It was an all of a sudden thing. Chatting on Facebook and it led to both of us talking about food and hunger pangs and the fact that I did not go to the gym that day led us to this Cu Cha Dan Fan. I have been there when they first opened in 2008, twice in fact and I did find the food nice although I must say the second time I went there something triggered my sensitive stomach and I got sick. Not food poisoning or anything like that just a sick feeling.
My friend Chia Chen translated Cu Cha Dan Fun as humble food. I think this is what a lot of restaurants are doing nowadays. Making humble food more glorious.
So for some reason I mentioned it and Kress perked up and decided we had to go there. Now this restaurant is one of those that is set up very sparsely, with zero effort for ambiance but it is always packed during lunch time and even when we went at dinner time that day. One downer is that the owners only speak Mandarin and two years ago when they just opened, unless you could read and speak Mandarin, you would not know what you were going to eat so it was quite comforting to know that since then Cu Cha Dan Fun has progressed and printed out menus with names and photos. It made a lot of sense and especially since I realized Kress spoke no Mandarin, unless you count him smiling and nodding his head as part of the language.
Anyhow we ordered with the Stir Fried Mutton slices with spring onions, Chicken Cashewnut and Tea Mushrooms in Szechuan Sauce.
It was a rather daunting feeling for me because I could not imagine a Chinese joint cooking mutton without retaining the smell especially if they use frozen mutton, so I was only hoping for the worst. I have had mutton cooked in different places and the results were devastating. It was like the cut a sheep and threw it out onto the table, because the smell was just shocking. So we waited in anticipation because I did tell Kress about my reservations.
Mutton came, and taste taste we did, and I was so wrong! It was tender, it was flavorsome, it did not have a mutton smell, and it had the right amount of flavoring that it did not overpower the meat or the taste of the gravy. It was really nice. Succulent as well I might add. The spring onions were not overpowering or not overly used to cut cost.
Next came the Tea Mushrooms with Szechuan Sauce. This was something a little different. To me it was a little like Kim Chi for some reason, a little too spicy for my liking but it would have gone well with rice. So eating it on it’s own was not the right thing to do. I have never tasted Tea Mushrooms before. It was obviously dried and stir
fried in the gravy really quickly because the first few mouthfuls I found the mushrooms to be slightly dry, and after a time as the fire continued to cook it, the juices slowly made the mushrooms softer. I guess the presence of dried chillies did not help with the spiciness of the dish because the dish got spicier every time I ate it. I’m hopeless, I know!
The Chicken Cashewnut should have been aptly renamed Cashewnut Chicken because in my entire life of eating that dish before and even making it at home, I
have never seen so much cashewnuts being served before. We were both quite aghast at the sight of the cashewnuts. The flavor was different because I guess most people are used to the Thai style or Kung Pao which has a slight kick to it. This was a lot blander in taste and even in color.
It has equal size chicken bits with carrots and green cucumber. It was a rather crunch dish and I enjoyed it. I liked the blandness of it.
Drinks were a disappointment. They had Hundred Plus, Coke, Tea and Soy Bean. We opted for Soy Bean because we thought it was freshly made, so it was quite a shock when two tins were placed in front of us.
We were the last to leave the restaurant. Kress reckons he will come back again. I would too, but I did not notice something was missing from the menu. It was their homemade noodles they had two years ago. I will have to ask them next time.
Dinner bill was RM61. Portions were big, I think four people could have eaten it if everyone had rice. Drinks were the only downer that night.