PUTIEN is a brand that has many awards under its belt – a humble coffeeshop in Singapore that has grown into an international brand with 25 branches in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. The PUTIEN in Kitchener Road was recently awarded one star by the 2016 Michelin Guide Singapore, an acknowledgement of the brand’s philosophy, “Fresh Ingredients, Original Taste”.
Chinese is mainly used at PUTIEN outlets in Malaysia (1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid and SS15 Courtyard Subang), so being able to converse moderately would be an advantage. Otherwise, you can always rely on the photos of dishes in the extensive menu though the staff are trained to make recommendations to suite your requirements. I dined at the PUTIEN in SS15 Courtyard Subang and rather enjoyed the experience.
The town Putian is known for its seafood, namely abalone. To stay true to its roots, PUTIEN’s abalone (RM28.90) is imported specially from Nanri island off the coast of Putian. This was delicious – tender and flavourful, and sizeable too.
I rather enjoyed the Seaweed with Mini Shrimps (RM13.90) where only the top 15cm of the seaweed is harvested upon cultivation to give customers the best texture and nutrition. True to their claim, the seaweed was lightly crunchy and refreshing to eat.
I hardly eat cockles unless they come with my char kuay teow or curry laksa, but Putien’s Drunken Cockles (RM13.90) is addictive. The cockles are lightly cooked and topped with a delicious combination of garlic sauce, chopped garlic and chillies. There’s a burst of savoury, sweet, spicy and tangy flavours in every mouthful. If you’re worried about garlic breath (I am), PUTIEN’s Premium Tie Guan Yin (RM9.90 per cup) will solve that problem.
The “100-Second” Stewed Yellow Croaker (RM39.90) is a popular dish at PUTIEN where the fish is cooked for precisely 100 seconds to bring out the best flavours and accentuate its freshness. I’m generally not a fan of fish but I found the flesh sweet and the broth was light yet packed with flavour.
Salt Baked PUTIEN Clam served on Hot Plate (RM59.90) features clams lightly baked in sea salt – this was good stuff. The clams are air-flown from Putian and is available seasonally. I like how it’s meaty and also juicy, allowing you to “taste the sea”.
More decadent is the Salt & Pepper PUTIEN Clam (RM59.90) where the clams are battered and deep fried to crispy perfection. The batter is light in texture, so you still get plenty of natural flavour from the clams.
One of my favourite dishes at PUTIEN is the Deep Fried Pig’s Trotters with Salt & Pepper (RM11.90 per piece / min order 2 pcs). A bit messy to eat but you’re provided with plastic gloves so your hands are protected. PUTIEN uses only 7-inch pig’s trotter, which goes through a 12-hour cooking process so the fats and collagen melts in the mouth and the skin, crispy.
The Spinach with Salted Egg & Century Egg in Supreme Stock (RM17.90 – small, RM26.90 – medium) is simply yet hearty. There’s plenty of flavour in the stock, and the addition of salted egg gives the dish savoury and rich notes.
Stir-fried Yam (RM11.90 – extra small, RM18.90 – small, RM27.90 – medium) looked simple but tasted anything but. Only the best cuts of the yam (centre portion) is used and fried till the exterior is crisp, while the centre remains soft and fluffy. Like the salt and pepper clams, this was rather addictive.
The Stewed PUTIEN Bean Curd in Claypot (RM16.90 – small, RM25.90 – medium) is comfort food. The bean curd is made using “September pearls”, found only in Putian and is cooked with dried scallop, pork, mushroom and eggs. Best eaten with white rice, I say!
I can easily polish off the PUTIEN Style “Bian Rou” Soup with Vinegar (RM8.90 per portion, RM17.90 – small, RM26.90 – medium) where delicate Fujian-style wonton is cooked in clear but tasty broth. The wrapper is made of pork meat, which takes 3 hours of continuous pounding and rolling, until it becomes thin as paper.
Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon (RM18.90 – small, RM29.90 – medium) is made using sundried vermicelli milled by hand in Putian. This results in a finer and silkier vermicelli that is translucent upon cooking with a toothsome texture. For flavour, the vermicelli is cooked in a rich stock of pork bones and old hens.
I prefer the PUTIEN Lor Mee (RM13.90 – extra small, RM18.90 – small, RM29.90 – medium), which happens my kind of comfort food. If I had to pick just one item to order at PUTIEN, this would be it. Putian noodles are used for this, cooked in pork broth with pork belly, prawns and clams for that burst of deliciousness. I don’t think I can share this with anyone, unless we order a medium bowl maybe.
The PUTIEN Style Oyster Omelette (RM21.90) is a creative take of the classic Putian recipe. This features fresh oysters stir-fried with whipped egg white, which gives it a lightly crisp exterior and a succulent centre. Eat this with their house special chilli sauce, which packs a wallop.
For dessert, try the Pumpkin Cream with Ice Cream (RM9.90); pumpkin cream topped with coconut ice cream and blueberry sauce for a sweet yet refreshing finish. I reckon this is the only non-Putian dish I tried for the day, which isn’t a bad thing. 😉
There’s plenty to like about PUTIEN and I can’t believe I waited this long to check them out. Service is friendly though I am a bit insecure since Mandarin/Cantonese is predominantly used and I’m hopeless in both.
Food: 7.5/10 (non halal)
Verdict: It’s hard to pick a favourite at Putien as the dishes I tried were good. But I highly recommend the lor mee and bian rou soup.
1-05, First Floor,
SS15, 47500 Subang Jaya,
Tel: 03-5612 3377
Business hours: 11.30am to 10pm