To those foodies who are familiar with the KL food circuit, Restoran Goon Wah would need no introduction. But for a PJ girl like me, whose furthest self drive adventure to the vicinity of KL stretches only as far as Mid Valley, the name Kuchai Lama is like "err yea, heard of it, but doesn't have the faintest idea how to get there". So long as someone else drives, I'm game!
My weekly ladies group organised a brunch recently at Goon Wah. This no-frills Chinese restaurant, located in a row of unassuming shoptlots admist a semi industrial/residential area, has been around for a few years and are famous for their claypot fish head noodles and braised yam pork.
Their core business started with catering, and grew so popular that they decided to set up a restaurant. But get this, they only do weekdays from 9-3pm. Weekends are strictly for catering functions. So forget about dropping by after church for a leisurely meal. Business is brisk, so best to call ahead to reserve a table, especially if you want to sit in the airconditioning section.
Just at the entrance of the restaurant, there is a lady selling boxes of fresh jackfruit for RM5 a box of five pieces. Not cheap, but so sweet and refreshing. Highly recommended, unless you are susceptible to "wind" - jackfruits are notorious for causing wind.
We reached Goon Wah at 10ish on a weekday, so the crowd has not come in yet. I had initially expected a run down, grimy and hot coffee shop environment, but it turned out to be neat, reasonably clean and the airconditioning section was surprisingly very cool and comfortable.
|Don't expect a paper menu, it's all on the board|
Since there were five of us, we could try quite a few of their signature dishes.
Firstup is their most famous item - their claypot XO fish head noodles. It comes piping hot, with slices of tender yam, chunky fish pieces, tofu and salted veg. Not as milky or winey as some places i have tried, this one is more on the salty and sourish side. Their serving of two is huge, sufficient to be shared up to five hungry ladies, with other dishes as well.
Baked baby lamb ribs with red wine
I couldn't taste any red wine at all, but it certainly reminded me of marmite pork. Very tasty and appetising.
|Kong Nam Mee|
Not bad, very similar to Cantonese Yee Mee. Very generous with the goodies.
|Their famous claypot loh she fun|
We thought it was rather bland, as in not being seasoned enough. Having it under the flame dry out the noodles very fast and burnt the bottom. So it's a dish you have to tuck in pretty much straightaway and finish it very soon.
|Stir Fry Pork Stomach and Intestines|
If you are into pork "spare parts", this one was GUUUD!
It comes piping hot, with loads of crunchy garlic, dried shrimp, bits of lard and spring onion. The stomach was tender whilst the intestine were crunchy, with none of that dreaded innards smell. It was certainly a dish very well done.
Their Stew Pork Belly with Yam was also delicious, with tender pork slices sandwiched between melt-in-your-mouth yam, smothered in a thick tauchu sauce. Perfect to go with some steam mantous.
Their barley ginko was good too. Smooth and reasonably thick, without any of that corn flour aftertaste.
Overall, it was a very good meal in a comfortable environment. Prices for the noodles are reasonable whilst the dishes are a little on the pricey side. Go early as it is smack in a busy area without adequate parking spaces.
Restoran Goon Wah is located at Jalan Kuchai Jaya 3, just two traffic lights up from Wisma FGA in Kuchai Lama.
*All photos taken with the Iphone5, in between excited chatter of five hungry ladies.