Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Western Food Nostalgia

I remembered that when I was young, the word ‘western food’ is a luxury itself. Just a note though for that tender age, my meaning of western food covers every other food that is not Asian, may not be accurate in terms of culinary but bear with this little kid alright. So my sister and I always pester for the luxurious western food, much to the chagrin of my parents, especially my daddy who if you give him a table spread with Chinese dishes, he is a happy man. So when can we ever get to eat luxuriously? Only on special occasions like mother’s day (a very good reason to celebrate for our mummy, ah, even when young we were smart enough to make it as if the reason is for my mummy and not our tummy). Our ‘western’ feast would usually be at Panorama, Taiping one and only famous ‘western’ restaurant, at that time. Our version of ‘western food’ mainly consists of fish and chips, chicken chop (I have to admit this restaurant makes a really good one) and mushroom soup, thanks to the limited choices in the menu.

Then one day my ingenious dad thought of a place to bring us to, when our whining for ‘western food’ got over to his head, that is a Chinese, yes noted Chinese hawker restaurant, that has a stall that served ‘western food’ and another stall serving Chinese food – char kuey teow,. So then, if ever we need to satisfy our cravings, our parents can savour the char kuey teow while sis and I have our chicken chop and fish and chips. How’s that? Later on, my dad took us to another western food stall at hawker center (a famous hawker eatery in Taiping with various stalls), where he claim that the cook is from Panorama itself, that came out to open his own business, a friend of my dad (did I mention that almost everyone in Taiping is his friend?). We were so happy to be able to enjoy Panorama western food there, not because it is cheaper by margin (that is for my dad to be happy about), but because it means more frequency of this treat for us while there are so many other stalls for my parents to choose from!

So after I came over to KL, that is how generally the story of my life would lead to, if you are a regular reader you would notice, I too would look out for ‘western food’. But of course in the meantime, I found out that there is much more to fish and chips or chicken chop or mushroom soup, but somehow I feel I would need a quick fix at some Chinese restaurant for ‘western food’. After 4 years of searching from KL to PJ (after moving over), I finally found the place, thanks to my dear J who introduce the place to me, at the heart of PJ itself, just a stone’s throw away from our place, SS3 western food, oh yes, the stall even name itself western food.


This place brings me back the reminiscence of those days I had western food with my family on a ‘normal’ day. Even the old-style tomato and chili ketchup here reminds me of the good ol’ days – the squeeze bottle style.


Once seated, you will be served promptly with a basket of generously buttered garlic bread. Naturally I ordered mushroom soup as a starter. This version of can-mushroom-soup style has some extra mushrooms chunks in it for some toothy feel and light enough without tasting watered down. It is also especially good to dunk in your bread into this one. These pair are entertaining enough while waiting for your main dish.


Then for J, being a big eater that he is, he would always order the mixed grill, consisting of fried fish, sausage, grilled lamb and chicken chop, serve with fried, mixed vegetables (diced corn, peas and carrot) and some sliced cucumber and tomatoes plus lettuce. This would certainly satisfy a ravenous boy while enough for me to pick on too.


For me, I would usually go for fish, now since older and had tasted better real fish and chips elsewhere, I seldom order it anymore, and thus I ordered the fish fillet in special sauce. It is actually dory fish fillet doused in some white sauce that I can’t really make out the ingredients, but I remembered that it was ok. It was also served with the same side dishes as the mixed grill.


I had also tried a few other dishes here (I don’t know where the other pictures have gone, I vividly remembering taking so many times, J even questioned me what were the differences, ha-ha), but anyway, I recalled that the chicken chop with garlic sauce was good but the grilled salmon was not that good as it was not that fresh, and the beef stew which I tried once was not bad, but I always somehow goes back to mushroom soup (for old time’s sake).

Come to think of it, it has been sometime since I revisit this good ol’ place, time for me to pester J for my ‘luxurious western food’, but this one I would not need an excuse of a special occasion or choices of Chinese food!

Restaurant Hup Soon
Jalan SS 3/29
47300 PJ
Jalan 3/29, SS3 Kelana Jaya
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
4:30pm - late. Close on Tuesdays.
3°5'43"N 101°36'40"E

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