As we Malaysians become more prosperous, so does our taste in food. Gone are the days when the average Chinese family was happy with or could only afford the nearest stir-fry 'dai chow' down the road. These days, even big families afford to eat out at swanky new restaurants. Sensing the opportunity, in come more franchises into the market like Putien!
Taking a small step into our shores from Singapore, Putien opened its first restaurant in the newly-renovated 1 Utama Old Wing last year. Since then it's been non-stop crowds every weekday and weekend! This photo was taken just before closing, hence the absence of people. =P
Compared to Soup Restaurant, Putien's interior isn't as elaborate, but it's definitely brighter and has a less cluttered feeling overall. Tables also feel slightly bigger, which makes it easier to put more food! (Very important for big eating families like mine =P).
Putien prides itself on being a pioneer of sorts in true blue Heng Hwa cuisine. The restaurant had humble beginnings as a small restaurant 11 years ago but has now expanded to cover much of Singapore and is now moving into nearby regions.
Recipes at Putien are familiar yet different, like this Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees (RM 18.90). It sounded like something special on paper, but turned out to be just like ordinary sweet and sour pork. Perhaps the presence of only one lonely lychee was a contributing factor. At least the pork was crispy when served, but got soggy very quickly, possibly because of the strong air-conditioning.
On the other hand, the Spinach with Salted Egg & Century Egg in Supreme Stock (RM 18.90) was a much better version of the usual spinach-in-soup! The generous usage of salted egg and century egg made the stock-soup absolutely irresistible and creamy (not to mention sinful), which of course ensured the spinach was slurped down to the last strand. =D
Another homely favourite? This Claypot Chicken in Fermented Red Rice Wine (RM 18.90). Those who love this dish should be impressed with Putien's version - the smell of wine is very strong and fragrant when served, and what is suspected is indeed confirmed at first taste. But don't worry; the taste of wine wasn't so strong as to overpower the tender chicken flavour. We did wish we had ordered a bowl of rice, because it would have gone very well together.
We didn't have rice because at Putien, noodles takes centre stage! We each ordered one noodle, necessary because each one looks so different from another. This one was the Stewed Sweet Potato Noodle (RM 14.90) - a plate of chewy noodles with a ton of different ingredients nearly too numerous to count!
There was everything from peanuts to celery and tau fu, not forgetting seaweed, mushrooms, and cabbage. Definitely not our recommendation if you're a picky eater, since it's near impossible to separate it all out! Besides, everything should be eaten together to enjoy a yummy slurpy mish-mash of flavours. =D
If dry noodles are more your cup of tea, then give the Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon (RM 15.90) a go! There was a lot of rice vermicelli (mee hoon) and not as much toppings for our liking, but we must give credit for how fine the mee hoon was. And if the mee hoon feels a bit dry, just have it with a bit of the accompanying chilli sauce for an instant improvement! We loved this tangy and spicy chilli dip at each table.
But while the sweet potato noodle and the mee hoon was good, the star of the night was undoubtedly the Putien Mee Sua (RM 15.90)! Just like the mee hoon, it was a combination of everything from egg, mushroom, celery, dried scallops, seaweed, shallots, prawns, meat-that-we-think-was-pork, etc! But unlike the mee hoon, the mee suah was nowhere as dry, and the toppings were definitely more plentiful here. The taste of everything together was wonderful, rivalling even the best mee sua I've had in Singapore, because Putien's version is less oily and clearer. 2 Thumbs Up! =D
With the great dinner we had at Putien, it would have been a shame to have left without trying their dessert menu as well. And so we picked a few to try. The first was this Pumpkin Cream with Ice Cream which came highly recommended. This was a hot cream of pumpkin with an island of coconut ice cream topped with a droplet of pulut hitam and chopped peanuts - thick and pleasant, we had to eat it up quickly for that lovely mix of hot and decadent pumpkin cream against the sweet ice cream.
The second was this Glutinous Rice Balls in Peanut Soup (RM 6.90). The soup was clear and had a great homemade feel to it, and the glutinous rice balls were done well with ample filling. This was more Wendy's kind of thing than mine, but we both agreed that we'd rather have the other more interesting desserts at Putien!
Wendy's favourite of the night was the Hot Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts (RM 6.90). She was so delighted that she'd found some in KL because she remembered last having it years ago in Singapore! Traditionally made with lard, we suspect Putien's version omits it but still remains that original lush texture and natural yam flavours. Best shared because it can get too much for one person!
Even tea deserves a mention at Putien, because they serve Premium Tie Guan Yin (RM 7.90)! Obviously a very expensive price for a cup of tea (one my mother was not willing to pay for), but one we think is worth the cost. The tea leaves are placed in a separate strainer, so each refill of water can drain through the leaves to ensure a rich aroma and flavour every time!
All in all, we can see now why the queues are so long in front of Putien. Space and serving size isn't that optimal for the typical Chinese family of above 10 members, but great for smaller get-togethers. We would be joining that queue too even if they only served that one mee sua dish! But since there's a whole lot of other variety here, it gains even more points in our eyes. Definitely a place we will keep on our recommendation list. =)
Putien | Facebook
Lot G213A, Ground Floor
1 Utama Shopping Centre (Old Wing)
Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya,
Tel: +6 03 7722 1539
Tel: +6 03 7722 1539
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am-10pm