Friday, 24 May 2013
Nan Bei Restoran 南北 in Taman Gaya, Johor Bahru
Allan from Nan Bei 南北 restaurant messaged me inviting me to drop by his parents' shop to try their Hainanese mutton soup which they had just added to their menu. I was excited to try Nan Bei's Chinese style mutton soup as I love this dish that is rarely found in restaurants in Johor. I was also keen to enjoy Nan Bei's Tung Po Rou which I blogged about earlier this year.
I dropped by with blogging kaki Semi Han, creator of Bonding Tool, one of my favourite food blogs. Semi's good friend Tyng also joined us.
Allan and his parents whom I have met earlier this year received us warmly. We had an impromptu party and got a chance to try most of the food served at Nan Bei 南北 restaurant.
Semi is a very serious food blogger and Tyng a very supportive friend.
Semi is very meticulous and I learnt a lot about food photography from her today. We even roped in Allan to help in the food photography.
Hainanese Mutton Soup RM15
This is Nan Bei's Hainanese mutton soup. The soup is mildly herbal and it did well to balance the characteristic gaminess of mutton. Following the Hainanese tradition, black woodear fungus and fried beancurd sheets are used in the soup. The chunks of white radish added sweetness to the broth while soaking up the flavours. The crunchy chunks of radish are coveted pieces in the pot as they are loaded with flavours.
The mutton was tender with smokey fatty streaks and only had mild hints of that distinct mutton flavour. We all liked Nan Bei's Hainanese mutton soup. For me, I liked it that the tastes and flavours of Nan Bei's mutton soup are mild with nothing overpowering.
Cabbage with Roast Pork in Claypot RM10
The Nappa Cabbage with Roast Pork in Claypot is another new dish at Nan Bei restoran. The soup is a tasty blend of savouriness from the roast pork and the refreshing sweetness from the fresh cabbage. I love the juicy cabbage as it sponged up the delicious soup and had a tender yet crunchy mouth feel. The Cabbage with Roast Pork won the hearts of the ladies through their stomachs.
We like the Tung Po Rou 东坡肉 or braised belly pork. Those layers of fat are to be enjoyed either fearlessly or recklessly. Today, the fatty layers weren't as thick as that during my previous visit, which would make this dish appealing to more health conscious people.
For me, I prefer my Tung Po Rou to have a thicker layer of savoury, sweet giggly fat since I indulge in this treat only once in a while.
Pig Trotters with Ginger and Vinegar RM7
The braised pig trotters with ginger and vinegar 猪脚姜醋 was quite mild in taste and flavour, so it would appeal to more people. I haven't eaten this dish for a long time and I always had the home made version which is more robust and more herbal.
All of Nan Bei's dishes are eaten with boiled rice. Semi and Tyng both finished their bowls of rice, which is pretty unusual these days especially for calorie counting ladies. When I commented about them finishing the rice, they mumbled something intelligible through their food but their expressions said that Nan Bei's dishes hit all the right notes with them.
Nan Bei restoran is a simple, basic shop serving delicious food at reasonable prices - definitely worth a visit.
Restaurant name: Nan Bei Restoran 南北
Address: 68, Jalan Gaya 1, Taman Gaya
Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
Date visited: 16 Jan 2013, 21 May 2013