Chinese cuisine, usually refers to food originates from China. However, as China extends to such a huge area in Asia, with twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in it, each provinces having different type of cultures and even climate since they are separated thousands of miles away, surely the people there will have different taste buds, and hence the birth of different type of cuisines in China.
The 4 Great Traditions of Chinese cuisines are Cantonese, Huaiyang, Shandong and Szechuan. Malaysia’s Chinese food are heavily influenced by the Cantonese cuisine, for example sweet and sour pork, Char Siew and Won Ton. Huaiyang and Shandong cuisine however are not as popular to Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine here in Malaysia,with representative such as Duck Egg and Pork Porridge, Yangzhou Fried Rice (both from Huaiyang) and Peiking duck (Shandong cuisine). For me myself, I love Szechuan cuisine, and it’s greatly influenced by the anime Cooking Master Boy!
However, it’s also quite hard to find a restaurant that serve authentic Szechuan cuisine in Malaysia, luckily Jiu Jiu Szechuan Restaurant is one of them, and it’s located very near to my hometown, which is also 1 of the most happening places in mainland Penang, Autocity. Hence, I decided it to be the place for my birthday dinner.
We start off a cup of Lyceum & Chrysanthemum Tea @ RM3.20, to prepare our stomach for the upcoming hot dishes.
Ma Po To Fu @ RM11.80, a dishes I MUST order every time I enter a restaurant who claimed themselves serving authentic Szechuan cuisine. For me, if this dish is cooked well, I will love this restaurant and praise it sky high, and vice versa if its bad, and for Jiu Jiu Restaurant, they really cook this to perfection! The minced meat and the beancurd mix with each other wonderfully, it’s not as oily as what people usually think, the spiciness is just enough, take 1 spoonful and just slurp down your throat, ahh, everything seems just wonderful! 9.8/10
Next dish serve is the Sizzling Mongolian Lamb @ RM18.80. The lamb were slice thinly, and it was cooked with loads of onions, with some spiciness on it, taste just nice! For me, it’s a good dish to go with some Chinese liquor, pity they don’t serve it. 7.5/10
The boiled fish with sour cabbage @ RM18.80 is our next dish. Although sour cabbage is not widely used by Malaysian’s chef, but it seems in China and Taiwan, it’s something very popular. The soup is sour hence it’s very appetizing. However, although the soup is nice, but it seems the fish does not absorb the soup much and is a bit tasteless. Besides, fresh water fish was used so some of you might not like it. 7.0/10
The dish below that full with dried chilies will be Fried Crabs with Szechuan Peppercorns @ RM36.80. As you can see, the dried chilies almost cover the whole crab! This is crazy, and 1 will definitely expected it to be super duper ultra spicy until uneatable eh?
However, it’s not the case. It’s still eatable and it taste awesome! The crab was deep fried before it was cooked with different type of spices which brings a unique taste to itself. Besides, although the crab was fried, but the meat is still very juicy inside, and it blends really well with all the spices. This is another great dish to go with beer (again!). The crab will be even more awesome if the size of the crab is larger, hm….
Oh, I must also praise them for their flexibility. This dish initially cost RM60++ and is meant for 4 person or more. However, unlike some stubborn shop that will only serve whats in the menu, the waiter is smart enough to tell us that we won’t be able to finish their normal portion, hence they will special made a smaller portion for us which cost cheaper. Smart move I will say since it will make me able to order more dishes, and end up paying more.
Although there’s only 2 of us (me and LY), but our ordering spree never end, yet! Our last dish is hot and spicy beef tripe @ RM12.80. I get to know this dish from the Hong Kong drama – Happy Ever After acted by Bobby Au-yeung where he was the imperial chef of the palace. When he was kicked out of the palace, he invented this dish and sell it together at the road side with Marianne Chan. However, since this is the first time I saw this dish on a restaurant menu, surely I must order it.
To my disappointment, I don’t like it. It taste very similar to normal beef meat, seems a bit harder to bite thought, but the point is I just don’t like the sauce. It taste a bit like some those undelicious satay sauce outside.
To end our meal, a desert is a must, hence the lai tang yuan @ RM5.80. Although the tang yuan is just some glutinous rice flour with black sesame inside, but it’s very soft and sweet.
And yes, I and LY actually finish all of the dish we order, quite amazing since it’s only 2 of us. We are both very satisfy with the dinner, and we will definitely come back here again in the near future. It cost us RM135.95 total (include a glass of house pouring white wine) which I think is quite reasonable since the amount of food we order is definitely enough for 4 person.
One thing to take note though, after some googling, I notice that there are many bad comments about Jiu Jiu Szechuan Restaurant in the net by many floggers. However, I notice that those who complaint went there for their rice and noodle, not for their main course. Hence, I can only recommend you guys go for their main dishes instead, which is really good!
Total Damage: RM135.95 for 2 person
Location: Autocity, Juru, Penang