Back when I was still working at the newspaper, I did a business story on the gentrification of street food; ie, well-loved local hawker favourites such as popiah, oh-chien and nasi lemak being repackaged and sold in a ‘nicer’ setting (comfortable, with air conditioning), to serve a younger crowd. This was back in 2014, when the trend was just starting to emerge.
Fast forward seven years later, and such establishments are now the norm rather than the exception. Some of these, like Dao, are generational businesses, updated to suit modern times and palates. Founded by three siblings from Ipoh (their father is the owner of Woong Kee Dessert, a famous traditional tau foo fah shop in Ipoh), Dao draws from the siblings’ family recipes to bring soymilk-based desserts — with a twist — to KL’s urban folk.
The Puchong branch is not their first; they also have outlets in SS15 Subang, Damansara Jaya and Kuchai Lama. S and I were in the neighbourhood recently when we walked past so we got some items to go.
Of course, given the setting, the prices are slightly higher than what you get from the usual roadside stalls/ tau foo fah vans. A regular bowl of tao foo fah (Dao spells it as ‘dao fu fah‘) will set you back RM4.20, with a choice of ginger, brown or white sugar syrup. Aside from beancurd and soymilk, they also serve dao bing (shaved ice) and soymilk-based ice cream.
S got the tau foo fah. I was still feeling full from our yumcha session, so I bought a 500ml bottle of soymilk with white sugar. It comes in a slim bottle with minimal packaging. At RM5.30, it’s almost double of what you can get from roadside stalls, but this is to be expected. Tastewise, it was good — not too sweet, and the ground soybeans had a great fragrance — but I probably won’t get it to go next time. If I’m paying a premium, I want to enjoy the environment as much as the food.
DAO DESSERTS (PUCHONG)
4-G, Jalan Kenari 18, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47170 Puchong, Selangor
Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM (closed Wednesdays)
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