There was once a wise man asked me “What is a great food?”. I was stunned with this question and not sure how to answer him. When I asked him back for the answer, his reply was: “No matter if you are eating in a very exclusive restaurant or in a very homey little hut, as long as the food brings you happiness, excitement or even makes you recall back the olden days, it can be considered as “Great Food“.
I like the definition of Great Food from this wise man. Recently I have found a place that reminds me the cooking back in those days. Those days I lived in Balik Pulau at my granny’s house. Our neighbour would always cook Hakka food for us. The taste of the food was so good and unforgettable and I thought I would have lost this taste forever after I moved to Georgetown, until I discovered Chia Fong Chieng restaurant recently.
Chia Fong Chieng restaurant has an eclectic ambience filled with personal collection of furnishings and plants. This is the slogan of this restaurant, a place you can find peace and serene within. To locate this place you might require some skills. If you are driving via one-way Burma Road where Union primary school is on your left, keep driving for around 400 meters and you will see Jalan Servis is on your right. Turn in and drive slowly. Keep an eye on your right and Chia Fong Chieng is slightly hidden with small signboard, just next to Mon Delice Patisserie.
Chia Fong Chieng Restauant is run by Mr. Choy and his daughter An An. This place is a home business and only operates upon receiving reservation. The interior decoration is classic with some antique furnishing. The restaurant will play some nice classical music in the background and it makes you feel like walking through the time tunnel and back to the past.
Besides the main dining area, there is also a mini bar set up just for some private function.
There is an air well that leads to the backyard of this restaurant. On the wall you can see some antique sculptures which enhances the olden feel of this restaurant.
The collection of antiques here are very nice and most of them are very valuable.
The serving of the seasoning where the soy sauce was served in a mini “tea pot” looks very unique.
Even the cutleries are also very classic, just like what we would use at our grandparents’ place.
Drunken Chicken (醉鸡) – The chicken was marinated in Chinese wine for some time and it was then cut into thin slices. This is a Shanghainese selection.
The tenderness of the chicken meat was so soft and it was packed with the aroma of “shoa xing wine”(绍兴). It is a simple yet tasty dish.
Stuffed Bean Curd (釀豆腐) – The bean curds and bitter gourd were cut into slices and stuffed with some minced meat. They were then deep fried and served with pork ribs broth. The soup was then completed with some wolf berries and spring onions.
The long hours of cooking the soup made it sweet and packed with flavours. The slight tenderness of the minced meat blended in well with the bean curd and bitter gourd.
Pork Knuckle Vinegar (猪脚醋) – The selected pork knuckles were boiled in black vinegar for long hours with some ginger, then touched up with some coriander.
Due to the long hours of boiling, the pork knuckles were so soft and succulent. The combination of the black vinegar with the pork knuckle was good. However, it is not my cup of the due to the knuckles were too fat and the proportion of the fat had overwhelmed the whole dish. As a health-conscious person, the ideal fat and lean meat ratio would be 30% and 70%. But again, traditionally people would prefer a more “high in collagen” version. 🙂
Pan-Fried Sourish Fish (酸味鱼) – The fish was cut into slices and pan fried with some black vinegar and soy sauce. It was then finished up with some spring onions and chili slices.
The sourish taste of this dish is kind of similar to the pork knuckle vinegar. The difference is this dish is more healthy and the taste of the fish is fresh.
Five Tastes Egg Plant (五味茄子) – The egg plant was stir fried with soy bean paste, a touch of sugar, some chili, black vinegar and sprinkled with some spring onions.
The reason this dish is called “5 tastes” is because once you placed the egg plant into your mouth, you will taste the slight saltiness, sweetness, sourish, spiciness and bitterness. It was a great dish.
Fried Green Dragon with Mushroom (青龙炒香姑) – A very simple green dragon veggie fried with mushrooms.
This dish was very healthy and clean. I love the freshness of the green dragon veggie. The “mouth bite” feel combining with the mushroom tasted very green just like running in a big green field.
Hakka Abacus Beads (算盘子) – The abacus beads were made from corn flour and yam, then pan fried with some black fungus, garlic and minced meat.
This is one of the traditional Hakka food and not many people can cook it right. However, the chef has managed to bring this classic food alive.
Chinese New Year Porridge (桂圆粥) – This is one of the Shanghainese dishes which will be cooked during Chinese New Year. The glutinous rice was cooked with starch added with some dried longan and slices of lotus root.
The taste of this dish was not too sweet. It was slightly starchy yet it was still a wonderful dessert.
Overall, the food here is nice. The taste of the food will bring you back memories to the olden days. The ambience is nothing fancy but classic. The price of the food is affordable with an average of RM30 per person depending on the dishes and portion. The only drawback is you need to pre-book your order as they will not accept walk-ins. The parking will be a big concern if you are here during working hour.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
|Price (more stars, more reasonable)|
|Private Room (Private Area)|
Operation hours: Only Available for Booking Only (Opens Daily)
Contact: (An An) 016 680 3300, (Choy) 012 571 1557
Address: 34, Jalan Servis, 10500 Penang.