Foong Foong Restoran, Ampang, KL
One of the things that I never really understood was Ampang yong tau foo...or at least, the way they served it in Singapore with that unappealingly goopy sauce. So I suggested to my KL colleagues that we go to Ampang for lunch today to get it straight from the source, and they graciously took me to this old school place (621A Main Road, Ampang), which, along with its two next door competitors, apparently invented this stuff...and hence the name Ampang yong tau foo.
It definitely was different. There wasn't any of that goopy sauce; it was just a little bit of a thin dark broth instead, sans soybeans. It wasn't the Singapore food court version with a spread of ingredients laid out either. Instead, you ordered without seeing the items and they served it to you family style (no, it wasn't prix fixe either). And the brown and chili sauce condiments were discreetly placed in squeeze bottles for you to put into small dipping saucers rather than completely covering your single serving bowl.
I definitely liked this a lot better, no doubt also due to the quality at this shop: the eggplant came in a generously-sized chunk and the fried bits were light yet tasty. And there was definitely character at this beatup old place with flies swarming around everywhere. One ordered at the cashier at the front, after which the guy took a karaoke microphone and yelled into a PA system so that the kitchen on the other side of the shop (as well as every Cantonese-speaking diner in the restaurant) knew your order. Cool.