Delectably deep-fried

Restoran Choon Sun,
3 Jalan Anggor, 4th Mile,
Off Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-782 229, mobile: 012-368 5164
Business hours: Closed on alternate Thursdays
Non halal.

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(GPS coordinates: N03 05.940 E101 40.602)

Don’t be discouraged by the humble look of Choon Sun.

WHEN Rif’s mother suggested a “really good assam fish place in Old Klang Road”, we immediately decided to head off to Choon Sun for dinner. Choon Sun is really a shack, with a zinc roof and a “kitchen” by the roadside – not that I’m complaining.

From the number of cars with Singapore number plates parked in front of the shack, Choon Sun is also popular with our neighbours. The place was crowded and the chef was rotund – a good sign, I thought. As a French restaurateur, the late Fernand Point, said, “If a cook is skinny, never eat his food”.

The Lotus Leaf Fish (RM28) is a must. The tilapia is first deep-fried until crisp, then wrapped in a large lotus leaf doused with assam gravy and topped with plenty of chopped onions. The chef then fries the lotus leaf parcel in a wok to allow the sauce to fully flavour the fish. We were pleased with the end result. The fish was cooked just right and paired nicely with the piquant sauce, made with fresh onions, chilies, belacan and assam juice.

Rif’s mother insisted that I try the Hong Siu Fish Head, but the lady who took our order said we wouldn’t be able to finish two large fish dishes. We got our way, but changed the fish head to a smaller sek pan/garoupa fish (RM28). The fish was deep-fried and braised in a thick, flavourful sauce of mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, snow peas, carrots, siew yuk and fried silken tofu. The flesh was smooth, sweet and firm, with no fishy smell or taste.

Another must-try is the nam yue pork ribs (RM24). I would have ordered a large portion if I had known it would be so good. Marinated with fermented bean curd (nam yue) and deep fried till crisp, it was incredibly moreish. The ribs were bursting with flavours – both its own and the flavour of the nam yue – and it had a most delicious layer of fat.

Choon Sun’s house special tofu is no ordinary tofu. The “tofu” is made from mashed white tofu and fish paste, shaped into thin sticks and deep fried till crisp. It tasted very good, especially when dipped into the sweetish chilli sauce provided. The only thing missing was an ice cold beer, which I had to refrain from ordering to finish all the dishes we had ordered.

All in, the food was hearty and the portions were decent. While some people find the ambience off-putting, I think it adds character to the place. I’ll definitely return to try more dishes such as the herbal chicken, kam heong clams, siong tong yuen choy and fried noodles. Choon Sun is located right next to Hup Hock Car Accessories, right before the turning into Taman Desa. Opposite the road is a Mazda showroom.

Tiong Sue Lynn blogs at www.bangsar-babe.blogspot.com and tweets at twitter.com/bangsarbabe


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