What used to be a bowling alley more than 25 years ago in Jalan Ipoh, has not turned into River City. The old buildings there were demolished and took over by newly built buildings. One of the building is now taken by River Garden Chinese Cuisine (天河). The restaurant is fairly new.
I was there two weeks ago to have dinner with Jocel, BBO, Ken, Taufuloh, Perut Besi, and two other friends. The setup is a typical Chinese restaurant seatings but with an open kitchen concept, where you can see the chef working on your dish through a glass panel.
The first dish of the night is Bamboo Cup Soup. It has a cylinder looking tofu in the soup but it is not tofu. According to the manager, it is mix of minced chicken and minced pigeon meat with water chestnut. It tasted quite funny to me and it requires a day of pre-ordering.
Bamboo Cup Soup
Pre-ordering is need, I think is because the chicken and the pigeon meat has to be chopped very finely, which takes time.
Next up, is Steamed Green Kelah in Superior Sauce. Green Kelah is a freshwater fish that only can be found in the rivers in Sabah. This dish is the favourite of the night. The Green Kelah is very fresh and doesn't have muddy taste for a freshwater fish. Even the fish scales can be eaten.
Steamed Green Kelah in Superior Sauce
While Tong Bo style pork usually uses pork belly to make, that night we had Tong Bo Spare Ribs. Uses the same sauce while minus the fat of a pork belly. It's not too bad, the spare ribs is very tender and well marinated. It's nice if the rock sugar is not that much because I found that the sauce is a bit too sweet.
Tong Bo Spare Ribs
The Drunken Prawns would have fair better if more liquor was used and the prawn is not overcooked. I found that there's not enough alcohol kick lol.
A very healthy Braised Homemade Bean Curd with Angle Loo Fah Gourd would have tasted quite bland if not of the sprinkled dried shrimped powder. Well, most healthy stuff is quite bland lol. I like the bean curd which doesn't taste artificial at all.
Braised Homemade Bean Curd with Angle Loo Fah Gourd
I was quite disappointed with the Buttered Mud Crabs with Curry Leaves. First, the gravy is too watered down and then the crab is not that fresh at all. The friend mantou saves the day for this dish. Really, freshness of the ingredient is very important.
Buttered Mud Crabs with Curry Leaves
I found the Venus Scripts with Superior Soup and Ginger too pepper-ish. The white pepper covered the 鲜 (xian) taste of the venus scripts. (Don't ask me what is venus scripts, it's written on the menu given to us, and I can't find the meaning on the Internet. From what I see it's can be safely said as clams or mid size lala)
Venus Scripts with Superior Soup and Ginger
I was expecting a rather strong taste of otak-otak in the Fried Rice with Otak-otak but what I get is something like santan fried rice. I tasted better otak-otak fried rice elsewhere.
Fried Rice with Otak-otak
As for dessert, we had Dim Sum Delight and Steamed Korean Pear with Fungus. The dim sum delight has fried banana pancakes, which is very nice. But the yellowish mango cake taste quite artificial.
While some of us commented that the Steamed Korean Pear with Fungus is not sweet enough, I found it to be just nice. Maybe it's because I don't like food that is too sweet.
Dim Sum Delight
Steamed Korean Pear with Fungus
Personally, I order the Steamed Green Kelah, the homemade bean curd and the fried banana pancakes if I come back for the second time. Maybe will explore other dishes.
River Garden Chinese Cuisine (天河)
468-B2(B), Batu 3, Jalan Ipoh
51200 Kuala Lumpur
Google map here.
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