Last week when I stepped into New Formosa Restaurant, I realised that it had been exactly a year since I last visited this Taiwanese restaurant. That realisation hit me straight in the guts and never had I felt the swiftness of time so intensively than at that moment. As I glanced around this muchly-missed restaurant, I noted that nothing much had changed except for the chairs and several new service staff but then I also recognised some old familiar faces. I immediately felt right at home. I used to dine here very frequently when my work place was located nearby but since my office relocated to another part of town, my visits here had diminished significantly. That is the main reason why I had eagerly accepted the invitation to dine here that evening… I really missed the food at New Formosa.
Yee Sang with Jellyfish
It was good to get reacquainted with Mrs Jeanie Lee, the gracious host and owner, who’s always immaculately dressed. She immediately bustled into the kitchen and brought out the Yee Sang. We had a simple one… tossing freshly shredded fruits, vegetables, crispy crackers with jelly fish. The modest sweet flavours were just nice to line our stomachs lightly for the many dishes to follow.
Formosa 3-Combination Dish consisted of Taiwanese Seaweed Rolls, Butter Eel and Three-Cup New Zealand Mussels… all signature dishes of the restaurant. My favourite’s the Butter Eel of course, for who can resist tender pieces of eel encrusted in an aromatic crispy batter deeply enhanced with the divine blend of butter and curry leaves?
A whole winter melon with simmered soup inside was then brought out. Holding up the carved-out cover, ladles of the sweetest clear soup were poured onto our bowls. Chicken, mushrooms and winter melon produced a combo of light refreshing flavours. Not a drop of the soup was wasted.
When the Feng Sha Chicken was placed on our table, our nostrils caught the most mouth-watering whiffs of roasted chicken. A whole golden-skinned chicken was presented, the glistening shiny skin was so gorgeous-looking we almost didn’t want to dig into the chicken! But dig into it we must, for the interior of the chicken yielded a great treasure of a few different kinds of brown rice mixed with chestnuts, dried shrimps, herbs and spices. The chicken was really well marinated, moist and juicy.
Feng Sha Chicken – all chopped up & treasures revealed
100 Plus Silver Pomfret really had that isotonic drink 100 Plus added into it. The whole silvery fish was half-soaked in a tangy soup-like sauce… spicy and sourish, almost Teochew-like style but not quite. Flavoured exotically with basil leaves, onions, chillies and lemons, I was pretty hooked on that delicious soup-gravy!
The Steamed Hunan Hiney Ham with Gingko is another signature item. A plate of deep-fried buns were served together and the idea is to dunk the buns into the sweetish sauce and eat that together with the ham. The gingko looked like gold nuggets dotting the ham and they lent a slightly-chewy nutty mouthfeel to whole experience.
Steamed Hunan Honey Ham with Gingko
Stuffed Lotus Roots with Mixed Vegetables was next. What a lovely mix… the central portion of the dish was done vegetarian-style … braising the beansheets with loofah, seaweed and mushrooms. The slices of lotus roots retained some crunch and contrasted texturally with the tasty filling.
Desserts – we had two: the ever-popular Orh Nee, steamed sweetened yam paste with gingko nuts, drizzled with some pork lard and served with a dollop of golden pumpkin paste by the side. Then Mrs Lee came bearing a big bowl of the street-famous Taiwanese dessert of assorted beans and yam balls on a bed of ice cubes. We were told to toss them just like we tossed the yee sang – how quaint!
Let’s toss this!
Mrs Jeanie Lee with her special dessert
All the dishes are available for a la carte orders and they are also part of the special Chinese New Year sets. The restaurant is open throughout the Chinese New Year period but do call up to book in advance.
New Formosa Restaurant
16 Jalan SS2/24
47300 Petaling Jaya