Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ah Koong (Fish Ball Noodles) @ Pudu

Ah Koong Restaurant @ Pudu is a well-known fish ball noodle specialist that has been around since 1987.  They claim that their fish balls are made from pure fish paste and contain no preservatives. 

The place is air-conditioned (for added comfort) and once you find your table (and your table no.), proceed to the front of the restaurant to order your noodles and select the preferred (or additional) ingredients that you want.

There's a wide variety of items that you can add on to the various types of noodles of your choice.

From fish/meat balls to fish/prawn cakes to various stuffed items ("yong tau fu") like stuffed brinjal (eggplant), chillies, bitter gourd, ladies fingers, wantans, etc..... more premium items like oysters, clams, abalone, prawns and many types of fish slices.

One of the favourite things that I like to add is the fish skin wantans (centre left of pic).  These are just like wantans but wrapped in a skin made from fish paste instead of the normal wantan wrappers.  I just love fish skin wantans...they are oh-so-soft and oh-so-yummy!
The most common way to eat fish ball noodles is, of course, to eat it in a soup version.  This is the fish ball noodles (kuey teow) @ RM7 a bowl.  It comes with fresh and fried fish balls, fish cake slices, fish paste, seaweed, fried "fu chuk" (bean curd sheet) and lettuce.  The fish paste are those tiny little morsels of fish that you find floating in your clear broth which were quite delightful.

You can also opt for the dry tossed wantan mee @ RM7 where it's tossed in a dark soy/oil combination and the addition of crispy "chee yau char" (pork lard bits) lent a hand to make it more tasty (trust me, you can't see it but you'll find it at the bottom of the bowl). 

The dry version has an accompanying soup that is served separately. 

This meehoon/mee curry version @ RM7.50 is passable though it's not as thick or flavourful as I would have liked.  The version here is much thinner and lighter, with very little "santan" (coconut milk), and would appeal to those who like a less subtle curry. 

There's also a tom yam option and porridge (if you like) though I've not tried them before. 

Some of the fried items that I picked were fried tofu puffs, fu chuk, spring rolls and fish and prawn cakes.

My favourite was the fried tofu puffs @ RM2/pc which had a generous filling inside.  The chopped "yin sai" (Chinese parsley) lent a certain fragrancy to the fish and meat filling that made it even better.  The fried fish cake @ RM4.90/pc was springy and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  The crunchy fried bean curd was RM1.50/pc.

The fried prawn cakes @ RM6.50/pc is very similar in texture to the fish cakes.  The fried spring rolls @ RM8/pc, on the other hand, was my least favourite.  The rolls which tasted very much like "lor bak" (marinated minced meat in thin soybean sheets) was bland in taste except for the overpowering five-spice powder seasoning.
They also sell their homemade Prawn Crackers @ RM10 a pack.  Inside, you will find 5 individual packets, with 3 large slices of prawn crackers in each packet, which is so convenient. 

Although, taste-wise, it's just's the nostalgia and memories it brings which transports me back in time.  I remember waiting eagerly for the bell to ring for recess and running to the school canteen as fast as I could to get one of those large keropoks and slather it with a watery chilli sauce and, though it was something very simple but to a kid back then, it was awesome.....those were the days!

My Personal Opinion

Fish and any of its 'by-products' are among my favourite things to eat.  So, this fairly good fish ball noodles would definitely appeal to me and, moreover, it's a healthy breakfast choice.  If you have young children who love fish balls, this is just the place for them!

I also like the variety of yong tau fu and fried stuff that we can choose as side orders as well, though it can get quite pricey if you choose the premium items.

Likes:  The ability to enjoy fish ball noodle soup, fried tau fu pok, fish skin wantans and fried fish/prawn cakes, in comfort, says it all!

Dislikes:  The fried spring rolls (lor bak) and (to a smaller degree) the curry noodles.

Restoran Ah Koong Eating House
172 Jalan Changkat Thamby Dollah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2143 3477

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