[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人 资料 Sub-editor 郑大人]
记忆中的传统潮州粥总是设在较为陈旧的老城住宅区，看官们绝对想不到原来在高尔夫球俱乐部里也能享用到这传统好滋味。非常感激 Ponderosa Golf & Country Club 的热情款待，每次抵步后心情总是特别愉悦，因为亲切健谈的 Yvonne 总能点中大人的笑穴（这一点大人的确要俯首称臣啊～） 😀
When it comes to comfort food in JB (once known as “Little Swatow” due to most of Johor’s Teochew community originated from Shantou – a populous Teochew district of the Guangdong Province, China), a bowl of plain or sweet potato porridge accompanied by the humblest of home-cooked dishes, ranks high up there as one of the most soothing meals. For those who grew up eating these at home, savouring it now could take us back to our childhood days when simple meals were satisfying and memorable.
Fans of Teochew porridge would no doubt reminisce the good old days when the food was best savoured by the roadside stalls or in some old-school Chinese restaurants, so we were pleasantly surprised to receive the invitation from Ponderosa Golf & Country Club for yet more comfort food therapy, in the comfort of their well-appointed Chinese restaurant – Hop Sing. Speaking of atmosphere, there will be no shortage of warmth and hospitality here, as we’ll always be well-entertained by the lively and effervescent Yvonne, complete with her wits and humour that make for a perfect starter on every occasion.
从宽敞的大厅拾级而上后，再往右侧小巷直走，就能窥见金阁楼 (Hop Sing) 的踪影。说这里是大人的私密厨房一点也不为过，因为自年前尝过其中式餐点后，大人的味蕾始终对其念念不忘，常会不自觉将大人牵引至此尝鲜。今正逢微雨凉爽，自是品尝暖心暖脾粥品的最佳“食刻”，不晓得今天 Yvonne 又会推荐什么好料给咱们呢？
Tucked away amidst the idyllic clubhouse, lies a great Chinese restaurant of timeless ambience of grandeur, elegance and style. Open to both club members and the general public, Hop Sing offers good old traditional Chinese fare, with a sumptuous menu that can rivals any 5-star establishments but at a price very few can match.
From Chinese New Year reunion gatherings to casual business lunches on numerous occasions, Hop Sing is always a safe option that can never go wrong. Especially on a cold rainy day (like today), there’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of porridge served with small plates of food – Teochew style. So what’s cooking, Chef Koh?
啊～ 番薯粥！这是好多长辈的儿时好滋味，既能饱腹又有营养，李时珍的《本草纲目》就如此记载番薯的疗效：“补虚乏，益气力，健脾胃，强肾阴。潮州粥以生米粒入煲至米身爆腰，米粒仍见分明，而粥水则称为“洝”。若将 “粥” 字拆开解读，颇有古时使用柴火与沸水，左右开弓将 “米” 扯开的画面（乍看之下，真的很像碗里的潮州粥）。
OMG, the sweet potato porridge was thick, silky-smooth and wins hands down for having the best texture among all the sweet potato porridge we slurped up. After all, the legendary Ming Dynasty physician, Li Shi Zhen once wrote: Sweet potato is beneficial in digestion and it promotes the development of the spleen, aids digestion, improves intestinal peristalsis (contraction) and help to clear constipation. WOW! Seems like there’s little harm in going for our second serving, especially when the refill here is bottomless!
The enjoyment of Teochew Porridge lies in this age old, time tested combination of watery porridge with salty dishes. That small amount of “kiam” (salt) is good enough for one or two mouthfuls of porridge to cleanse the palate and then we can experience the warmth of the porridge slide down our gullet. Before we knew it, we were already tucking into our third refill.
What is Teochew porridge without the ever-present Fried Dace with Black Beans, Salted Egg and Preserved Chilli Beancurd just to name but three. After a quick round of refills of our Chinese Tea (and yet more porridge), it’s time to keep the dishes coming… Olive Vegetables, Preserved Beancurd, Salted Vegetables, Salted Fish, Braised Peanuts and more. The dishes served here are old favourites – simple yet so good, with every dish priced rather reasonably, starting from RM2.50 per dish (up to RM12.00), which encourages over-ordering since the portions come in tapas-size plates.
For those who still couldn’t comprehend what’s so great about eating porridge with plain steamed, salted or braised dishes which could be too ordinary to many and is nothing remarkable, think again. Among the traditional side dishes, our favourite was the fried omelette with onion (there’s another Chye Poh or preserved radish variation), which’s perfectly round and crisp around the edges with a light, fluffy centre. The Eggplant with Minced Pork was soft and fragrant, while the Bean Sprouts were crunchy, which comes with chunks of Salted Fish giving it more crunches and a touch of appetising tanginess. Overall, the outcome is saliva-inducing food packed with flavour and aroma.
Special mention must be made of the Spicy Sichuan Vegetable with Shredded Chicken, whose taste is a combination of spicy, sour, and salty. For the uninitiated however, these Chinese preserved vegetables may be too pungent in scent and appear rather unpalatable, but for us, the dish was well-executed. For more nutritious and natural goodness, take your pick from a wide variety of stir-fried greens such as cabbages, choy sum, sweet potato leaf and long beans just to complete a hearty meal which’s pretty much guilt-free.
Every dish we tried lived up to the name of Teochew porridge dishes, simple with the taste of home cooked food. After all, what else could be more fulfilling than something so light and easy on the stomach after days of consuming heavy fare?
能在这挥杆的绝佳环境中静享有滋有味的清粥小菜，何尝不是人生一大乐事？Ponderosa Golf & Country Club 的潮州粥将从7月11日起幸福上桌，快偕同挚爱同享哦！
When our craving for authentic Teochew porridge hits, or when anyone call to ask “Jiak Ba Buay?” in Hokkien or Teochew (which translates to “Have you eaten?”), our intuitive response is now “JOM Ponderosa Golf & Country Club“, for its wide selection, personable service, in a comfortable air-conditioned environment and most importantly, at a comfortable price we can also afford to indulge every now and then…
Ponderosa Golf & Country Club
1st Floor, Hop Sing Chinese Restaurant
No.3, Jalan Ponderosa 1, Taman Ponderosa, Johor Bahru
Time: Mon – Sun : 12.00noon – 2.30pm
Price: Start from RM2.50 to RM12.00
Reservation: +607-354 9999 (Ext. 255) or +6016-763 4496 (Wish)