Sunday, September 9, 2012

YummY! - Ampang Yong Tau Foo @ Foong Foong Restaurant

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                            YummY!                                   Jotaro's Food Review          
Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
On a recent bicycle ride (see Ampang Yong Tau Foo Ride), we stopped at this place to savor the renown Kuala Lumpur's Ampang Yong Tau Foo.

As I live over the other side of town, it's been ages since I came to this place, Restoran Foong Fong. And this is an opportunity to re-acquaint myself with the place and it's renown food. There are actually two places around here that people go for Ampang Yong Tau Foo, but I like this place better.

The place was crowded, even finding a place to park our bicycles was a problem as we did not want to block other patron's entry into the place. We conveniently parked our bicycles at the pavement but leaving gaps for people to walk through.

The place operates from a single-storey bungalow and we sat ourselves at one side of the building. A waiter came over to take orders for drinks and we waited patiently for another one to come and take our order for the food. Not having been here for quite a while, I forgot the protocol of the place.
One has to make the order for the food at the small cashier counter. A couple of guys there will take the order and announce the table number and the food required over a microphone. In the cacophony of the crowd, I wonder how the kitchen supervisor can hear this - I guess practice makes perfect OR he is selectively deaf to other sounds.
To make taking orders quick, they have simplified the process - one makes order for a platter of a fixed number of pieces and normally a mixture of the different type of tofu. Side orders can be made for soup or fried seow kow. Just tell them how many persons in your group and they will recommend accordingly.

While waiting for our order to come, I curiously popped over to the kitchen to see how they prepared the food. All this is done at a opened but roofed wing on the other side of the building. And any body can just see how they do it, no hiding of secret recipes or cooking process or even unhygienic practices. 

Another view of the kitchen, in the foreground a helper is apportioning out Swei Kow dumplings into bowls for soup to be serve later.
Yong Tau Foo is basically vegetables (eggplant, okra, bitter gourd & chilli), tofu, bean curd, bean curd skin, etc. stuffed with fish paste to form some sort of dumpling. Most of these tofu dumplings are deep fried. The fish paste have to be from good and fresh fish. The best fish to use to make the paste is the Saito.
The place is run like an assembly line, one section for cleaning & cutting vegetables, another for stuffing and yet another for frying / cooking.

The assembly line for the soft, white tofu dumpling starts with this helper washing & cutting the tofu into rectangular halves and cutting a slit at the soft center of each half. The tofu is stored suspended in water as they are very fragile and can break easily.

Here the washed and cut tofu are placed in trays, ready to be stuffed with fish paste.

Tofu next to the fish paste used for stuffing.

Deep frying the tofu dumpling. This has to be carefully done as the soft tofu tends to stick to the wok and can easily break.

Another helper is stuffing the Ladies Fingers (Okra). These had earlier been wash and slitted. The okra must be of a good size about six inches long and not overly ripe so that they are still tender.

The helper's deft movement in stuffing these tells of her experience in doing this. One scoop, next stuff and a couple of swipes to smoothen out the paste and everything looks good.

In another section, seow kow dumplings are being prepared. This uses mince pork filling instead of fish paste. The mince pork is put onto a round wheat dough skin and then half wrapped up. They are either served in soup form or deep-fried.

For the soup version, they are pre-boiled and put into bowls ready for adding the soup.

Chai Sim vegetable is also added. The serving is in a small or big bowl, depending on the number of pieces ordered.

The deep-fried Seow Kow.

A third helper is slicing and de-coring bitter gourds and then stuffing them with fish paste.

The raw bitter gourd with fish paste stuffing.

Deep frying the bitter gourd tofu.

Fried  bitter gourd tofu ready to be served.

Other available tofu includes the Tau Pok, a version of tofu but fluffy with crusty skin.

And tasty fish ball.....

And deep-fried brinjal (eggplant) tofu.

The selected choice of tofu is put on a large platter, and some gravy is poured over - Ready To Be Served.

The tofu was served. I found the fish paste use to be adequately fishy in taste. The soy-bean curd skin could have been more crispy though. The white tofu was heavenly soft with a hint of soy taste. Overall the dish was good, but somehow I felt it tasted better years ago when I frequented this place more often. Perhaps, my taste buds are getting old and can't taste things as well as they could when I was younger.

Address : 621-A, Jalan Besar Ampang,
                  68000 Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
Hours : 9am to 4pmClosed on Tuesdays.

Foong Foong Ampang Yong Tau Foo Location Map (Google Map Link)

Related Blogs :

A group ride from Pudu to Ampang to savor the renown Yong Tau Foo then onwards to 14th Mile Hulu Langat and back.

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