We were summoned to dinner one Sunday evening. Edwin was buying. I had no idea what the occasion was. I did ask him. He said it was just an ordinary dinner. But the meal turned out to be anything but ordinary.
The restaurant he picked is in Klang. It is known as the Park Village Restaurant. Its Chinese name 百里香 (translated literally as Hundred Inside Fragrant) does not match its English name and does not sense to me either. Anyway, it is located on Jalan Batai Laut at Taman Intan, in the outskirts of Klang. It is not far from Kuala Pulai Bak Kut Teh shop that was featured in an earlier posting.
The restaurant was rather ordinary. It was bright and pleasant, and not horribly crowded. Good place to catch up with the folks. On that night, for most of us, it was particularly nice to meet Eugene's girlfriend for the very first time. Perhaps that was the reason for the dinner.
Dinner started with the tofu soup (豆腐羹). It was a very pleasant thick soup, with crab meat and other good stuffs in it. The tofu made it smooth. And it was sweet and tasted very nice with a dash of black vinegar.
When the next dish was served, I had no idea that it was mantis prawn. It was pieces of mantis meat, deep fried and then stir fried in a thick and sweet soy sauce. I did not particularly find it great. I could not tell that it was mantis prawn even when I bit on it. I think the original flavor and texture of the mantis was killed in the deep frying.
Then it was tofu with minced meat. The tofu was lightly fried and the minced pork that accompanied it was cooked in a nice rich sauce. The combination was very nice and tasty.
The deep fried pork knuckle was most enjoyable but immensely sinful. Nice things are never good - sad but true. It was fried to a delightful crispy skin and the meat below was tender and succulent. It was served with some nice chili sauce. I don't think there was anybody in the table who did not enjoy it.
The chicken was cooked in 2 different ways. One half was steamed with some Chinese herbs. I detected wolfberries (枸杞) and dong quai (當歸 or angelica sinensis) in it. It was simple and pleasant, and a nice departure from the rich and oily stuffs.
The other half was deep fried, which was quite ordinary. It was served with some keropok (crackers) and the same chili sauce that came with the pork knuckle.
The fish was steamed assam style. It was half the head of a good size grouper. The assam sauce was rich and spicy - with some okra (ladies finger), long beans and curiously, slices of lotus root. The fish was, most importantly, fresh.
There were 2 vege dishes. The first was a stir fried mixture of vegetables (celery, carrot, beans, lotus root, fungus, etc) and macadamia nuts. I particularly like the nuts which was crunchy and delicious.
Second and final was a dish of mushrooms and broccoli in a thick oyster sauce. There were 2 types of mushrooms in it - the normal Chinese mushroom and other is beyond me. I don't know what it is called. The dish was simple and good.
Dessert was a fried sesame ball filled with lotus bean paste. Sweet ending to a wonderful "ordinary" dinner.
Thanks Edwin. But what was the celebration?