Hunan Cuisine is no longer a new thing for me, but this outlet of De Hunan Restaurant is something fresh among the neighbourhood around Bandar Puteri Puchong.
First opened its door in Kuchai Lama, now De Hunan has its second outlet shifted from Sunway Mentari to Bandar Puteri. Here it is a double-storey lot, fully air-conditioned with hanging chillies as the drapes.
Upon stepping into the restaurant, I saw much family crowd dining there during a weekday evening. The brightly lit setting, when complemented with the cheerful orange painted walls, gives me a very warm, homey feel.
The interior has a traditional yet contemporary setting. Exclusively imported from China, the marble tables display different Chinese paintings which allows more comfort for the patrons.
For large group dining, the private rooms are ready to cater for your needs. The whole restaurant has a total capacity of 200 pax! That shouldn't be a problem if you want to held meetings, gatherings, and celebrations there.
This is a real rustic Hunan cooking, where the chefs from Xiamen, China use chillies in all their untempered glory. However, it is always adjustable to cater your needs. According to the chef, the level of spiciness people can normally take is Extra Mild (少辣), Mild (微辣), and Normal (辣).
#2 Cold Appetizers
We begin with a medley of appetizers. I am very taken with the chilled chopped cucumber served with blended chilli juice and garnished with aromatic parsley which keeps me reaching for more despite of its sharp spiciness.
#3 Steamed White Rice
What not to be missed is definitely a bowl of rice to go with all the spicy and heavy-in-taste dishes. This is surely unique as the chefs steam it bowl by bowl, separately so that the rice is soft enough yet retaining its moisture. Great effort!
#4 Baked Pumpkin with Salted Egg Yolk (咸蛋黄焗南瓜)
Our first few dishes are filled with assorted healthy vegetables. The soft pumpkin slices' consistency is just right, with a light coating of rich salted egg yolk. It is quite addictive with the right amount of heat and salty sweetness.
#5 Stir Fried Beijing Cabbage (平锅北京包菜)
#6 Stewed Beancurd with Green Chives (韭菜焖豆腐)
Next, the chefs are kind enough to make this soothing broth ready before we hop into the next level of spicy food. The light broth of tofu and chives is an excellent blend of fresh ingredients, creating each perfect bowlful of steaming goodness!
#7 Hunan "Yin Yang" Style Fish Head (招牌鸳鸯鱼头)
Here comes the very much anticipated dish, the fresh catch of the day! The "Yin" and "Yang" Hunan style fish head is drenched in the chilli oil bath, topped with sour yellow ginger and vegetables on one side, and spicy hot chopped chillies on another side. Resulting in a tangy, spicy, savoury taste, nevertheless the freshness of the fish is simply overwhelming.
Cautious: This fish contains a lot of bones. Be careful while enjoying the flesh.
Served along with a bowlful of handmade noodles, I feel as if I am having a mild version of Szechuan ramen.
#8 Sauteed Prawns in Hunan Claypot Style (干锅馋嘴虾)
The presentation is impressive! The generous prawns are tender in a mildly spicy lemongrass and dried chilli-infused gravy. They go perfectly with the warm and fluffy white rice garnished with green chives.
#9 Spicy Skewered Prawns in Hunan Special Style (道地湖南串烧虾)
Much as I enjoy the sweet, sauteed prawns, my favourite of the evening has to go this skewered prawn. It is deep-fried in chilli oil, but surprisingly not oily at all. In fact, the crust turns out so crispy while the prawns remain moist and succulent inside.
#10 "Uncle Mao's" Special Braised Pork (毛家红烧肉)
The elegantly plated dish tastes as good as it looks. I poke a form through the meat, and it unravels almost instantly to reveal tender juicy goodness. I enjoy the good ratio of greasy fat and lean meat as it is moistened with salty dark sauce with hints of sweetness.
#11 Hot Spicy Fresh Frog on Sizzling Stone Hunan Style (石锅生猛鲜田鸡)
In my personal taste, the definition of 'meat' only includes fish, poultry and pork, and I shiver when imagining myself cutting through the slimy frog skin. I guess I'd just have to pass this.
#12 Stir Fried Cubed Beef on Flat Pot (平锅牛仔粒)
#13 Fried Spicy Deer Meat in Special Hot Stones Style (特色石头烹鹿肉)
For more exotic meats, De Hunan serves deer meat in their special hot stones which keep the meat warm throughout the course of the meal. However, my dining companion mentions that the meat is quite tough, and a salty sweet sauce could have livened it up.
#14 Pork Spare Ribs and Corn Soup (玉米炖排骨瓦罐炜烫)
After so much of heaty foodstuff, the chefs create a very porky broth of light soup to soothe our throats. The essence of the broth is so rich, with the right amount of lean ribs and sweet corns, what a hearty broth to go!
#15 Homemade Potato Pancake (香甜士豆饼)
For dessert, we have the potato pancake which appears rather savory than sweet, perhaps because of the thickened starchy texture which some may enjoy but not all. However, a dip into the chilled condensed milk is so heavenly, perfectly complementing the hot crispy potato slices!
#16 Pumpkin and Sago Dessert Soup (黄金珍珠露)
Well, it tastes very similar to the Taro Coconut Milk with Tapioca (西米露), but definitely less sweet, and not so thick. Certainly a healthier treat for those with a sweet tooth.
Overall, I have a highly enjoyable experience!
1. The chefs did a good job in maintaining excellent quality of the seasonal ingredients. In terms of taste, the overall spiciness is toned down to suit our taste, and very favorable for me too.
2. Recommended: Spicy Skewered Prawns in Hunan Special Style, Pork Spare Ribs and Corn Soup and Stir Fried Cubed Beef on Flat Pot
3. Pricewise, it wouldn't burn your pocket once in a while but it is recommended for group dining to share the huge portion of dishes and of course the bill as well.
De Hunan Restaurant (湖南湘菜馆)
42, Jalan Puteri 2/4,
47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Contact: 012-6345218 and 012-2828048
Operating Hours: 11am to 11pm