Monday, October 1, 2012

A slight hint of comfort - Putien @ Kitchener Road

And who knows where did she originally from...I was briefly told about our ancestors migration story, until now I wasn't sure where exactly was our root. All I know is growing up in a half Chinese family, food is a big deal. " Have you eaten yet" was my grandmother's way of saying hello when I visited her. And don't you dare answering " No, I haven't ", I promise, that would be the beginning of a big feast to come.
I was too ignorant to learn, Teochew dialect Chinese is used in our family. This might be a small clue that tells me that my ancestors were probably from somewhere South of China. Although I have just a few simple words of Teochew Chinese that my grandmother said often remain in my memories, the granny herself and the taste of her food, on the other hand, were subconsciously embedded in.
Just last weekend, I stepped into this restaurant that gave me a nostalgic moment of her.

Putien @ Kitchener road is one of chain restaurants that serve Heng Hwa cuisine, an uncomplicated, light yet flavorful goodness. Name Putien derived from name of a beautiful coastal town, Putian, in Fujian province, south of China. ( Now you can imagine seeing me that where she came from?? )
There are a lot of good looking dishes to choose from their Ala Carte menu. For us, a first timers, just to try them out , we opted for an all day set menu.

Braised shark's fin with crab meat and cordyceps
To start, it was a Braised shark's fin soup with crab meat and cordyceps. We are aware of a whiff of controversy around the soup, stronger especially on the West . Simply because of all concerns on sustainability and welfare the creatures, one could view this as an extinction in a bowl. In the East , the soup considered a luxury dish, however, frequent of seeing this dish served in fine Chinese restaurant became less and less as I grew up. We were somewhat surprised to see that this soup was included in the "set" menu in Putien.
Shark fins themselves normally are tasteless, just they are known for their textures of chewy, stringy while the taste comes from all other ingredients in the soup. We were happy to see that there wasn't much of the fins in the soup. The soup itself was pretty good. Cordyceps gave the soup extra fragrance and sweetness. Crab meat also gave additional textures and flavors to the soup. This dish reminded me so much of my childhood special meals on those very special occasions. Guilty as charged, we would  have to say this soup was pretty good.

Steamed prawns with minced garlic
The prawn was well cooked yet not chewy. Except the head I could eat all other parts of them. Sauce with minced garlic was wonderful, Salty with a little it of sweetness. I could have had it with plain rice or just about anything.

Shredded meat with bun
Putien's spice Mum chilli sauce
Shredded meat with bun was simple. It could be way too bland to our taste without the help of Putien's special chilli sauce. The sauce itself has slight tangy and spicy flavor which is great with seafood. I experimented it with the bun dish. Good addition I think!
Sauteed spinach
According to the menu, this one supposed to be Spinach with salted egg & century egg with supreme stock but since one of us doesn't take pleasure of the taste of century egg so we asked the restaurant to prepare for us just simple sauteed spinach. It's plain. I think I'll try one with eggs next time.

Mea sua - simple with a touch of nostalgia
Mea sua. I think the fact that it was an unpretentious simple noodle dish, it brought back a memories of my grandmother's home cook meal. Mea sua or longevity noodle is a type of Chinese noodle made from wheat flour. It is as easy to cook as instant noodle but the trick of a good bowl is with the soup. The soup here was rich broth which complimented very well with a plain noodle and others ingredients in it. So good.

Complimentary dessert
Last was the Jelly with fruit dessert. Nice & refreshing. The Jelly had subtle taste of lemongrass which made it interesting. Though I think you can get this type of dessert pretty much at any hawker center in Singapore.

We like the restaurant overall. Just now that I'm writing about it, I realize that we missed to try quite a few of their signature dishes, eg Bamboo herbal prawn, Putien sweet & sour pork with lychees. Having said that, we probably would make our way back there again sometime.

Putien @ Kitchener Road
127 Kitchener Road
Singapore 208514
+65 62956358

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