When Marian called us up and said she wanted to buy A lil Fat Monkey a birthday dinner and Ciki a belated birthday dinner, we were all smiles. The smile grew bigger when she uttered the magic word.. Richwell. After reading about this place on Boo’s blog Masak-masak, we were salivating with anticipation!
Richwell Restaurant in Section 19, Petaling Jaya is famous for its sang har meen (freshwater prawn noodles) as well as a great selection of “classic” Teochew style comfort food. If I told you that Richwell’s Chef used to be the big man who ran the kitchen at Restoran Teochew Pudu, many local will go “Ahhh.. ” as the connection is made. This restaurant has since closed down.
Chef Kam, otherwise affectionately known as Ah Yau, now helms the kitchen at Richwell and he is such a cool character. This guy is not only a great chef, he’s a great wine drinker too! He is also friendly and smiles a lot and will sit and chat with you at the main table for ages, if you allow him.
First up, the Roast Pigeon.
Roast Pigeon or Chooi Pei Yu Karp is famous here. Smell the fragrant crispy skin and feel the smooth taut flesh between your teeth.. man, it’s better than sex! If you ask Chef Kam about his secret ingredients, he will tell you that sar keong fun (cekur powder) and rose wine are used in the marinade. Each pigeon weighs 500 grams and you will have to eat it Barbarian style (using only your hands and teeth) for maximum satisfaction. Attack and devour.
The Roast Pigeon costs RM35 for a whole one but you are normally served half a pigeon each.
Yam with Lai Pak Vegetables in Claypot
Ham Yee Far Lam ( Pork Belly with Salted fish)
Thai Style Glass Noodles with Crab
Let me just say that the menu is extensive here. But if you really do not want to waste anytime then we will point out for you that the chef’s specialties are the Sang Har Mee, Roast NZ Lamb Cutlet, Crabs with Salted Egg Yolk, Thai Style Glass Noodles with Crab, Teochew Fried Mee Sua, Claypot Fishhead and Yam with Lai Pak in Claypot. Apparently they also have the extremely popular Kampung Hainanese Chicken Rice in a Claypot, but you need to order this in advance.
We found all the various claypot dishes you see in the photos above, extremely well cooked and had distinctive aromas and flavours of their own. The fish was particularly fresh and had been swimming in the tank just a minute ago. It was a red garoupa this fish and very reasonably priced – around RM25 – RM45 depending on the size. Aside from the taut sweet flesh of the fish, there is also a wonderful surprise of soft, melt in your mouth foo chok (bean curd) at the bottom of the pot!
The Yam with Lai Pak was something I seldom get to eat, so it was really exciting and great as a vegetable dish. It made a change from the ordinary. The vegetable is priced between RM 15 – RM25 again depending on the size of the dish. The Ham Yee Far Lam and Claypot Glass noodles with Crab were superb as well. Not salty at all with lots of natural flavours coming through. I guess this is evidence of a great signature “Teochew” cooking style!
Dessert – sesame dumplings in a hot, hot ginger soup
Dessert – Teochew specialty, the Or-nee
The other Teochew dessert specialty that you can at Richwell is the super fattening Or Nee (yam dessert priced at RM20). We also got to sample the sesame dumplings in a hot, hot ginger soup which was delicious.
A word on the Or-nee. It looks harmless enough, but it is not.
The original version is meant to be sweet and it’s gorgeous smoothness in texture is due to the fact that it contains pork fats and syrup. Apparently how you do it is, you fry a piece of belly pork (with lots of fat) with garlic, then you add pieces of yam and ginkgo nut and cook until the whole combination is soft and swimming in a layer of oil. Then you pour in some thick sugar syrup to give the dish a more dessert-like feel.
Today, because people are getting more particular about the amount of fat they consume, the dish tends to be a little healthier. The cooked yam is mashed and mixed with gingko nuts before being cooked with sugar water until it forms a paste which should ultimately be so smooth that it goes down your throat like cream. Some restaurants still retain a piece of fatty meat or lard in the mixture and this helps to make it even smoother. Other places add pumpkin pieces to the mixture giving the taste a slightly different texture.
Finally Richwell has a wine cellar and carries a good selection of wine that goes with its chinese food. For those seeking a fuss free menu, this place offers a set menu at RM48 per person, that includes Fresh Scallop with Fish Maw Soup, Baked Prawn with Garlic Sauce, Braised Sea Cucumber and Pork Knuckle with Abalone Sauce, Sauteed Lotus Root with Celery, Teochew Fried Noodles and Lemon Sea Coconut. Wow, an excellent deal if you ask me!Add:
Richwell Restaurant, (next to Greenview restaurant)
24G & 26G Jalan 19/3, 46300 PJ, Selangor
Tel: 603-7955 5855