Ever since 1-Utama started their renovation exercise in their Old Wing, for months I have walked past the boarded-up shoplots and wondered what lie behind those boardings. The mall management has revamped most of the outlets in the Old Wing… some have closed down and left the mall, some have relocated and some brand new ones have sprouted.
One particular outlet took a much longer time to complete. Week after week and running into months, I have been tantalized by the posters of delicious-looking food plastered on top of their workboards. Meanwhile, one by one, the other outlets have opened and still, this particular one remained closed. Finally, last week, it opened and there were long queues waiting to go into Putien.
Having established itself in Singapore as a pioneer of Heng Hwa cuisine and enjoying a good following there, Putien now brings to Malaysia its tasty, simple and heart-warming comfort food. The “Putien” brandname is traced back to Putian, a beautiful coastal town in the Fujian province in China. Since it’s a coastal town, of course seafood is abundant and that is featured widely in their menu, in addition to meats and poultry.
Despite being opened for less than a week and I went there during lunch hour, I must say their warm and enthusiastic service staff did pretty well. Unlike some reports I heard about bad and slow service, I encountered none of that. My orders were served pretty promptly and I actually went back to work way before my lunch hour was up!
From the food posters that I’ve been visually blasted with for weeks, I already had a fair idea of what I wanted to try. Those were pretty much their signature dishes and I wasted no time in placing my orders.
First to be served was their Fried Century Eggs (RM8.90). The black gelatinuous eggs were given a special treatment of being coated in a very light batter, deep-fried and then rolled into a tangy garlicky sauce. An excellent starter… it paves the palate for more.
The next signature item – Drunken Cockles (RM9.90). This proved to be a tad disappointing as there was no “drunken-ness” to the cockles whatsoever and the cockles were kinda juvenile. Bigger cockles would have been welcomed… nonetheless, the cockles were done just right – they were silky smooth yet had none of the unpleasant bloody tang of raw cockles. The chopped chillies and garlic topping with a sweet sour dressing was very good and appetizing.
The Bamboo Prawns (RM8.90) fared much better in the alcohol department. Two medium-sized fresh prawns came drowned in a piping-hot delicious broth flavoured strongly with Chinese wine… ahh, such comforting soup! I dug my spoon into the bamboo holder and finally tilted it to savour the last drop of the soup.
Oyster Omelette (RM16.90) … the ever-popular “orh chien” is done the crispy version here. Unlike the usual gooey starchy omelette that’s served Malaysian-style, Putien’s version was dry, crunchy and very flavourful. Chopped scallions were scattered generously and together with the oysters, resulted in a very aromatic omelette. I also like that it’s not oily at all, despite being given the crunchy deep-frying treatment.
We were also enamoured by their Pork Belly Garlic (RM11.90) – a cold appetizer and their Stir-fried Yam (RM16.90). Despite being a cold dish, the layered pork belly fat was not hard or “frozen” – I wonder how the chef managed that. The garlic sauce topping was fragrant and we mopped up every bit of it with the thin pork slices. The stir-fried yam is a traditional sweet-savoury offering which again speaks highly of the chef’s skills. Cubes of yam were fried crispy on the outside, yet yielded soft fluffy texture inside. Of course, premium quality yams must be used. LL, who has never been a yam lover, fought me for the last cube of this!
The Braised Tofu (RM7.90) and Spinach with Century Eggs (RM16.90) were just average – homely and simple.
The Fried Garlic Chicken (RM18.90 for half chicken) has golden crispy skin, made more fragrant with lots of chopped fried garlic and curry leaves. The chicken is a bit under-marinated though – good for people who prefers lower sodium in their diets.
Shredded Meat with Bun (RM5.90 per piece) is a DIY thing – they even provide plastic gloves for you to handle this – how thoughtful! I like the light fluffy Chinese bun, with hardly a trace of oil in it.
I saw the service crew bringing out this green flower-like dish and I was intrigued. The Iced Bittergourd (RM6.90) is the prettiest bittergourd dish I have seen. I don’t know how the chefs treated the gourd but the thin slices were super crunchy and very refreshing.
They were arranged like a lotus bloom on a bed of shaved ice and come with a saucer of honey. The gourd by themselves were not bitter, or very slightly so and it’s so good when dipped in the glistening honey. This is very good for detoxication – so do your liver a favour by ordering this, hehe!
Until January 28, as their opening promotion, Putien is serving their signature Heng Hwa Beehoon on a complimentary basis. The Putian-made beehoon is very fine, finer than our regular beehoon here. They are milled by hand, using old rice, resulting in translucent, silky, fine but not brittle beehoon. Rich milky stock made from pork bones and old hens, simmered for hours, are added in to flavor this beehoon dish… and of course there are also other ingredients in it – prawns, clams, peanuts, greens, seaweed etc.
There is a separate desserts menu. Nothing very spectacular – there’re the usual pumpkin pudding, yam pudding, fried potato balls, boiled “tong sui”, jellies and fresh fruits. We tried the Glutinuous Balls in Peanuts Soup (RM6.90) and Lemongrass Jelly (RM5.90), both of which were just quite ordinary. Comforting perhaps, but just ordinary.
G-213A Ground FLoor, Promenade
1-Utama Shopping Centre (Old Wing)
Bandar Utama City Centre
47800 Petaling Jaya