Famous Bowl

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Located at the top floor of Gurney Plaza and across the central atrium from Golden Screen Cinemas, the former location of Xuan Xin Steamboat has been taken over by Famous Bowl (旺盅宝). Actually, Famous Bowl still belongs to the same company; the name change is just a rebranding strategy.
Like its predecessor, Famous Bowl offers à la carte cooking, individual meals, combo sets and even steamboat cooking. The types of food include Cantonese, Taiwanese and local recipes.
Since Chinese New Year has barely passed, the decorations in the restaurant are still up.
For lunch, we ordered a serving of Braised Pork Belly With Preserved Vegetable & Rice (梅菜扣肉饭, RM11.80). The bowl is reasonably large but mostly just filled with white rice. Actual dishes only make up a small portion.
The braised pork (扣肉) is reasonable in taste, thanks to the flavorful dark sauce which the pork is stewed in. The braised pork is also infused with sour taste of preserved vegetables (梅菜). This dish includes a fried egg, but I think more should be provided.
Next is a bowl of Stir Fried Seafood Udon (香炒海鲜乌东面, RM15.80). The noodles used are udon, a thick wheat noodle usually used in Japanese cooking. Besides noodle similarity, the cooking style is also resembles the KL version of Hokkien Char (福建炒面).
The "wok hei" (镬气) imparted while frying the udon noodles is quite impressive. The lingering fiery taste is present thoroughly. As for the dark soy sauce, it is slightly sweet but quite salty. I prefer less salt not only for health reasons, but also for better food enjoyment.
Hidden under the seemingly innocent udon noodles are the seafood ingredients. The main highlight is the fish fillet. The chunks of deboned fish are reasonably tender and smooth in texture, and quite flavorful with the dark soy sauce too.
There are a couple of peeled shrimps in the dish. Although crunchy and reasonably large in size, the shrimps do not have the desired succulent juicy taste which is hallmark of fresh shrimps.

Some cockles and squid is also thrown into the mix. The taste is not particularly special, so they just play a minor role in this seafood udon dish.
Finally, we ordered a bowl of Famous Bowl Dessert (旺盅宝糖水, RM6.00). Obviously, we expected this namesake dessert to be something special, but it turns out to be just a bowl of cold syrup with guilinggao.
Arguably, the guilinggao (龟苓膏) is decently prepared. This black colored herbal jelly has a firm texture and gives a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. However, we do not think it blends well with this brown syrup, especially when the dessert is served cold.
Other ingredients in this dessert are lotus seeds (莲子), sweet potatoes (番薯), red beans (红豆) and longan (龙眼).
This dessert is served in an oddly shaped bowl. We think this is cumbersome because the syrup is nearly overflowing and it is easily to spill some over the edges. A proper bowl would have prevented this dessert from further embarrassment.

Overall, Famous Bowl is reasonable in some of its cooking, but still have room for further improvement. I think stir-frying is its strong point, but I will stay away from its desserts at all cost.

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