This little place located in the suburban area of Petaling Jaya is a deli-type restaurant that appears to be hugely popular with locals – always a good sign. Despite the fact that it is at the end of a row of other eateries, the place was crowded when we were there one lunch time.
Every table seemed to be taken, with hungry patrons happily tucking into a dish or two from the extensive menu. It’s one of those cosy, crowded places that I love, unpretentious and relatively inexpensive, but with some really great home-cooked food. The menu changes every three months, but popular dishes remain staples.
Suchan, started twelve years ago by the very enterprising (and you’ll see why in a minute) self-taught local chef Sue Chan, offers a variety of local and international dishes. Business is so good that another branch will be opening in the newly-built Bangsar Village II soon.
“In Suchan, you don’t have to worry about quality,” she proudly declares. And indeed, upon trying some of her signature dishes, it would appear to be the case.
Starting with some healthy and tasty Vietnamese Spring Rolls with home-made peanut sauce, we worked our way through a host of Asian and western delights. I thought the Kelantan/Penang Laksa, noodles in a rich and spicy coconut soup, was excellent. She’s famous for her Chicken Pie with homemade puff pastry which is such a hit with families she even serves a mini short-crust pastry version of it at tea time.
Sue’s very proud of their Nasi Kerabu, a rice combo offering which has a bit of everything from all over Malaysia. An excellent way to get to know the different tastes the country has to offer on one plate.
We also tried a new Mediterranean recipe she’s just introduced, Fish Tangine, pieces of flaky white fillet drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with lemon slices and fresh basil and baked in foil. It’s a healthy complete meal in itself.
That’s not all she’s known for though – you just cannot miss the light-as-air pastries and cakes available there. They are all made by her, including the banofee cake, which even she, immodestly but with good reason, declares “melts in your mouth”. If you just want to pop in for some of that, she offers a “Tea Set” that is available in the afternoons – take your laptop along to hook onto their free Wifi service, and have a cuppa with a slice of some delicious cake. Bliss!
Not one to rest on her laurels, this dynamic lady decided that her recipes (both for food and success) were so good that she packaged the Suchan concept into a franchise. The programme was recognised by the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia when she was nominated for the Most Innovative Women Entrepreneur Award in 2004, and in fact, was the proud runner-up in 2006.
This interesting place won a Malaysia Tatler award for Best Restaurant in 1998, 1999 and 2003 as well as a Wine & Dine Award for Kuala Lumpur Top Restaurant in 1999 and 2000. Do go along and you’ll see why.
Source: The Expat Magazine
This article has been edited for ExpatGoMalaysia.com