Two weeks ago, I’ve not even heard about this restaurant. Not until Boo_licious splendidly wrote about it on her blog. I left a comment on how her post has gotten me salivating for a meal there. Lo and behold, two days later, I received a call from Marian who wanted to treat Ciki and I both to a birthday dinner there, as if my heart’s desire were magically heard by a kind fairy godmother. Dinner was great and I swore to go back very soon. Little did I know just how soon it would actually be. Two days following to that earlier dinner, I found myself back at Restaurant Richwell as Ah Pa and the Queen pre-celebrated my birthday with McCutie, Mrs. FBB and GFAD in tow. These guys really know the way to a monkey’s heart.
Hmmm, there are a little too many “two”s in that paragraph eh?
Both of the dinners started with the Crispy Skin Roast Pigeon. It’s an excellent introduction of what to expect for the rest of our meal. The layer of skin has been well marinated, air-dried and roasted until it is paper thin and crispy. Not to mention the delicious and lovely golden brown colour it had on that could possibly rival Ciki’s sun-kissed tan. However, the skin wasn’t the best part, pick the whole bird up with your hands and rip its juicy yet firm flesh apart with your teeth. This Flinstonian way of eating has done nothing but heighten the entire eating experience. Skip the spiced-salt dip and enjoy the bird as it was. I overheard a little one on the next table enjoying crunching its crispy head between his juvenile teeth too.
The first dinner I had here was one filled with pots. Every dish we ordered that evening happens to come in a claypot. Pot after pot the air around us was quickly filled with the wonderful aromas that were bursting out upon lifting the lids off these cauldrons. These heavenly perfume can only be a result of cooking food using claypots, which have been submerged in water 15-30 minutes prior to cooking and then placed over high heat. The walls of the pot help to diffuse the heat and releases the soaked up water as steam when the pots heat up. This traditional method of cooking allows the food cooking inside to retain most of its moisture, creating a tender and flavourful dish. In Chinese cuisine, claypot dishes are also considered healthier and lower in fat as no or very little oil is added. And unlike boiling, nutrients are not leached out into the water.
A simple dish which epitomise this cooking style is the Claypot Red Tilapia with Beancurd Skin. Using only basic ingredients like ginger, garlic, spring onion, premium soy sauce and a few dash of Chinese cooking wine to flavour the fish, which has been braised fresh from the tank with no prior frying or steaming needed. Chef CY Kam, formerly of Pudu’s Teochew Restaurant fame, also employs this cooking technique into a wide variety of dishes namely his specialties like the silky smooth Claypot Yam with Lai Pak, a fragrant and appetizing Claypot Pork Belly with Salted Fish and a unique peppery-tasting Claypot Crab with Glass Noodles.
Chef Kam’s repertoire seems endless, from high end seafood dishes right down to simple everyday dishes, he seems to be able to pull anything off his kitchen. He even managed to make the humble Lemon Chicken to taste out of this world. Everybody, especially McCutie, loved the crispy chicken cutlets rolling in a sweet and tangy lemon-plum based sauce.
Another must order if you like your pork chunky and fatty, is the GLORIOUS Tung Poh Yuk. It’s really pointless for me to tell you how divine this porcine dish is, so I’ll jump right to part where I find it creative of them to serve it with crispy rice crackers. There were not only perfect to soak up all the sweet sauce but they are also less filling then the regular serving of Chinese buns (mantou).
After so many hits, I must say that the much hyped about Sang Har Noodles was a small-teeny-weeny bit of a letdown. Don’t get me wrong, it was good by most local Chinese restaurant’s standards but after reading Fatboybakes and Boo_licious raving reviews, I’m afraid to say that I didn’t ascend high onto prawnography heaven (I wonder if that is up in the sky or deep down in the ocean?). I actually preferred Uncle Prawn’s version which uses pure egg noodles. The sauce however was silky smooth and decadently screaming of prawn roes. A variety of vegetables dishes are also available here.
Desserts here are not any less of a wonderful experience. But, if you only have space for only one sweet dish to finish off your feast, make it the Or Nee (yam paste with gingko nuts and topped with sweet pumpkin). Richwell’s version of this Teochew favourite was authentic with a little twist, they added some orange rind to give this often rich dessert a much needed zing and dimension. Speaking of zings, I’m honoured to be presented with one of Fatboybake’s newly created cakes – Lemon Yogurt Velvet with Passionfruit Curd (order HERE). I’m proud to say that this cake is 100% a Fatboybakes creation and has since scored high on my list of favourite cakes. One must try it for its light texture and delicious passionfruit curd (wonders if he sells it on its own – perfect with toast!). And just remember to remind him when exactly your birthday is or you’ll get a “belated birthday” message before your actual birthday. But as they always say, it’s the thought that counts! So along with Ah Pa, I’d like to thank my BFF and Marian for treating me to such wonderful meals right before I turned 30 and for the wonderful company.
A meal at Richwell is quite reasonable and they are currently offering super valuable set menus starting from RM45/person (for two pax and above) for lunch which includes fresh scallops, baked prawns, braised sea cucumber and lots more. So, who says you’ve got to be rich to eat well eh?
24G & 26 G, Jalan 19/3,
(close to Rothman’s Roundabout)
Tel: +603-7955 5855
Business Hours: Open daily for lunch at 11:00am til 3:00pm and dinner from 5:30pm til 11pm