Oh oh..there are something that you can’t hide..i.e. how late this posting is..i have finished all the mandarin oranges, took down all the CNY decorations, finished spending the angpows and yet hadn’t put up the post for the CNY Reunion dinner which was nearly a month ago..
It was a heavy burden, to be given the responsibility of planning the family reunion dinner ( or bluntly put- to be the person to be blamed if the food fails to impress) . This exercise involves e-mails between family members and also the proprietor of new Formosa Restaurant- Jeanie- who was very kind and patient to run through the menu and recommend suitable dishes. There were 16 pax with ages ranging from 6 – 70+, we settled to sit the children and the ‘adults’ separately, thus planned the food to best suit the ‘genre’ .
The big day…we reserved the tables at ~7:30 to 8 pm, and arrived around 8:15 to a packed restaurant. It was a noisy and festive mood at the restaurant as everyone was talking at the top of their voices, the clatter of cutlery, the ‘kong si kong si’ songs over the PA, the red and gold apparels. And at 9pm, we were still waiting for the first dish to be served and the kids were getting restless (and hungry ) , Jeanie came around with some ‘mo chi’ ( on the house), apologise for the delay, and said that the dishes will be out soon, there were some problem with the cooking gas supply.
Finally-the first dish… Formosa Special Combination Dish宝岛特色拼盘, which consist of
- i) fried butter eel 奶油鳗鱼
- ii) rice crust, popped rice with Australian fresh scallops in black pepper sauce 黑椒带子锅巴
- iii) jellyfish in garlic sauce 蒜茸海蛰
- iv) deep fried chicken with sesame seeds 芝麻鸡
- v) braised crab claws with black moss 发菜蟹箝
Everyone was guessing what the butter eel was- as just by looking at it or even after eating it – one would probably not guess that it was eel , and I had to make sure that everyone had tried it before breaking my silence, the scallops were ok- juicy and sweet although the black pepper sauce felt a bit heavy/overwhelming , the jelly fish was very ‘garlic-ky’ and a bit on the spicy side, deep fried chicken was ok, the crab claws seemed to be those from the frozen stuff, so the meat doesn’t felt too fresh.
We wanted some beers and when we manage to flag down a foreign looking waiter, he nodded and after a few minutes, there were still no beers, which meant another round of raiseh hands, waving of hands etc to get the attention of another waiter ( most of them ( the guys) look foreign to me) and repeated our request, and finally he brought a more senior ranked guy ( also foreign looking) who asked us what do we need. Oh ah..
Next dish was braised abalone with Chinese mushroom, sea cucumber and fish maw冬菇鲍鱼海参鱼膘 ( I had requested to cut down on the fish maw and sea cucumber as some of us around the table does not take these) , and for the kid’s table, it was mushroom and abalone, minus the sea cucumber and maw. The fish maw, sea cucumber and mushroom were thick and succulent, the gravy was pretty ok, the abalone was chewable although a bit tasteless though..
Steamed pomfret with soya sauce港式潮州蒸斗鲳 was next, I guess the normal problem with larger sized pomfret is that the meat will be tougher than usual, so, it was the same case here as well ( same experience when we had this at Overseas last CNY dinner too), the broth was ok typical fare. I will have to remind myself to refrain ordering steam pomfret next year. For the kid’s , they had fish slices in sour plum sauce and they seemed to enjoyed this a lot.
When I was discussing the menu with Jeanie, for prawns – she recommended the prawns in Chinese herbs , but we opted for the Deep fried shelled prawns with sesame seeds 台式芝麻虾球 as she mentioned that this will be popular with the kids. And I am glad that we ordered this as this was very good indeed, the prawns coated with sesame seeds were deep fried to a golden crisp on the outside while the inside remained juicy and sweet.
Next was Two variety duck- logan pipa duck ( roasted duck with logan) and special crispy salted duck stuffed with special fish paste Hunan style. 鸳鸯鸭 (龙眼琵琶鸭，江南鸭) The pipa duck came with a sweet darkish sauce with undertones of logan, which was interesting, the meat was tender and well marinated. As for the other half- it doesn’t taste like duck or the texture of duck ! tasted more like otak otak lah..( I guess this is where the fish paste comes in guarr). For the kids we ordered fried chicken- and – good reviews from the kids.
When we were discussing the menu, requested for some meat-ish dish, and Jeanie said that she could do a special ‘ Steamed Special Cut spare ribs wrapped with aluminum foil 宝岛长骨. The ribs were tender and the whatever that was use to marinate the ribs seemed ooze from the pores of the ribs, the sauce was pretty tasty. And the portions were pretty big as well.
When the steamed yam rice in bamboo Taiwanese Haaka style 台式竹筒饭 arrived at the table, some of us let out groans as we were somewhat full and to see rice arriving at the table was a bit too much. Anyway, after taking the first spoonful of this, we changed our mind as this was very tasty, a bit like ‘lap mei’ rice, with blend of sausages, meats, yams. Nice.
I was looking forward to the vegetable dish of fried asparagus, fresh lily bids, gingko nuts and pumpkin上海斋 , but was a bit surprised when some greenish vegetable arrived at our table and after clarifying with the waitress, yup- this is the correct dish, it seemed that being over enthusiastic about this dish I missed the ‘OR’ on the menu- which says ‘OR imported vegetables with dried baby scallops’干贝进口时蔬- so it seemed that this was imported HongKong Kailan..i must say I did not noticed the presence of dried baby scallops..ummm..maybe the scallops were at the fetus stage and too small to be seen guarrr ? The dish average and frankly look a bit plain and not too inviting.
Dessert for the kids were puddings- choice of caramel custard, mango, kwai leng kou custard, honey dew etc , whereas for the adults, we had Yam, Gingko and pumpkin pudding. 低糖素金瓜银杏芋泥.
The dessert that arrived at the table seemed to be a bit small to be divided among ten adults and there was a pause to see if there were more to come. We counted the gingko nuts and there were 10 nuts, so I guess, this was it. We were given bowls for this dessert ( the waiter came with big and small bowls -and apologizes that ‘ not enough bowls’ ( of the same size) ..haha…) , but I think table spoons would have suffice as this was the portion everyone got anyway. This was very good, the yam and pumpkin were blended very finely and the taste was just right and well balance without been overly sweet.
The damage : RM738 (minus beers and drinks, Chinese tea was FOC ) for the adult table only. The kids table ( was
Overall, an ok meal- and one normally have to discount the quality of food and service for any ( most) restaurant during this busy/ peak period. From around the table- the best dish – deep fried prawns in sesame seeds. This was my second visit to New Formosa, read about my first visit by clicking here .
New Formosa Restaurant
46, Jalan SS2/24,
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03- 78751894
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Open daily : 12pm-3pm; 6 pm -11pm