Thorn Among the Roses – Woo Lan @ BrickfieldsDecember 26, 2010 | 4,161 views
Cauldron of rich, creamy and spicy goodness – Seafood Curry (RM30/USD10) that came with abundance of prawns, squids etc.
To tell the truth, if you ask me about food in Brickfields, guaran-damn-teed I’ll answer Indian food. Vishal and Gopala come to mind almost instantaneously, since these places were marked in this Motormouth’s to-eat list since ages ago.
Of course, there’s the famous Mr Chiam’s fritters stall and some Peter’s pork noodles within the vicinity, but the lure of eating possibly the BEST (or at least, authentic) Indian food in all of Klang Valley? Priceless.
But Jason came up with a very ingenious/enticing offer; yet somewhat awkward. To be dining at a Chinese restaurant specializing in ‘chu char’ dishes; in the heart of Brickfields. Or maybe slightly to the edge, since this restaurant is parked a stone’s throw away from the main road of Jalan Damansara.
Taufu Kang; aka Seaweed Soup with cubes of soft beancurd (RM12/USD4) – Now this is a poor man’s version of shark’s fin soup. And a very environmentally-friendly one at that. Since maiming sharks is a cruel act; not to be condoned with.
Woo Lan looks like your average neighbourhood ‘chu char’ restaurant. A fully air-conditioned corner lot next to Vishal (good, now the latter’s going to be my next destination for Chettinad cuisine), Woo Lan possesses a rich history dating back to the earlier years. At least, that’s what I understood from Fat Monkey’s post.
Tiger Pork (RM15/USD5) – Seriously, this dish was named as such. A fragrant, slightly sweetish yet punctuated with hints of five spice powder and ‘nam yue’ (Jason; got lah … no?), the fatty cuts of pork belly were braised lusciously in the thick sauce; yet the upper layer of the skin was deep-fried to a crunchy finish; like a clash of stewed pork and roasted pork.
The dining environment was pleasant; comfortable with air-conditioning and sparsely placed tables yet without a need for proper attire nor dragging an ATM machine along.
We ordered four dishes; the Seafood Curry arrived piping hot in a cauldron like pot; the broth looking scarily creamy from the excessive santan (coconut milk)/milk with streaks of fiery curry. But the curry was good; far from being tongue-numbingly spicy yet permeated with additional kicks from the chopped cili padi (bird’s eye chillies). Prawns, squids and fish fillets (there was fish, right?) came in abundance; hence the slightly premium price.
For a plate of greens stir-fried with garlic, the RM12/USD4 price tag seemed a little steep. But this is KL after all. So there.
The best dish of the evening was the seaweed soup with beancurd. Surprisingly, since I am not an ardent fan of soups, or shark’s fin soup for that matter (or the generics). But this soup had the right consistency without being overly starchy, nor diluted like drinking seaweed water (ugh?). Good start to the meal.
The stir-fried sweet potato leaves was slightly disappointing though. Fibrous from the aging process, the greens deserved much better. Chunks of garlic were tossed in with the vegetables though; a plus since I dig garlic like a vampire hunter.
The funky Tiger Pork was actually a deep-fried braised pork belly doused in a spiced gravy with a sweetish hint. VERY fat pork cuts; but the crispy skin was a beautiful twist to the meat. A little tougher than being fork tender, or melt in mouth though.
Woo Lan. With such a name, it’s hard to forget its existence in Brickfields.
Can’t say this was the best ‘chu char’ meal I have had in KL, but to be able to withstand development, competition, and more strategic location of the other restaurants in booming business centres, hats off to the management of Woo Lan for hanging tough.
In the midst of a predominantly Indian community at that. 1Malaysia indeed. Now for that elusive banana leaf rice feast ……….
WOO LAN RESTAURANT
19, Jalan Scott,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone : 603-2274 8368
Business hours : 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm.
Closed on Mondays.
GPS Coordinates : 3.135526,101.691931
Google Map to Woo Lan