Bitter gourd, or bitter melon, is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine, often stir-fried with meat or eggs, or served in a soup. It has many purported health benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels, as well as aiding in weight loss. I think the latter is because it’s so bitter, you wouldn’t be able to finish the dish anyway. Eat less = lose weight = profit. (You can probably tell I don’t like bitter gourd very much, lol).
Jokes aside, there are people who enjoy the vegetable’s distinct flavour – so if you’re craving a nutritious and tasty(?) bitter gourd dish, head to Fu Gua Thong Restaurant in Bandar Puteri Puchong. Their signature bitter gourd soup, cooked with tender slices of pork, is a crowd puller, and while I won’t order this on my own volition, I’ve had it before with the fam and can attest that they cook it in a way that doesn’t make the bitterness pronounced.
Wait. So this isn’t a review about their bittergourd dish?
Well, for fellow bittergourd haters like me, a trip to Fu Gua Thong is still worth it for their Hakka cuisine, with dishes such as Deep Fried Hakka Style Pork (zha yuk), Yam and pork belly, stuffed tau fu pok, and stir-fried yam and abacus seed. The Hubs and I were here for dinner over the weekend, and even though we only ordered two dishes to share, they were both excellent and reasonably priced.
The stir-fried fish slices in ginger and onion came in a generous portion, swimming in a rich, and savoury sauce. The fish slices were fresh, thick, and firm,and the sauce made it an excellent accompaniment to rice. The ginger and onion not only gave it a nice flavour, but also masked any fishy odours the seafood might have had.
This is my favourite at Fu Gua Thong – Hakka fried pork! Thick slices of pork belly are marinated in nam yue (a fermented beancurd sauce – my dad hates the stuff, so we don’t have this often at family dinners), then deep fried to give it a crispy, crunchy exterior. The meat inside was fatty but not greasy. It was served with a side of chilli sauce, which accentuated the salty flavour.
So yeah. While Fu Gua Thong’s bittergourd dishes are sure to satisfy fans, they have many other dishes that are decent as well. Service wise, waiters appear harried and are not exactly welcoming, with curt/bordering on rude responses, but if you have zero expectations for service, this is a good place for the food.
FU GUA THONG (PUCHONG)
32, Jalan Puteri 2/4, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Opening hours: 11AM – 3.30PM, 5.30PM – 9.30PM (Daily)