Sunday, October 19, 2008


Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today,
I want to be part of it - Taiwan, Taiwan,
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray,
Right through the very heart of it - Taiwan, Taiwan.

...... a familiar Big Apple (modified) tune that I was humming away in my mind during the 45 minute cab ride to KLIA back in March of this year.

I've always wanted to visit Taiwan - the country that has it all: museums, temples, mountains, nightmarkets, fashion streets, ex-tallest building in the world, betelnut beauties (檳榔西施), aborigine culture, Jolin Tsai, a wonderful cuisine spread, and the list goes on. So when I found out that a big chunk of my Enrich points were expiring this year, I realised that I could no longer procrastinate on my travel plans to this wonderful country. And the two things that truly Touched My Heart about Taiwan were its friendly disposition and delicious cuisine, ranging from the simple biandang (便當) to the more exquisite Shanghai dumplings.

Fast forward to 7 months later, when I chanced upon this restaurant, Fong Lye Taiwan Restaurant, sitting pretty in the third floor of The Gardens Mid Valley with a modern white deco and friendly staff to boot, I just could not resist going in.

Browsing through their menu, one can immediately tell that they tend to promote more of their set courses. Their sets consist of one main dish, one soup of the day, one side dish and a bowl of the Taiwanese minced meat rice (台湾卤肉饭). Their main dish is uniquely served over a small fire to ensure it remains piping hot throughout the entire duration of the meal.

Not exactly on the economical side price-wise, Fong Lye however did not disappoint in terms of being flavourful.

Taiwanese cuisine relies on an abundant array of seasonings for flavour - the common ones include soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, black beans, radishes, chilli peppers and oriental basil. Because of their generous use of seasonings, some may find Taiwanese cuisine to be a tad oily and salty. But heck, since this is not something I consume on a daily basis, it would not be something that I would be overly worried about.

One of their signature dishes is the Three Cup Chicken (三杯雞), a pungent Taiwanese favourite that derived its name from its three main seasonings - sesame oil, rice main and soy sauce, complemented with a few stalks of fresh oriental basil. Another dish worth mentioning is their Beef in Scallion sauce, another flavourful dish served with generous helpings of tender beef, scallion and ginger slices.

Ending the meal with a pot of their fragrant Oolong tea will help wash away the oily after-taste of the main meal. And for desserts they serve a variety of icy snow mountains which I would not recommend to those who are very particular about their sugar-intake.

Fong Lye Taiwan Restaurant

Address: Lot T208, 3rd Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact number: 03-22828699
Reservation: 1st come 1st served
Opening hours: 10.00-22.00 (Daily)
Cuisine: Taiwanese (Non Halal)
Must order: Three Cup Chicken (三杯雞), Beef in Scallion Sauce
Must not order: N/A
Budget for 4 pax: RM140
My verdict: 3 stars

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