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Chinese New Year 2011 - Day 2

>> Sunday, February 6, 2011

"HOI NIN ar!" 

The 2nd day of CNY for my family begins with lunch. *yums!* We call it "hoi nin" in Cantonese, literally translated as "open year". The gathering for lunch/"the first meal of the new year" just signifies the beginning of a new year together as a family :) Ah, the glorious food attracts the Ruthless Eater :D

It is "traditional" for the Wongs to have certain dishes during our "hoi nin" meal, albeit with a simple spread ;)

Must have: Waxed duck ("lap ngap") with "Chi Gu"
Salty, preserved duck meat, steamed with "chi gu" (Chinese arrowhead root)...the "chi gu" becomes soft & powderish in texture, just like the potato minus the starchy-feel! It also soaks up the saltiness of the waxed duck above it...oolala...

Must Have: Fried Chinese Sausages ("Lap Cheong") in Thick Dark Soya Sauce & Oil
This is one of the very sinful, but most delicious dishes you'll ever find on the table. The fragrant oil goes SO well with plain rice! My family loves this dish...

Must Have: Hakka-Style Braised Pork with Black Fungus ("Char Yoke")
Yet another sinful dish? The best part of this dish is the fatty pork belly...at least 2 layers i.e. layer 1 - the fat/skin & layer 2 - the tender meat. The red preserved beancurd ("lam yue") gravy with some Chinese cooking wine gives the gravy extra "umphh" to accompany your 2nd bowl (or more!) of plain rice! My family is SO Asian...it's rice, rice, rice! (extra fattening as well...hohoho)

Dish of Redemption: Stir-Fried Lettuce with Garlic
This was the ONLY vegetable dish on the table! Hahaha...such a simple veggie dish in hopes to redeem ourselves from the indulgence of meat & fats in abundance!

Must Have: Stir-Fried Small Arrowhead Roots ("Nga Gu") with Chinese Parsley ("Kan Choy") & Roast Pork ("Siew Yoke")
Okay, this is considered a vegetable dish, but with the presence of the roast pork, it was veggie-no-more! Muahahaha....this "nga gu" is cooked in thick dark soya sauce & tastes similar to the "chi gu"...I can't really describe the actual taste & texture though, but it sure is a rare dish that you'll only find during this Chinese New Year period.

Must Have: Fried Duck Liver Chinese Sausages (with & without XO) with Thick Dark Soya Sauce & Oil
I LOVE "ngap yuen cheong", especially the ones with added XO! I'm not a great fan of liver, but this is an exception ;) I enjoy the fragrance of the sausages & the slightly soft & powdery texture of the sausage. It's very different from the "lap cheong" as this one can actually melt in your mouth! Oh, it's no doubt delicious & very pricey as well! RM80.00 per kilo wei!! The uncle in KL sells it only during CNY as it is too expensive to be consumed on "normal days"...if you want to have it throughout the year, you'll have to purchase more before CNY & store it in the freezer...

Ipoh's Famous Salt-Baked Herbal Chicken
It's the 1st time of our Wong family's history that we're having this delicious dish! Usually, aunty CT will prepare her home-cooked steamed chicken ("pak zham kai") with her special ginger dip, but this year, we've decided to try out something different. I love Ipoh's salt-baked herbal chicken because of its fragrant herbal smell & taste, & will usually buy a few birds back whenever I drop by Ipoh...but this time around, there are several branches of various brands opened in PJ itself :) There's no need for traveling all the way to Ipoh for the salt-baked herbal chicken!

Day 2 of CNY would not be complete without a game or two of mahjong...hahaha. It's part of the Chinese culture, I reckon ;)

If you think that our lunch was "wow", we are just so blessed with even more food for dinner! Oh my, Malaysia is totally a land of food! Come to Malaysia...for the food especially!

Almost every year, we'll have our 2nd CNY day dinner at the New Formosa Restaurant. It's one of the better & nearest-to-everyone's-house restaurant, so my uncles & aunties usually settle for this place. This year, I found the food slightly below the mark. Perhaps it's the CNY stress that the cooks are going through that their food doesn't taste as good as previous years'?

Anyhow, this restaurant is well-known for their Taiwanese dishes, & I especially fancy their yam with crystallized caramel dessert :) (but we didn't order that this time around)

"Lou Sang" again!
Ah, the joy & fun of tossing the ingredients on the platter...even though I enjoy digging into yee sang, I personally feel that the one I had at Yin Her is much better in taste & texture ;)

Pork Ribs with Pickled Pineapples
This dish is a little sweet, yet not over-powering & has a touch of the pickled pineapples sourish taste. The pork ribs were slightly tough though, but the dish is generally alright.

Butter Prawns with Chilli Padi & Curry Leaves
A very common dish, but Formosa managed to pull this dish pretty well. At least the prawns were fresh! The PerutBesi can't tolerate seafood that's not fresh...ergh....

Formosa's Nutritious Vegetarian Soup 宝岛营养素菜
I'm quite pleased with this dish :D In my personal opinion, this was the best dish among all the dishes served for the night. You'll find generous servings of lotus roots ("lin ngau"), vegetarian pork, dried longans, strips of black fungus, lotus seeds ("lin zhi" 莲子), & mushrooms, boiled together to perfection. The soup was naturally sweetened & biting into all the different ingredients, bursting with flavour in your mouth was just really enjoyable! :D

Vegetarian Yam Basket
Don't ask me why we ordered so many vegetarian dishes...hahaha...perhaps it was just something different from the norm, where we have more meat dishes! This particular evening's yam basket went all wrong :( The yam just didn't pass the quality control. It was hard (like uncooked) & the "basket" felt like it had too much flour added into the yam, which gave a very unpleasant sticky feel in the mouth. I told my mum that it felt like plaster of Paris in the mouth for making the mould for dentures/braces! *rofl* Yes, it's THAT disappointing for that night...much improvement needed here...

Deep-Fried Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce
We usually order this dish to go with the deep-fried mantau (a type of "pau"/bread)...this evening's fish dish was a 'lil too spicy...hahaha...

The All-Time Favourite Deep-Fried Mantau
This can NEVER go wrong...if it every goes wrong, the chef ought to tender his/her resignation! :P I love fried buns...*yums*

Stir-Fried Baby "Siew Pak Choy" with Garlic & Almond Flakes
Quite interesting! I was surprised to find almond flakes sprinkled on top of this vegetable dish. I found it a fresh presentation & it gives the humble vegetable a twist in taste :)

Taiwanese-Hakka Style - Steamed Yam Rice in Hollow Bamboo
The steamed rice is supposedly fragrant with chunks of powdery yam, diced Chinese black mushrooms, bits of Chinese sausages ("lap cheong"), dried shrimps, fried shallots, & spring onions. It's one of Formosa's specialties, but unfortunately, I found this dish to be a 'lil strange this evening. The rice was slightly mushy & sticky, & it had a slight unpleasant 'stale' smell...very peculiar. My uncle said it's an acquired taste of the bamboo, but I felt that something in that dish went bad already...in Cantonese, we will call it "suk" smell (臭 酸) :S Did the chef just had a really bad day?

Formosa's Dessert
(clockwise from top right): Yam Ginkgo Pudding, a warm dessert of mashed sweetened yam with gingko; Caramel Custard Pudding, smooth & not-too-sweet caramel custard; Herbal Honey Jelly/"guai lin kou", a bitterish-sweet jelly that has "cooling effect" for the body; Aloe Vera Green Tea Jelly, a Konyaku-jelly texture jelly with slight green tea taste...I kinda enjoy this variant; Mango Pudding, the common mango pudding that you can get anywhere else commercially.

Map to New Formosa Restaurant

View PerutBesi in a larger map

On the overall, New Formosa Restaurant is quite a worth-while place for a meal. They have an extensive variety of dishes at affordable prices. The only set-back is that the restaurant's a little narrow/small, so expect a higher-level of noise when it's packed! ;)

New Formosa Restaurant
46, Jalan SS2/24
7300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: (+603) 7875 1894 / (+6019) 3353 274
Email: formosa@streamyx.com
Business hours: 12:00p.m. -2:30p.m., 6:00p.m.-11:00p.m.

Presentation: * * * 1/2
Price: * * *
Environment: * * *
Taste: * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


A 'lil disappointed,


Ciki February 7, 2011 at 11:18 AM  

Gong Xi Fa Chai! Happy New Year to you and family:)

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