Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant
57-65 Jalan Verasamy
Tel. +60 (5) 2419348
Food type: Chinese
Food rating: 5/10
Nearest tube: –
(Editor’s note: Please note that the scoring of food in Malaysia is based on a linear scale)
Urgh! I have been so sluggish with my posts lately – perhaps it is the heat in Malaysia or that I simply do not enjoy blogging that much on my laptop. Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant, or more commonly known to the locals here in Ipoh as Mun Choong, is one of the more popular restaurants in Ipoh serving banquet style Chinese food. This is my review of the restaurant from my visit last Thursday.
As it is the custom, we started off dinner with Four Seasons consisting of Black Peppered Prawns & Mango, Braised Sea Cucumber and Sword Fish Paste with Bak Choi, Stir-fried Scallops with Water Chestnuts and Sugar-snap Peas, Yam Croquettes stuffed with Crab and Chinese ham & Stir Fried Peppers, Razor Clams and Enoki Mushrooms.
Fresh tiger prawns were deep fried was accompanied with fresh mango slices and served on the mango skin with an accompanying sweet black pepper sauce. I felt the prawns coped quite well with strong, robust flavours. The mangoes were perfectly ripe and sweet although in this instance, I would have preferred them to be slightly raw to provide a firmer texture and sourness to cut through the layers of flavours. (4/10)
Braised Sea Cucumber stuffed with Sword Fish Paste was correctly cooked which is important as it becomes mushy when overcooked and chewy when underdone. Despite the braising process, the flavours were not as intense as I had hoped. The bak choi were crunchy and juicy. (4/10)
Scallops were perfectly cooked and unlike many Chinese restaurants, was left slightly raw in the middle. The delicate scallops were well balanced with the water chestnuts and sugar-snap peas although the dish was slightly let down by the quality of the scallops themselves. (5/10)
Yam croquettes were light and fluffy yet subtly flavoured with the richness of the yam matched with the vegetable and crab stuffing.
I was unaware that there was trace amounts of crab meat stuffed in the croquettes and thus developed a rash soon after. (Thank goodness there was only a minute amount of crab, otherwise my dinner would have come to an abrupt end).The mushroom, clam and pepper stir-fry was pleasant enough with an interesting variation of textures. (5/10)
There was a good balance between dishes as well as variation of cooking techniques used and merits an overall score of 5/10. It has to be said though that the portions for the Four Seasons was enormous. With only 8 diners, there was enough food to feed 10.
Sharkfin and Crabmeat Soup
Next up was Sharkfin and Crabmeat Soup which I did not try. The soup is served with some Chinese black vinegar.
Beggar’s chicken is a dish with a story behind it. There are various stories of this dish, but each version of the story has it that a beggar got hold a chicken but had no tools to cook it with. In a moment of inspiration, the beggar wrapped the chicken with lotus leaves and covered it with mud before putting it on the fire. That cooking technique has been preserved and adapted through the ages. I was disappointed that the Beggar’s chicken here was not wrapped in lotus leaf which does add a flowery aroma to the dish. The chicken here was stuffed with black moss, dried oysters, mushrooms, whole cloves of garlic and Chinese herbs and baked. The result was a chicken that was moist and falling off the bone. Despite a lack of the aforementioned lotus leaf, the chicken was full of flavour. (5/10)
Last up was ‘Yin-yang’ Pomfret which was the restaurant’s signature dish. One side of the fish is fried while the other is steamed. I was quite disappointed with the rendition this time around as I felt that the fish was overcooked and dry. (2/10)
Unfortunately because the large portions we had to fore go one of my favourites – Steamed Freshwater Prawns with Ginger which the restaurant is famed for.
Overall, dinner at Pusing Public Restaurant was very enjoyable and despite the restaurant being packed to the brim, service was attentive and efficient. The cooking was pretty consistent throughout, and with the exception of the fish, all the dishes were very enjoyable. It was unfortunate however that the portion sizes were so large. Despite some of its shortcomings, Pusing Public Restaurant is consistently the best Chinese restaurant in Ipoh although such joys do come at a pretty penny.