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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Foong Foong (Yong Tau Foo) @ Ampang

When we speak of yong tau foo, the one that automatically comes to mind is none other than Ampang yong tau foo.   So, if one wants to partake in yong tau foo, Ampang is the place to head to as it's synonymous with good yong tau foo!  Even yong tau foo restaurants that are not situated in Ampang would have the word "Ampang" included somewhere as part of their restaurant's name! ;D

We came to this area looking for a wantan mee shop for our late breakfast but found it closed (actually not opened yet) and, so, ended up at Foong Foong @ Ampang instead.  This restaurant has been serving this Hakka delicacy for more than 3 decades and some will vouch that this is the real and original Ampang yong tau foo.  I've eaten here many times in the past (as well as the one next door, Orchard View Yong Tau Foo) but it has been quite a while since my last visit.

They focus on only one thing here and that is the yong tau foo and offer around 10 types of yong tau foo and none of those Hakka dishes that their competitors offer.  Each piece is very reasonably priced at RM1.10 if you consider the size of the yong tau foo.  Make your orders at the counter where the boss (or his son) is seated and they will broadcast your order over the microphone to the kitchen.

Obviously, at any yong tau foo place, the two most sought after yong tau foo items are none other than the Fried "Fu Chuk" (Beancurd Sheet) and Fried "Sui Kow"  (Dumpling).

And here is our order of 20 pcs of fried fu chuk and fried sui kow.  They also offer the sui kow in soup version.

Between the fried fu chuk and the fried sui kow, I definitely preferred the fried sui kow which tasted better.  It had a plump filling made up of a mixture of fish paste, ground pork, jicama and carrots...and the sui kow skin was very crispy.  On the other hand, the fried fu chuk was both a bit of a 'hit and miss' for me.  I liked that the fried fu chuk skin was crispy but the fish paste filling inside some of the fu chuk was scarce.  This made the fu chuk puff up with a lot of air inside (and collapse as can be seen in the 2nd pic), rendering it with a soft texture and not as crispy when you bite into it.

This was our plate of mix yong tau foo (10 pcs) with brinjal, ladies fingers, bitter gourd, soft tofu and tofu pok.  I made a request for more brinjal and no fish balls and fresh chillies. 

The brinjal and bitter gourd I absolutely loved and these were giant size.

The soft white tofu I didn't enjoy as much but the ladies fingers I did.  Again, I don't know where they find such large, fresh and very green ladies fingers...and the filling was plump too.

I quite like the broth that came with the mixed yong tau foo which I found to be not as oily as the one from O & S Restaurant (although the broth of the O & S one was more flavourful).

The yong tau foo is served with a chilli and sweet sauce.  The sweet sauce here has a tinge of red (like Ipoh ones) which I liked.

#A Side Story:
There was this elderly lady selling "bak chang" (glutinous rice dumplings) on foot.  She came by our table but we didn't want any.  It was a pity seeing an elderly lady (who wasn't walking that well to start with) having to carry a (heavy) tray of bak chang.  I asked my son to see if she managed to sell any but she (later) disappeared from his view.  A while later, she came back to our table and begged us to buy one since she didn't manage to sell any.  She said we looked like the ones who would most probably take pity on her and that was why she returned.  I told her that I specifically asked my son to look out for you too just to see if you sold any.

When I bought two, she was so grateful she kept thanking us and showering us with wishes of good health and prosperity.  She's just a lil' old lady and I did what little I could to help her along but the way she showed her gratitude really surprised us....kindness begets kindness, I suppose.

This was her bak chang @ RM5 each

Although the bak chang @ RM5 is smaller than the ones I've bought at the same price, the flavours were quite good.  It had a pc of not overly fatty pork, salted egg yolk, mushroom and black-eyed peas in it.  If I ever bump into her again, I would surely get some...or, if anyone else bumps into her, pass some business along her way coz her bak chang is quite good :)

My Personal Opinion

After 3 decades and countless servings of yong tau foo, this well-known place still continues to dish out very good tasting yong tau foo.  It's no wonder why it has remained so popular with locals and visitors alike.

Asking me to choose my favourite yong tau foo place is really hard coz it's like asking me who's my favourite child....asking those with more than one child who is their favourite child.  There are so many I like....this one, the one next door (Orchard View), O & S Restaurant, the Imbi one (rumours are that the owner used to work at one of the famous yong tau foo restaurants in Ampang)....and even some of the ones in my neighbourhood :)

I like different yong tau foo types at different places.  If it's fried fu chuk, it's O & S and Imbi, if it's sui kow, it's definitely O & S but Foong Foong has my vote when it comes to the other yong tau foo types purely because of its XL sizes.  I think the sizes of their yong tau foo are the biggest I've seen so far.
So, if you ever find yourself in Ampang town, do drop by to savour the 'real' Ampang yong tau foo (if you haven't already).  It's still one of the better ones around! ;) 

Restoran Foong Foong
621-A Jalan Merdeka
68000 Ampang
Selangor

14 comments:

  1. Are you the only one who thinks that they have been consistently good for the past 3 decades? I don't know, I think they are decent, but the quality has been deteriorating. Previously Ampang YTF used to be the indisputed Best in KL, now they slowly become only One of the Best in KL. If you think their filling now is plump, you would probably be overjoyed with their filling 10 or 15 years ago.

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    1. If you notice the sheer no. of customers that throng to this place, I'm obviously not the only one who thinks they're still good. Whether they're consistently good or the quality has deteriorated, I can't vouch for that as it has been a long time since I was last there plus I can't remember that far back ;D

      As with all food businesses, rising prices can cause the quality of ingredients to deteriorate...who says it doesn't happen to them are probably lying. I've eaten a lot of other YTF where the filling is not as plump but at prices more than RM1.10 a pc.

      It's difficult for eateries to stay as the undisputed best (with all the competition) but being among the best is good enough for me. Anyway, I've never been a believer that something can be the best coz so many components go into making a dish and one may not like each and every component the same. Plus, I've become more acceptable nowadays of eateries that have not been churning out the same quality food (but as long as they're still decent) coz the cost (and way) of doing business years ago and now is just not the same anymore.

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  2. Is this the famous Ampang yong tofu? Never been...but I do prefer mine in soup. That chang looks gorgeous, a far cry from one I had here the other day, so miserable. Post on that coming up soon.

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    1. Yes, this is the famous Ampang YTF but there are also quite a no. in Ampang that's pretty good too (especially the one right next door). And yeah, this bak chang was surprisingly good.

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  3. The last one I went to (which was years ago) is in SS2. I think they are called Ampang Yong Tau Foo. Don't know if they are still there. I used to frequent that shop on weekends. My favourite is always the bittergourd and brinjal. I have also been to one in Segambut which is supposed to be quite good but I can't remember the name.

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    1. I think I know which Ampang YTF you're referring to in SS2. I've seen it and the restaurant name was what actually attracted my attention...further cementing what I said in the first paragraph ;) but I've not gone in yet. The one in Segambut, I think that's the other famous YTF name....Ipoh YTF!

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  4. your side story is quite moving ... and the bak chang looks beautifully made and very well-stuffed with ingredients .. i'd be happy to buy several too...

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    1. Yes, she is such a nice lady...and showering us with so many good wishes some more when I just bought two. If I see her again, I'm sure going to buy more! ;)

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  5. The price RM1.1 per piece is good. Around my place, they are selling RM1.2 to RM1.3 per piece. I am really touched that you bought some bakchang from the old lady. How many did she still have after selling 2 to you?

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    1. My sentiments exactly...I've paid RM1.20 to RM1.30 a pc and the filling and size of the YTF was no where near as big as the ones here. Unfortunately, she still had a whole tray coz I don't think she sold any to the customers there.

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  6. I've heard of this place, but have not yet visited.

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    1. If you like to eat YTF (and cheap ones at that), this is a place you should try =)

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  7. and still with the microphone & speakers ordering system right? haha

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    Replies
    1. It's a time tested.....and effective method, I guess!

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