Missing home? Especially mum’s home cooked food? Or rather, raving and craving for good Chinese food sans the whole MSG affair?
Fret not, because there’s this hidden gem which both gNOMes would flock to if the cravings arise. So should you! 😀
Originated from Singapore in 1991 and expanded their stores to Malaysia, Soup Restaurant, of course, takes pride in their own concoction of beautifully brewed Chinese soup. Nevertheless, in order to cater to the vast range of customers, Soup Restaurant also throw in a variety of close-to-heart home cooked Chinese dishes.
Kick start the meal with a warm mug of brewed Homemade Chrysanthemum Tea (RM4.00). Brewed just nice, with an aromatic flavour and soothing to the gullet.
Samsui Ginger Chicken (RM39.90/RM75.90). One of Soup Restaurant’s best sellers. This unique Chinatown cuisine is Soup Restaurant’s heritage treasure and is prepared in the same traditional way as the Samsui Lady did in the olden days. The Samsui women refers broadly to a group of Chinese immigrants that immigrated to Singapore between 1920s and 1940s in search of jobs.
Due to their poverty state, they can only afford to have the Samsui Ginger Chicken once a year, during the Chinese New Year. Chicken is usually steamed without any seasoning, and dipped into ginger sauce prior to consumption.
At Soup Restaurant, patrons are able to relish their palates in this delicacy, relieving the good old times the Samsui women had.
The chicken prepared just nicely. The texture of chicken bathed tastefully in their natural fats. The ginger is also to die for. Soup Restaurant takes the selection of chicken and gingers very seriously, hence one might find that requesting more ginger paste comes with additional cost. However the chicken in Jaya Shopping Mall would be the more affordable one, unlike in One Utama and Singapore, where it is slightly higher in quality and more costly. Nevertheless, still friendly to the palate.
What’s Soup Restaurant WITHOUT SOUP?
Clockwise from top :
Double-Boiled Waisan & Ginseng Roots with Chicken Soup (RM17.90)
Double-Boiled Dried Scallop with Black Chicken Soup (RM23.90)
Double-Boiled Tien Chee with Chicken (RM19.90)
[Left] Double-Boiled Waisan & Ginseng Roots with Chicken Soup (RM17.90)
[Right] Double-Boiled Dried Scallop with Black Chicken Soup (RM23.90)
Let’s just say, there is a real reason they are called “Soup Restaurant”. Forget about having MSG-laden salty soup. This is the stuff your mother makes at home. This is double-boiled with super fragrance and flavor. Yums!
Steamed Hand-chopped Minced Pork with Salted Egg (RM18.90).
Steamed Hand-chopped Minced Pork with Water Chestnut (RM18.00).
Both dishes were painstakingly “hand chopped“, and only 30 servings are prepared a day. They say that high-quality meat tastes a little more springy when minced, but gNOMe 1 prefer his minced meat less springy and a little more “crumbly”. Very smooth texture and rich porky flavour. If that is your thing, then you will love it.
Tofu Prawns (RM35.90) and Mantou (RM9.90 for 8 pieces). The egg gravy is made with only 3 simple ingredients : eggs, tomatoes and chilli sauce. Robust in flavour and taste, the combination of fresh prawns and egg gravy is set to delight one’s palates. Order the hot fried mantou to go with this dish, dip it in the chili crab-esque gravy and enjoy a comforting bread dish.
Hometown Fried Fish Belly With or Without Chilli (RM23.90). gNome 1 generally doesn’t like fish belly, but this was HOLY COW!! The marination and sauce was perfectly done, the texture of the fish belly fried to perfection, crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. Pop one into your mouth and find yourself going back in for more. One of the winners alongside the soup.
Traditional Boiled Soup of the Day (RM9.90 – 1pax; RM22.90 – 2 to 4 pax; RM39.90 – 5 pax & above). The soup we had on that day was the Chinese Lotus Root soup, a soup which is close to both gNOMes heart. And Soup Restaurant just did the soup justice, just exactly how we loved it.
Ah Por (less ginger) / Ah Kon (more ginger) Ginger Fried Rice (RM17.90). This dish is actually better than it looks, as the gNOMes are generally just partial towards ginger. The more ginger, the better for us! The presentation could use some work, nevertheless this is a decent comfort dish to have.
Penang Fried Mee Suah (RM17.90). Fairly decent for fried noodles, however it paled in comparison to all the other good food on display that day. It’s like standing beside your incredibly good-looking cousin and thinking you look bad, if you get our drift 😛
Ah Kon Fan Shu Leaves (RM15.90). Sweet Potato leaves, fried in sambal. The sambal paste was pretty good, however on that day the vegetables happen to be a little too old, which took a little of the joy out of what was an otherwise well-cooked dish.
New Zealand Venison with Ginger & Spring Onion (RM27.90). This was a really really nice dish, so nice that the gNOMes couldn’t believe it didn’t contain any MSG. This was like the icing on the cake, sufficiently peppery and the meat was cooked to perfection. MUST TRY.
[Left] Sea Coconut with Longan (RM7.90); [Right] Double-Boiled Snow Fungus with Gingko (RM8.90).
What you would expect from a chinese dessert: Thirst-quenching, washes down the meal nicely with a mix of sweet and tangy goodness. Our favourite? The Sea Coconut with Longan thanks to the bits of lemon in it. Very refreshing with a twang of the lemon zest after a scrumptious meal.
Herbal Jelly (RM7.90). Surprisingly this wasn’t as good as expected. To be honest it did taste like pudding rather than proper Herbal Jelly. The bitter taste of the herbs wasn’t apparent, which unfortunately made the dessert lose its soul.
Double-Boiled Pear with Snow Fungus & Almonds (RM8.90). The gNOMes didn’t exactly enjoy this one as it was just rather plain. But hey, each to his/her own. 🙂
Verdict : A good and underrated restaurant that somehow due to public perception and generation gap has not quite managed to replicate their Singaporean successes. Give it a try, and rediscover home cooking. Tasting the food at Soup Restaurant, the gNOMes realized just how frighteningly high the average Malaysian salt intake is. Don’t let the rather old-fashioned design put you off nor the name ‘Soup Restaurant’, give it a whirl and you are in for a surprise 😀
How to get there :
Address : Lot 3-12, Level 3, Jaya Shopping Centre, Jalan Semangat, Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya.
Opening Hours : Daily. 1000 hours till 2200 hours.