A Hidden Gem Named Pu YuanJune 9, 2010 | 8,950 views
Skilfully fried with loads of ingredients thrown in for good measure; Pu Yuan‘s most famous noodle dish – Fried Sweet Potato Flour Noodles
This place named Pu Yuan, off Old Klang Road had me reeling once before. No, it’s nothing related to the saliva-inducing fares they serve (although in their defense, they really cook them to a magnificent degree).
We went rounds, wasting close to 20 minutes circling Old Klang Road (OKR), Jalan Kuchai Lama, then back again. We turned into the small lane right before the Jalan Kuchai Lama traffic lights on OKR, reaching the Chinese school named SJK (C) Choong Wen, but no restaurant in sight.
There was hardly even a soul wandering around the residential area surrounding the aforementioned school in the evening on a weekend. Hence, we gave up the ‘mission’ and ventured off to Nambawan instead.
That’s ALL of the restaurant you see in the picture above. Yes, the place can barely contain a humongous crowd, so be there early or brace the wait standing around or outside of the premise.
Knowing me, being the usual adamant (read : stubborn) self, I searched for information again on the net. And thus, I once again embraced the power of food blogs and directories, this time around we were successful. The small eatery is actually parked to the LEFT on a small lane right after turning into the archway belonging to the school. Detailed directions to come at the end of the post …..
Packed with savoury goodness, the spring rolls at Pu Yuan are made in-house, with finely chopped ingredients such as carrots, crunchy turnip, and of course, pork (and lard, I think)
And so, we reached the place around 9pm-ish, and the gals wondered aloud – “Wait, you SURE this is the place?” and “Is this REALLY a restaurant?!!” Seriously, you have to check out the front facade of the restaurant in the photo at the end of this post, and judge for yourself.
If unprompted, or without prior knowledge, I highly doubt you’d walk in and expecting a splendid feast of Hokkien cuisine to be served here. But as soon as I gathered courage (plus a vague recollection of the stark white walls and rickety wooden door, with Chinese words written in red I saw posted on a blog somewhere), I inched my way closer to the door and pushed my way in. And true enough, just like a child discovering a brand new cool spot to hang out with his pals, I witnessed a good number of diners tucking in with gusto; and some were not even aware of our presence.
Fried with intense heat and control; the Fried Glass Vermicelli Noodles (Tang Hoon) at Pu Yuan reeked of ‘wok hei’, a masterful rendition of a simple, classic dish that proved to be a right choice
Glancing around the interior of the restaurant, we came to the same unanimous conclusion. If the food is good, people will come. No matter how secluded, rundown, or in some case ….. unhygienic as the restaurant may be.
I am not pointing fingers though, for Pu Yuan’s cleanliness scored an okay from me. No signs of scurrying rats, roaches, or dirt-laden bowls/rags/nails in sight. Of course, I wouldn’t put my money on it, given the fact that I merely parked myself at the dining hall and tucked into the food. No questions asked, nor did I scrutinize each and every inch of their premise.
Minor matters aside, you will see the prove of their mettle from the various newspaper cuttings, media coverage and publications ranting about this quaint place that has been in existence since the late 80′s. Or prior to that, I could not be sure. Even 8TV’s food program Ho Chak! has done a review here sometime ago.
Notice the comparison between the size of a shrimp and a piece of pork lard fritter?!! Gorgeously sinful!
Hence we ordered almost the instant we were seated. We wouldn’t want to be ushered out come closing hour, obviously. (By the way, they close at 10pm every night).
Three of their recommended signature dishes, and a plate of greens to even out the guilt. The Fried Sweet Potato Flour is a classic example of Hokkien culinary wonders. The chewy slivers of dark-coloured flour was fried with an abundance of ingredients; garlic, pork slices, mushroom, cabbage, celery and prawns. But the most flavourful (yet usually frowned upon) item of all, the crispy pork lard fritters were present as well; instantly upping the rating of the dish another star or two.
Okay, I’m biased towards noodles (or any dishes at all) that include pork lard in the cooking. Gives the dish that extra edge, I’d say. Even if you don’t feel like sinking your teeth into a bite-sized piece of greasy nightmare, you can just pick them out and savour the noodles that have been flavoured by the culprit.
The Fried Tanghoon (translucent glass vermicelli noodles, or bean thread noodles) was the other noodle dish we devoured, and was a clear evident as to why this place has been visited by the locals, and tourists alike. The tang hoon was cut into shorter strands, possibly to ease eating and sharing, or maybe to better impart the smoky aromatic ‘wok hei‘ (breath/heat of the wok) to the noodles.
Whoops … Motormouth’s caught in his act. And I thought I was in my best disguise.
The Hokkien-style Spring Rolls proved to be a tasty snack to go along with the noodles, served with a bowl of chili sauce which was not necessary in the first place. And we had Yau Mak (Romaine lettuce) lightly stir-fried and garnished with a sprinkle of fried shallots and dried shrimps (if I recall correctly).
Inconspicuously Yummy Find @ a back lane parallel to Old Klang Road.
For all that’s worth, the meal came to RM47/USD14.30 for the four of us, inclusive of a pot of Chinese tea. We did not have any rice to go along with the dishes. A little pricey, if compared to some hawker-level of noodle dishes. But given the years of legacy (>20 years), the quality and authenticity of the food, as well as the persistence to NOT moving to a larger lot and succumb to the draw of commercialization, Pu Yuan deserves at least a visit or two.
Other signature dishes include the Fried Peh Koh (or Shanghai rice cakes), Fried Beehoon with Stewed Pork, steamed fish, fried chicken wings, fried homemade beancurd etc.
PU YUAN RESTAURANT
112, Batu 4 1/2,
Jalan Klang Lama (Old Klang Road)
58000 Kuala Lumpur,
Telephone : 603-7982 4410
Business hours : 11.30am – 3.00pm, 6.00pm – 10.00pm.
Closed on alternate Thursdays.
And here’s an estimated GOOGLE MAP to Pu Yuan Restaurant
Directions : As you travel southbound along Old Klang Road from Kuala Lumpur (Midvalley’s direction) towards the direction of Taman OUG/Jalan Kuchai Lama/Puchong, take note of a turning to Taman Desa on your LEFT. Do not turn, but instead go straight. Go towards Jalan Kuchai Lama direction. As you pass under a flyover (New Pantai Expressway), take note of a turning to your LEFT, under an archway written SJK(C) Choong Wen. Go into the lane, and almost immediately, turn LEFT again. You will see Pu Yuan on your left. If you have reach the traffic lights with the turning into Jalan Kuchai Lama, you went too far. Make a U-turn when possible.