Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Mia's Food Tasting Review: Wan He Lou (萬合樓)

Last week, I was really honoured to be invited for a bloggers' food tasting session held by Wan He Lou via Street Directory. And I also got Oyhz and Finaldust along to share the calories yummies!

 Located at the heart of Jalan Besar, and conveniently right opposite Jalan Besar Plaza (Fret not, drivers! There's ample parking spaces! Per entry in the evenings too!), Wan He Lou is actually quite easily accessible on foot from both Lavender and Farrer Park MRT Stations. The restaurant management advised that Farrer Park will be a more straightforward (hence, 'safer') choice, but we actually strolled back to Lavender Station very easily in about 15 minutes' time.


We were actually the first to arrive, on the dot at 11am sharp when they open, and just went on a crazy phototaking spree!


 A feature wall of the photographs taken when our local artistes visited the restaurant.

And I love these bird-cage lanterns so much! 

Okay, let's get on to the food, shall we?


Fresh Vegetable Juice - $3.50

I know, this vibrant shade of green with almost half the glass of 'pulpy remains' aren't exactly the most appealing drink you'll find. But believe me, this is the yummiest green drink you can ever find. Oyhz loved it so much, she went for a second one! 
A yummy blend of pineapples, sour plums and cai xin, you'll actually taste the pineapples and sour plums in spite of the strong green colour. A really icy refreshing drink that tickled my tastebuds and boosted my appetite.

 Crispy Lotus with Salted Egg (S) - $11.90

Each piece of the lotus is sliced till nearly paper thin, deep fried till golden brown and then generously coated in salted egg. If you're a fan of both fried lotus chips AND salted egg yolk flavour, you definitely have to order this! This dish is more of a light snack instead of a main dish and I strongly recommend that you try to finish it up as soon as it gets served, for as the dish gets cold, it loses some of its crispiness as well.

Pan Fried Kurobuta Pork (S) - $14.90

If you're still a stranger to kurobuta, it's actually Japanese for Black (kuro) Pork (buta). The main reason why kurobuta is much more 'raved' and popular as compared to their pink counterparts is due to the fact that the meat is actually much more tender and has very much less of the commonly hated (in individuals who doesn't enjoy eating pork) 'pork smell'.
I really love this dish, even though I myself is also a pork-hater, for the meat is really tender and it has a savoury-sweet flavour, a perfect dish to go with a bowl of piping hot rice! :)

Qing Long Cai / Green Dragon Vegetable with Dried Shrimps (S) - $9.90

I know, $9.90 for such a small servings of vegetables sounds kind of pricey. But this is actually not just any vegetables you can find in the supermarket. These Qing Long Cai are specially brought in from Cameron Highlands, and grown in limited sunlight by having them covered in nylon nettings after their first cut at about 6th week's growth.
They look a lot like garlic chives, but is crunchier, sweeter and more succulent in taste. It does have a mild 'typical chive smell', but I didn't taste the distintive 'chive taste' as I ate these greens. Perhaps the dried shrimps have masked the dreaded 'chive taste', or it's just how the Qing Long Cai is supposed to be. Nontheless, the addition of dried shrimps really complemented this dish really well. The strong salty flavour of the dried shrimps really brought out the crisp sweetness of the greens and the perfect combination of both sweet and savoury taste just made this vegetable a must try of the restaurant.

Hokkaido Scallop with Hawthorne Sauce & Asparagus (S) - $20.90


Yup, there's 5 big fat Hokaiddo scallops you see there, drenched generously in sweet hawthorne sauce spiced up with cut chilli. I abosolutely loved the asparagus (yes, an asparagus-lover here). Unlike many other restaurants, which tend to mix young and old asparagus together, this entire plate only has young, tender asparagus that was cooked till just the right time to keep its soft crunch and natural sweetness, yet absorb enough of the hawthorne sauce's flavour. Sounds complicated, eh? Well, you just have to try them out for yourselves.

And finally, how can we miss out Wan He Lou's specialty?

 Signature Lobster Porridge - $29.90 onwards (serves 2)
According to the restaurant's management, each order, which serves 2, comes with 1 lobster (halved).

And the first thing that the server did while serving us the porridge was to remove all the lobsters from the hot porridge onto separate plates so as to prevent the lobsters from getting overcooked.

And as you can see, the porridge is in Teochew style with the rice still maintaining their grain forms and all the essence from the lobster locked into the thick, flavourful soup. I know the Cantonese congee is commonly more popular than the Teochew muay due to the perception that the congee is more flavourful and rich, having to cook the rice with all the ingredients for long hours. But tell you what, having been fed Teochew muay since young, I really do appreciate a good one when I find one.
This is definitely not those 'short-cut' kind at the hawker centres with just hot tasty soup poured over ready cooked rice and served straight away with the rice still tasteless and hard (at least it didn't taste like so to my tastebuds), but really cooked in the flavourful soup until the grains further soften, which allows flavour to develop not just in the soup but also in the rice itself. This is the kind of Teochew muay my mother and grandma has been cooking for me since young! But of course with only ikan billis or a few pieces of dried scallops, duh.

(The lobster is too big for my bowl... T.T)

The soup is simply awesome! This just has to be the best comforting food you can ever find that is rich yet not overpowering, and enhanced with the fresh sweetness of the lobster roe that complements the overall savoury flavour of the porridge. The soup was so delicious, that we kept refilling our bowls with the soup and leaving lots of the grains behind. The lobster was also fresh and well done, the meat thick and chewy from the freshness.
An award winning dish indeed!

To end the food tasting, the restaurant management also served us some desserts, Beancurd & Lychee pudding with Ice Cream, to refresh our tastebuds.

 And guess what? Wan He Lou is also having a weekday Lunch Buffet promotion (as featured in Cheap and Good Ep 7) with 14 items on the menu for you to eat to your heart's content at just $17.90!
Their Signature Lobster Porridge was also featured in Stules: Check-In S3 Ep 10.

For more information, visit Wan He Lou's website HERE and their Facebook HERE

Till then,
Mia

18 comments:

  1. wow! beautiful cage lanterns! i wonder if i would like the lotus chips. haven't tried that before but it definitely looks yummy!

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    Replies
    1. you definitely have to try them because they're so addictively yummy!

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  2. wat!!!!
    crispy lotus? they made as a cuisine?
    omg so unique..
    how it taste ? haha
    must be very funny .. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's very very yummy! it's not the lotus flower, but the lotus root. basically the root itself is tasteless so it tasted like some salted egg yolk flavoured chips.

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  3. Lobster porridge sounds delish!! =D Hope I could try some too! =D

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  4. Great place ! I am so tempted to eat the lotus with salted egg.. your photo makes it very yummyy..

    Keep in touch ya. :)
    www.smallnhot.com

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  5. What a feast! That green juice looks amazing, sounds like a great restaurant! <3 GIGLove

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  6. The food here looks gorgeous and the green drink looks so healthy. You've taken great photos. The lobster dish makes me smile.

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  7. food looks delicious! also that juice increased your appetite? first time ive heard that

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  8. Crispy lotus? it look nyummy lol . How it taste? sweet?
    MISS IKA'S BLOG

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  9. I love food tasting events. It really gives you the power to make or break an upcoming restaurant 😊

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  10. The food looks delicious. I would love to try the soup. :)

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  11. The food looks so delicious! My stomach is rumbling here :D Lots of GIG love :)

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  12. The place looks very nice :D
    The lotus slice looks like puppy's paws xD so cute!
    Curious about their tastes :D
    Thanks for sharing ^^
    VISIT MY BLOG<3

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  13. Seems like a lovely place to eat! Everything looks delicious <3

    GIG Love

    New Post - xoxo Chaicy - Style..A Pastiche!

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  14. i still love cantonese porridge because I love thick and rich food...like creamy pasta,eggy noodle and thick gravy!!hahaha

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  15. Oh wow! It looks fab! I could eat there everyday :-)

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  16. Great pictures! The food looks delicious, I'm curious with how the crispy lotus taste .

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