Saturday, October 13, 2007

Koh Family Restaurant, Puchong

Bustling restaurant began with humble roots

Koh Family Restaurant
1 Jalan Puteri 5/8
Bandar Puteri Puchong
Tel: 03-80619621
Business hours: Daily, (8am to 9pm); closed on the first and third Mondays of the month.

Simple home-cooked dishes are what many would long for after a hard day’s work.

Even better if there was someone to serve the meals and cook it in an unpretentious manner.

That is what patrons can expect to find at the Koh Family Restaurant in Bandar Puteri Puchong, which specialises in homemade food.

The outlet has a thriving business with lunch and dinner crowds who love the Teochew-style dishes. But it all started from the humble roots of a small stall at Batu Road in 1978.

Favourite: Lemon Chicken is among the delights available at the outlet.

“I was serving dishes like vinegar pig’s trotter and pig’s mesentery pepper soup. In fact, the vinegar pig’s trotter was not initially part of the menu as I was merely cooking it for mothers who had delivered.

“Gradually, people were beginning to ask me to include on the menu,” chief chef and current restaurant owner Joe Koh said.

Then they moved their operations to Taman Kinrara Puchong where they have been operating for the last 13 years.

Signature dish: Kerabu Black Pomfret combines fried fish with the sweet and sour tang of kerabu.

Koh’s brother has now taken over the business so Koh dedicates his time fully to his current ‘baby’ at Bandar Puteri, which he opened some two years back.

His famous vinegar pig’s trotter and pig’s mesentery pepper soup have followed him here too, which are a delight to his loyal regulars.

“Vinegar pig’s trotter is good for blood nourishment. The vinegar that we use is sweeter and comes from China.

“This is because if it is meant to nourish the blood, then the dish cannot be too sour,” Koh explained.

The pig’s mesentery pepper soup is a recipe from his mother. The broth comes filled with accompaniments of meat, tomatoes, and salty vegetables, infused with the evident aroma of white pepper.

“I learnt how to cook this from my late mum, who was from China,” Koh said, acknowledging that he had some 30 years of experience in the food line.

Koh’s wife Annie said the soup must be boiled for at least two hours so that it does not just draw out the full goodness, but also to rid the salty vegetables off the ‘wind’.

Sweet treat: One of the boiled desserts available at Koh Family Restaurant.
The pepper, she added, was bought in its raw form by the packet from Sarawak.

“We pound the pepper ourselves too. The same goes for the chillies used to cook our asam stingray fish,” she said.

The restaurant also prides itself for its signature drinks like Fruity Cincau and the Soursop Delight.

The cincau drink is given a twist with the addition of pineapple cubes and nata-de-coco jelly while a dollop of finely crushed ice sits atop the glass.

Bear in mind, however, that the Soursop Delight may not be available as Annie said the fruit is a seasonal one.

She also recommended Aloe Vera with White Fungus, as aloe vera is said to have properties that promote good digestion and detoxification, while rejuvenating and moisturising the skin.

Unassuming: The modest façade of the restaurant.

There are also one-person dishes like Fried Meehoon with Dried Prawns and Salted Fish, Black Pepper Rice Vermicelli, and Fried Kway Teow with Bitter Gourd.

“They are our signature dishes,” Koh said.

“I learnt how to fry the kway teow with bitter gourd from an old ‘sifu’ from China.

“Bitter gourd actually helps heal people with itchy skin,” he asserted.

Also unique are the various types of ‘tong sui’ (sweet savoury desserts) like barley gingko which they cook themselves and the assorted range of kuih-muih and fried meehoon which are supplied to them.

The kuih-muih and noodles are served for breakfast but they are still available throughout the day if not finished.

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