One Imperial Porridge

Restaurant One Imperial Porridge (帝皇粥之家) is a Chinese restaurant in Setia Alam. The restaurant is supposedly famous for its steamed snakehead fish (生鱼). Snakehead fish is an elongated freshwater fish. As food, this type of fish is quite expensive due to difficulty in raising them in aquaculture.
The dining area looks pretty nice. Marble tables and chairs lined up in the air-conditioned room give an elegant atmosphere to the restaurant.
The centerpiece of the meal today is the Signature Snakehead Fish (招牌蒸生鱼, RM35.00). Served using an iron pan with brazier to keep the food warm, the steamed fish fillets are served with shredded ginger, fried garlic and Chinese parsley.
The snakehead fish is quite smooth and fresh. Although its taste is quite plain by itself, it goes well with the soy sauce and fried garlic. Unlike the menu photos, the actual portion is just miserable. Of course, the photos are "for illustration purposes only". But if the depicted photos are different from actual, I wonder how it serves its "illustration purpose".
Our side dish is a plate of Pea Sprouts (豆苗, RM6.00). The sprouts are reasonably fresh, therefore maintaining their juicy and crunchy texture.
In lieu of rice, we ordered a pot of Plain Porridge (和尚粥, RM6.00). The portion is quite sufficient for 3 persons, making it very affordable.
The porridge is just plain rice congee without any ingredients apart from shredded ginger and Chinese parsley. In terms of texture, the rice grains are mashed down to give it a pasty consistency, instead of solid rice grains suspended in a starchy solution.
We find the porridge quite tasty by itself, despite the fact that it does not have any meat or seafood ingredients. The taste can be further enhanced with a light sprinkle of white pepper.
Since the Signature Snakehead Fish is fairly salty due to its soy sauce, we find it especially enjoyable when eaten with the Plain Porridge.
For drinks, we ordered a teapot of Pu Er (普洱茶, RM6.00). Served using nice porcelain teapot and teacups, the strong flavor of the Chinese tea goes well with our dinner tonight.
The food is served quite fast, probably since they can be prepared upfront. For example, the snakehead fish fillets are already thawed and just require brief heating in the steamer.

One Imperial Porridge is a place of contradiction. Its signature snakehead fish is quite expensive for its portion, therefore despite its reasonable taste, it is definitely not worth the amount paid. However, the vegetable side dish and porridge are surprisingly cheap and tasty. In summary, if you fancy snakehead fish and don't mind some damage to the wallet, go ahead and give it a try. Otherwise, feel free to order anything else except snakehead fish.

3 comments:

  1. Almost all the restaurant will state "For Illustration Purpose only" in their menu. How big difference for this restaurant between the picture and actual fish? Can put some pictures? We don't want to be disappointing when we visit later.

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    Replies
    1. On the second photo, there is a photo of the snakehead fish. :-)

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  2. Too small! It looks like same with the "actual" dish.

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