Five years ago when we moved into this neighbourhood, it was a quiet residential enclave, with lots of matured shady trees lining the roads and ample parking spaces everywhere, even right in front of the banks. These days, well… the shady trees are still there but the roads are no longer as quiet and horrors… they have now installed parking meters all over the commercial areas. More buildings and shops have sprouted, it’s more congested now and the turnover of food outlets in the area is nothing less than amazing. Every other week a new restaurant opens while one or two closes. Of course not every restaurant that opened was good… most are mediocre at best and some were downright awful. The few good ones managed to stand their ground until the hordes get tired of their offerings.
Signature Mee Pok
Recently, a new joint opened, just a few doors away from Pappa Rich… called The Taste Garden. A rather odd name, if you ask me… I’m not sure if it means we are to taste the garden or the garden offers taste (just 1 taste?). Well, what do I know about the idiosyncrasies of naming restaurants anyway? Maybe the name in Chinese makes more sense. To give it some credit, the owners have actually done some landscaping in the perimeter of the restaurant… hence the “garden” bit, I guess.
Handmade Fish Noodles
Getting on to the food… the place serves mainly one-dish meals, mainly noodles. Their other strong offering is their own-made fish paste, fish balls, fish rolls… mainly offsprings from the omnipresent fish paste.
Their signature Mee Pok (RM6) is good… thanks to the unmistakable aroma of pork lard and generous sprinklings of “chee yau cha” all over the flat noodles that are already smothered with minced pork.
Homemade Fish Paste in Soup
My bowl of Handmade Fish Noodles (RM7) was interesting. In addition to the thick white fish noodles, there were glass noodles mixed in, together with minced pork and slices of fried fish paste. The fat white fish noodles were spongy and silky in texture… with hardly any taste of flour in it at all! You can almost call it a bowl of pure protein here!
Fishcake, Tau Kan and Fuchook
We also ordered side dishes of the Homemade Fish Paste (RM6) in soup (with slices of bittergourd too!), Handmade Fish Balls (RM6 for 10 pcs) and a plate of Fishcake, Tau Kan and Fuchook (RM10). Generally their fish paste items are done well… with a firm bouncy texture and smooth on the palate.
Bouncy Fish Balls
The only disappointing item was their Yam Cake which was too soft, mushy and quite bland. I think they should just stick to what they’re good at … their noodles and fish paste items!
The Taste Garden
10A Jalan Anggerik Vanilla
40460 Shah Alam
Tel: 012-2288328 (Michael Tang)
Directions: Turn into the road where McDonald’s is located, go straight in & you will see Pappa Rich in front slightly to the left… The Taste Garden is just a few doors away from Pappa Rich, at the end of the row.