I once heard that a sign of a great chef, besides being able to cook eggs properly, is also the ability to make good soups. A seemingly simple dish, but it takes a considerable amount of skill and practice to get it just right.
One of the more unheralded parts of Asian cuisine are the soups and broths, which tend to be more straight forward than their Western counterparts, and sort of resembles consomme. It is something we grew up having, made from chicken or pork stock, and key components such as lotus root, beans, etc. As a kid, I never quite appreciated it. But nowadays, whenever I’m having a rough day or on the verge of being sick, nothing beats having a proper soup or broth to prop me back up.
Thanks to my friend, I’ve managed to find just the place for that in Miri!
The Soon Fook stall is located at Jalan Krokop 5, at the back of a block of shoplots in the middle of the residential area.
Despite it’s rather austere, and borderline ramshakle exterior, it serves decent Chinese fare without the addition of any MSG. As per my cheesy title, the soup/broths here are the highlight. Today we had the black bean soup, made with a pork bone stock which added a nice depth and flavour to the dish. The black beans were on the crunchy side, but we gobbled them up anyway. My other all time favourite is the bittergourd soup, which is also lovely.
Besides the soups, my other favourite dish was the steamed pork with salted fish. I’m probably a tad biased, as I grew up with this dish. But they did a great job with it, using pork with the right amount of fat, which gave a nice moistness to the dish. This always pairs well with rice, and I particularly enjoy drizzling the sauce all over it.
We had also ordered the egg tofu stuffed with pork, which was decent but a bit mundane.
Definitely a restaurant worthy of a revisit, albeit swarming with mosquitoes like most of Miri. So do wear proper clothing, or prepare some mosquito repellent if you’re a known mosquito bait like myself.