Of all different clans of Malaysian Chinese, Foo Jiu Nen are one of a kind. Fu Zhou in Mandarin, Fook Chow in Cantonese or Hock Chew in Hokkien. The early settlers of Hock Chew clan were clustered mainly in Sitiawan (Peninsular Malaysia) and Borneo (East Malaysia). So that's where we went for some pure Hock Chew dishes - Sitiawan. Well, of course we do not know much about what to order. Luckily we had a colleague who is a Sitiawan Hock Chew and all we have to do is pass the cellphone to the restaurant owner. Hence, I can assure you that the food intorduced below are 100% Hock Chew dishes.
Restoran - Restaurant
Bei King - Beijing (Bei - North, Jing - no idea)
Location - Sitiawan, Perak
Rating - Good
What have we ordered (or should I say our friend ordered)? Well we have (clockwise from top left) Hock Chew fried mix vege, salted egg fried chicken, tofu thick soup (tau fu kang), and red wine thread noodles (hong jau min sin).
I can't really make much of a comparison because I have not eaten a lot of Hock Chew dishes. But what I can say is the salted egg fried chicken provides a fragrant and rich aroma. The crispy rich flavours of salted egg coating is nicely blended with the soft succulent chicken meat inside.
I have tasted red wine thread noodles in another restaurant in Sitiawan, but I think this restaurant offers a more aromatic variety compared to the one I had. Usually thread noodles are easily soften, hence not many people like to eat. But I believe they must have some secret process, as the thread noodles here do not get soften easily. In fact they are quite tangy. The red wine is actually made of red rice grains. I have seen a lady made this at home. It seemed that the preparer must maintain serene and peaceful composure while processing the red wine. Otherwise, the wine will come out sour instead of sweet.
My favourite of all is the tau fu kang. I remembered when I was 8, my dad brought us to Teluk Batik for picnic. On our way back, my dad brought us to a Hock Chew restaurant. I am extremely bad at recalling my childhood memories, but the one thing I remeber most about the trip was tau fu kang. The soup is thick without a hint of smoke on top, but be careful there. It is because the soup is sooo hot that there isn't any smoke. But that aside, the clear soup taste of seafood and smell of tofu. I just love it!
What I like about Hock Chew dish are the fact they they are all aromatic and fragrant but not overwhelmingly strong. The taste may not linger in your mouth, but it certainly lingers in your heart.