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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Putien @ Subang Jaya

With Chinese New Year around the corner, my friends and I thought we'd have some Chinese food for a change. After all, it was our pre-Chinese New Year dinner get-together.

We decided on Putien @ Subang Jaya, their newly opened branch in Courtyard Subang (opened since late December 2015), their third in Malaysia, after its first outlet in 1 Utama in 2012 and its second in Sunway Pyramid the following year, apart from their international outlets in Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei.

Putien offers authentic Heng Hwa cuisine from the coastal town of Putian in the Fujian province of China and since my friends and I have not tried this type of cuisine before.....we thought why not!

Some small tidbits (foc and almost gone by the time I arrived) are served while you wait.  I've no idea what they were as I didn't have any since we were the last ones to arrive.  I had to get down to ordering straight away.

Since it was a Chinese New Year gathering, obviously we had to have the customary "yee sang" toss to usher in all things auspicious, right?  Putien has two types of yee sang on offer...salmon (RM29.90, RM49.90 & RM69.90 for S/M/L or abalone (RM49.90, RM69.90 & RM99.90 for S/M/L).

I ordered the Abalone Yee Sang @ RM49.90 (for small).  I wasn't able to snap a photo of the plate of abalone as the gentleman attending to us (he might be the manager of the place) began assembling the yee sang for us before I had the chance to do so (you can see slivers of abalone on the plate already).

What surprised us was that, as he poured the abalone, sauces, signature seaweed from Putian and the crispy crackers onto the yee sang platter, every round was followed with well wishes of some kind (I may not understand exactly what he said but I know they'd be wishes of good luck, prosperity and health or something along those lines).

The platter of yee sang is ready for tossing!

I suppose the higher you toss the better....to help usher in good fortune for the year ahead though I'm not that into the tossing part but more into the eating part! ;D

I liked that this yee sang has a very clean, fresh taste without those overly sweet flavours.

We began our dinner with some appetisers, starting with the Drunken Cockles @ RM13.90 which arrived blanketed in a layer of pungent fresh minced garlic and drenched in wine (I had to scrape some of it away so that you can see the cockles underneath).  Served chilled, it was a fantastic combination of immensely fresh and juicy cockles in a well pronounced wine marinade.

The lightly blanched, medium-sized cockles (wouldn't mind slightly bigger cockles though) were on half shells...pop these into your mouth (and thank me later but only if you're a cockle fan) for a burst of juicy goodness from the very fresh cockles and the wine with none of that unpleasant blood taste of raw cockles.  It was a contender for top dish and I can see why it was voted one of Putien's Top 10 Dishes...coz it was the top dish for two of my friends too.  Two words.....freakin' awesome! ;D

Our next dish was the absolutely tender and well-made Braised Pig Intestines @ RM16.90 which boasts of a '9-fold' 12-inch intestine braised to perfection in their homemade sauce of 12 spices for a springy yet tender bite.

Then came the Putien-Style Century Eggs @ RM9.90 encrusted in a thin batter, fried and tossed in their homemade speciality sauce that tasted slightly sweet and sour.  So, you end up with a bit of a crisp exterior followed by a creamy yolk centre.

Their Stir-Fried Yam @ RM18.90 (S) had a nice crisp exterior with a warm, soft and naturally sweet mashed yam in the centre.  Expertly stir-fried to create a caramelised texture on the outside, it had sweet and savoury flavours and was outright delicious.  According to the menu, only the finest middle portion of the premium yam is used for this dish.

I also went with an order of Homemade Bean Curd @ RM16.90 (S) for the kids.  This silky smooth tofu, made fresh daily, stir-fried with mushrooms and sugar snap peas, in a delectable sauce, was a joy to eat.

Another thumbs-up dish for the kids was the Putien Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees @ RM19.90 (S) or more specifically with two lychees...hehe!  No complaints either on this well prepared dish with perfectly fried, tender and moist meat with the right amount of sweetness from the sauce.

When I saw Stir-Fried Green Dragon Vegetable @ RM19.90 (S) on the menu, I knew I wanted it.  Known as "ching loong choy" and marketed as royale chives, it's a variant of (or closely related to) Chinese chives.  I can't remember if I've had it before and, even if I had, I don't remember it to be as green as this one which was fried with cloud ear fungus ("muk yee") and garlic.  It had a very refreshing taste with a crunchy texture when fried just right (but clearly different and without the pungent taste and smell associated with Chinese chives or "gou choy").  It was rather similar to the stir-fried yellow chives I once had and loved.

A meal would not be complete without any carbs, so we ordered the Putien Cabbage Rice @ RM18.90 (S) for a no-nonsense home-styled fried rice with bits of pork, cabbage and peanuts...certainly well fried with decent flavours.

For a further dose of carbs, we had the Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon @ RM18.90 (S), a crowd favourite and signature dish of Putien.  Reputed to be sundried vermicelli (not machine dried) and milled by hand in Putian, it had a springy and firm bite.  Our first reaction to the bee hoon was just how fine and translucent the strands were but yet held its shape when fried.  Fried with prawns, clams, bok choy, onions, seaweed and peanuts with stock from pork bones and old hens, it was certainly a dish to savour...and a must-order! :)  [#Tip: For mee sua lovers, be sure to try Putien's mee sua for I heard that it's good too though I didn't get to try as we ordered too many dishes already.  The menu says that it's handmade with premium quality flour.]

Putien prides itself on serving food that's 100% natural and fresh without any added preservatives.  This container is filled with Putien's Spice Mum Chilli Sauce (that's what the container said) made in-house.

My friends liked their tangy and spicy signature chilli dip though I found it just ok as I detected a hint of bitterness in the sauce (probably from the grated lime skins).  Eat this with the fried bee hoon or everything else if you like...but watch out, it packs quite a punch ;)

We rounded up our meal with the Claypot Fish Soup @ RM44.90 (S) where the live fish (as it was described in the menu) but I take it that they meant "sang yue" (otherwise known as snakehead or ikan haruan).  The fish is fried first before being simmered for hours in a broth with yam, ginger, spring onions and wolfberries.  It arrived piping hot in a rich, milky looking broth that was divine right till the last drop.  Three words...freakin' awesome again!

The flesh of the sang yue was incredibly soft and sweet.  The yam and utterly fresh fish brought sweetness to the soup like none I had before.  It was without doubt a nourishing and invigorating bowl of soup...it was really, really good.  No wonder it got two votes from my party-of-five as the best dish of the night.

The final adult in my party couldn't quite decide which was her favourite dish...she liked them all and I can certainly see why...coz everything we had, I've got no complaints whatsoever! :D

One final thing to note, the tea here is charged based on per cup basis with top-up available.  You have a choice of two teas and both aren't cheap by the way.  It comes in a special contraption that contains the tea leaves which sits on top of the cup.

Shui Xian Tea @ RM8.90 per cup, a semi-fermented tea principally produced in Fujian province, is a combination of both green and black tea (all four in my eating party went for this one).

I went for the Premium Tie Guan Yin Tea @ RM9.90 per cup belonging to the Oolong tea group (supposedly the priciest tea according to the description on the menu).  This turned out to be the better tasting tea of the two and elicited my friend to order an extra one for the kids to share.

Looking at the price per cup, just the tea alone may cost you RM100 for a table of 10, so you may want to share (and I think it's perfectly fine to do so) since the tea leaves are fixed and that the refill given is just hot water (you have to contend with the tea being more diluted with each refill, of course).

My Personal Opinion

This place is great for smallish eaters as some of their dishes come in small sizes of XS, S & M (and not the usual S, M & L)...and, for heavy-eaters, you can sample more dishes in one sitting though some may feel that the prices do not justify the small serving portions.  For me, I felt that the slightly more premium prices were alright when coupled with quality ingredients and attentive service.

Those who prefer lightly seasoned food and subtle tastes (some might say bland) would do well here as the dishes are not robustly flavoured...they're not too oily, too salty or too sweet but still very good nonetheless.

If I really had to choose, my two top dishes of the night would be the claypot fish soup and drunken cockles followed closely by the stir-fried yam, fried Heng Hwa bee hoon and braised pig intestines.  I don't eat at Chinese restaurants all that much...but this one I clearly loved.  There are still loads on the menu I've not tried.....and I'd definitely return in a heartbeat! ;)

Putien Restaurant
Lot 1-05 Courtyard Subang
Jalan SS15/4G 
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor
Tel: 03-5612 3377
New Year is here again...
May this new year bring you
prosperity, good luck and good fortune!!

*And I'll be back after a short break*

16 comments:

  1. three cheers for putien! even after a few visits, there are still some dishes i haven't tried and would like to ... hmmm, i wouldn't mind having the cabbage fried rice for lunch sometime ;) looks like cookie is looking forward to the festivities next week! :D

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    1. Unfortunately, Cookie never looks forward to CNY coz 1) he hates to be boarded when we "balik kampong" and 2) the fire crackers really frighten the shit out of him! :'(

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  2. I love the freshness of yee sang and find it fun how restaurants try to outdo each other with their creativity. I even tried a yee sang Italian style this week! It was delicious. :-)

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    1. Yes, nowadays even the non-Chinese restaurants cash in on the popularity of yee sang during CNY that they create their own versions too :)

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  3. I like Putien too! :)

    However, I might be biased since I'm Heng Hua so they're cooking my people's food. They have a very nice cold (iced) abalone dish too. It's a WHOLE abalone for less than RM 40 and it's very good.

    I agree, the prices here are relatively high compared to other places. Like you said, some people might find the dishes on the bland side too, but they have really good chilli sauce. I think they sell it too.

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    1. Yeah, I've seen this whole abalone dish on blogs...they also have an iced bitter gourd dish that I was tempted to try.

      Oh, you're Heng Hwa, so you'd be used to the more bland taste of this cuisine, I suppose...and, yes, they do sell the chilli sauce. Perhaps, the chilli sauce is there for those who might find the food on the bland side....but not me! ;)

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    2. Haha! Yeah, I'm Heng Hua, that's pretty much how my grandma cooks too. :)

      I got their chilli sauce at home, it's good with fries from McDonalds etc too. Hope you're having a great CNY!

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  4. There's one at 1-Utama but I thought it was kind of posh so I never ventured. Well, after reading your post, I think I should give Putein a visit :)

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    1. Actually, it's not posh....just that the prices may be a bit steep for the small portions but I think it's reasonable with the quality of ingredients and service. Yeah, you should give it a try :)

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  5. I have been to Putien at 1-Utama when it opened back in 2012 twice and ordered the pork intestine, pork knuckle, the famous meehoon that you ordered here, duck yam, and claypot fish soup (my favourite). Did not go back because I can't afford it. Good to know that they maintained the quality of their dishes after 4 years here.

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    1. I see you enjoyed the claypot fish soup as much as I did. Yes, prices may be more expensive but, perhaps, you can have this on special occasions? ;)

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    2. Yes, perhaps I should visit it again on special occasions.

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  6. The dishes are all very interesting to me, especially the sweet and sour pork with lychee twist. But I want to comment on your Yee Sang collage. How the heck can you have pictures of the tossing process?? You should be joining in the tossing, not capture them in photos. If not, no use >.< ...

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    1. Erm....I toss with my right hand and hold my phone in my left (that's call resourceful...hehe!). Plus you must have missed the part when I said I'm more into the eating than the tossing....wakakaka! ;D

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  7. Not a fan of cockles and intestines but I really curious about the taste though, especially the intestines, which I can have a try :P (the cockles on the other hand, i really dare not >_<)

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    1. Why not...you're afraid of it coz of health reasons? As for the intestines, if you like to eat pig innards (like liver, stomach, etc.), you'll probably enjoy intestines too! ;D

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