USD0.30 each and came in much larger chunks than Ampang Homeland’s.
It’s a hive of activities surrounding the open kitchen; with ladies routinely (yet efficiently) stuffing the red chillies, tofu, okras and more, while the younger ones were hastily boiling/frying the pieces, and a few others serving the food.
How to order? Don’t sit and wait. For you can sit for an extended period of very patience-testing endurance run, and nobody will come to you.
Their modus operandi is; walk over to the counter where the (supposedly) boss is at. That’s where you’re supposed to pay at the end of your meal. But of course, don’t offer your $ yet … (duh).
A spread of delicious stuffed ingredients, dumplings in soup and fried dumplings; and option of having them with rice for a substantial meal.
I made the mistake of waltzing gingerly to the counter where they were busy preparing the food. The ‘kitchen’ is just by the side of the shop anyway.
Then I was puzzled as I could not find any display cabinets, empty bowls, order chits, or even tongs (those utensil you use to pick up your preferred choices). Until the lady said;
“Leng jai …. (haha, syok sendiri) …. go order at the counter lah …. not here. We cook here.”
Don’t belittle these harmless, crispy rolls, for you will not get tired from munching on these!
Ahem. So much for a foodie’s intuition. I retreated my steps with tail between my legs.
At the counter, the man was not holding any menu. Nor there was any picture to indicate what they have and what they don’t. I was at lost, again.
Uncle aka ze boss : “So, how many person ah?”
Me : “Erm, 3 pax.”
Uncle : “So make that 15 pieces.”
Huh? I was tempted to ask of what? Which variety(s)? And whether they have sar kok liew, or should I just go for all fried items, or at least majority of my platter to be from the deep-fried varieties. You won’t know how influential Big Tree Foot has been in my life.
Sui Kow – Boiled dumplings stuffed with minced pork, finely-chopped jicama/yambean, carrot, coriander and bits of wood ear fungus if I remember well.
“Then have some sui kow (dumplings) lah …”
“And some fried dumplings too”
I felt like an obedient student at a PTA meeting …
Even better than the boiled ones were these crunchy ones stuffed with the same ingredients. Me and my obsession with fried foods, was it any wonder?
Who was I to argue? 37 glorious years in business, selling nothing but Yong Tau Foo (the neighbours have more in their repertoire, from Assam fish to various pork dishes). And still drawing hordes of people from all walks of life, all corners of Klang Valley, and tourists from all directions.
The skin was thin, not too chewy, without any trace of ‘kan sui’ (lye water). The filling was dense, firm with a toothsome bite and crunchy bits of jicama and carrot within.
If you ask me, is this the BEST Yong Tau Foo that I have ever eaten in my life?
But is this the BEST so far in Ampang, or even Kuala Lumpur and Selangor?
A high probability of being a strong YES. Save for Puchong’s version which was equally as impressive, if not better since I was really into their clever addition of ‘sayur manis’ into the soup. But the ‘sui kow’ here at Foong Foong was most impressive; can’t remember any other shop doing something so simple; yet so well.
To be tucking in just like the good old days when YTF probably were 1000% cheaper.
If you’re anticipating for the finale of the trio of Ampang famous YTF stretch (aka Orchard View), then I guess you’d be in for a dose of disappointment. But drop me more recommendations, as I believe there ARE more hidden gems not reported in the food guides, dailies, or media.
FOONG FOONG RESTAURANT (non-Halal)
621-A, Jalan Besar Ampang,
68000 Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Business hours : 9am – 4pm
Closed on Tuesdays.
Google Map to Foong Foong Yong Tau Foo