Puchong Yong Tau Fu @ Batu 14 – And I’m Sold …March 23, 2010 | 15,578 views
I am a sucker for good Yong Tau Foo, or stuffed fish paste, especially those darn-crispy ones (plastic in oil or not, who cares? It’s a myth anyway). Read my post on Ipoh’s famous Big Tree Foot‘s version – my personal top pick for good YTF, or Yeong Liew, as we call them here in Ipoh, for a better idea. Yup, seldom do I opt for the boiled YTF served in soup, unless the variety’s mind-boggling, like Gunung Rapat’s Kwong Hong.
White rice served with fresh, succulent pieces of fish paste stuffed on the spot, and the compulsory duo of chili sauce, and sweet sauce.
Previous experience with Ampang’s most famous (yet over-rated) Yong Tau Foo got me wary of trying another piece of YTF in the Klang Valley ever again. Until, I was brought over to Puchong Yong Tau Fu, tucked hidden in some enclave at the older portion of Puchong. Situated at a junction connecting Jalan Puchong Batu 14 (14th Miles?) and Jalan Tembusu, opposite of a Chinese school named Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Han Ming. (Map to come at the end of the post)
Seas of people round the clock, on a Sunday. The place can hold a rather large capacity crowd, underneath those zinc roofs, but do take note that if it pours, you’ll be soaked.
This place is almost legendary, not only to the locals but also to the tourists alike. Unassuming and unpretentious, Puchong Yong Tau Fu is the epitome of street food with its vibrant (read : noisy) atmosphere, a brightly-lit dining environment that’s half al fresco; without any designated entrance doors, and the shack-like structures covered only by zinc roofs. A throwback to the most classic of Chinese eateries, really. And you don’t even have to be all decked in shirts and suits, nor wearing proper shoes to begin with, when you’re having your meal.
Trust me, the crowd would appreciate a gigantic pile-up of stuffed fish paste plonked down on their tables more than the sparkly, glamorous vixen seated on the next table.
The staff happily stuffing the YTF to be cooked on the spot, and another ‘dissecting’ a piece of paper-wrapped chicken.
To be able to get a seat at this place is a blessing. Scenes of eager patrons standing around (ala Foh San, to a lesser extent), gawking and salivating over the other luckier ones tucking in into their meals is rather common.
Aside from serving their signature YTF with rice or noodles, you can also opt for the Chee Cheong Fun, or Pan Mee. For more side dishes, they offer curry chicken, rendang chicken, or the rapidly disappearing Paper-wrapped chicken. The latter was fascinating and different, in the sense that the steamed chicken was draped lusciously in a slightly salt-ish, and piquant gravy, not unlike the Malay version of rendang. Eating the chicken alone would be slightly overwhelming, what’s more with the abundance of gravy and all, but when paired with some white rice, they complemented each other pretty well. Still, this is not your idea of the usual Paper-Wrapped Chicken (Zhi Pau Gai) you can easily find at the night markets.
The soup was tasty and sweet, almost passing off as the usual sweet stock concocted from over-usage of MSG (flavour-enhancer) but we did not feel the thirst one bit. Thankfully.
Like the usual routine, go over to where they place all the pieces of UNstuffed YTF in colourful plastic baskets. Then pick up a pair of tongs and choose your preferred pieces. From brinjals, bitter gourd and ladies fingers (okra), to red chillies, beancurd sheets, and beancurd (tau foo pok). Proceed to the ordering counter, and pass the basket-loads of goodies to the staff. Of course, with his limited repertoire of English-Cantonese words, I had a hard time listening to whatever he suggested (which was something along the line of extra fish paste, fish balls, or something). Yeah, most of the staff here are not locals.
Heavenly stuff. I can almost pig out on these all day!
Surprisingly, they can choose to deep fry almost anything and everything you pass to them! Sounds fine by me, for I like my YTF to be crispy, instead of dunked into soups. But if you’re not fond of heaty food, ask for the YTF to be boiled/blanched and served in the soup instead. Not a bad choice though, for the soup was far from bland, and the abundance of sayur manis (sweet leaves/star gooseberry) usually thrown into a bowl of pan mee added fibres, textures and sweetness to the wholesome broth.
Last I had YTF served with rice was way back in my university days in Penang. Initially it was more of a cultural shock, for in Ipoh, you’d be laughed at had you been requesting for white rice to be served with the YTF. Or Yeong Liew, as I mentioned earlier. But at Puchong Yong Tau Fu, eating YTF with white rice is almost a complete ritual.
Now IF only they serve them with yam rice as well. That would be … Nirvana? 😉
Each piece of Yong Tau Foo at RM1.10/USD0.30. Paper-wrapped Chicken is priced at RM3.50/USD1.00 per piece.
Puchong Yong Tau Fu
Lot 105, Batu 14,
Kampung Baru Puchong,
Opens from 11am until 9.30pm. Closed on Mondays.
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to Puchong Yong Tau Fu @ Batu 14.