Dear fellow tasters,
I used to pass through Sawah Besar street, or nowadays known as Sukarjo Wiryopranoto, during my commute from work and I couldn’t help but noticing a certain restaurant always packed with cars parking at the front. Through word of mouth and googling, I found out that the restaurant is called Putien and it serves up Heng Hwa cuisines, a lesser-known variant of Chinese food, but definitely not the least delicious. The restaurant chain comes from Singapore whereas the Jakarta branch is the only branch in Indonesia.
One day, my friend and I decided to try out Putien. There was nothing special about the restaurant’s ambiance except for the clean, white, minimalistic dining area, however the place looked quite crowded for a dinner time on a weekday. We impulsively ordered five dishes which turned out to be too much for both of us: kerang darah mabuk (drunken cockle), lomie ala putien (putien lor mee), daging leci ala putien (putien sweet & sour pork with lychees), hotplate tahu (tofu in hotplate), and bebek talas spesial (deep fried duck with yam).
My first favorite was the lomie or lor mee. Inside the big bowl (quite big for small size, also available at medium and large) was a generous serving of noodle soaked in rich thick broth, accompanied by shrimps, clams, pork slices, shitake mushrooms, tofu, and assorted vegetables. The lomie featured a strong and bold shallot and onion flavor, a distinct characteristic of Heng Hwa cuisines, compared to other Chinese regional cuisines which mostly use garlic and ginger. My next favorite, I would say, was the tasty tofu hotplate. The silky egg tofu was served in a spicy sauce, with bits of shrimp and minced meat. Another unique dish was the drunken cockle, actually the first cockles I had ever tasted cold. The cockles were submerged in soy sauce and topped with lots of minced garlic, chili and other spices.
The rest of our orders were also quite enjoyable. The sweet and sour pork tasted pretty nice and the lychees added a sweet touch to the savory pork. Meanwhile, the duck was delicious and crispy, although to me the combination with the yam was not that compatible, or is it perhaps that the ratio of yam to duck was a bit unbalanced. At another occasion, I used the cashback vouchers from the first visit for a solo dinner with a repeat on the lomie and a different dish, the bamboo herbal prawn (the Indonesian name was udang bambu obat or something). The prawns were sweet and tasty, and the herbal soup tasted refreshing, and well… herbal but it was supposed to be good for the health.
你吃了吗？ Putien… Have you?
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – the lor mee, tofu hotplate, drunken cockle
What to try next time – maybe a fish, some pork, and other local delights
Damage around 120k/pax