The bitter gourd (also known as bitter melon) looks like a cucumber but with ugly gourd-like bumps all over it. As the name implies, this vegetable is a melon that is bitter. There are two varieties of this vegetable: One grows to about 20 cm long, is oblong and pale green in color. The other is the smaller variety, less than 10 cm long, oval and has a darker green color.

Now that you’re gotten acquainted with the bitter gourd, let’s get to the interesting bit. Bitter gourd is often used in Chinese cooking for its bitter flavor, typically in stir-fries (often with pork and douchi), soups, and also as tea. And more recently, I’ve discovered a restaurant here in Klang Valley that serves everything bitter gourd. That’s right … from bitter gourd juice (yup, you heard me right) to dish and soup.

Fu Kua Restaurat (Fu Kua translates to bitter gourd in chinese) is located in Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya, just right behind Hong Leong Bank. Out of curiosity, I checked out the place one day. The crowds swells up during dinner so it’s advisable to go get a table earlier. Ordering seems easy enough, especially if you can read chinese menus. Fortunately for me, the menu has english translation.

Since I don’t really fancy bitter gourd (it’s a childhood thingy …. just don’t ask ….), it was tough for me to order the dishes. Especially when almost every dish is made up of bitter gourd … in some way. There’s like bitter gourd with black beans, bitter gourd with meat, bitter gourd with ….. sigh, you get my point.

Anyway, after some contemplation … I manage to order something basic. Bitter gourd soup, bitter gourd with salted eggs and another meat dish which I can’t recall the name. And here’s the surprising thing! I actually ordered bitter gourd juice. Yup, call me crazy but I just couldn’t’ resist the temptation!

So the drink came and I took a sip. The facial expression on my face was priceless, or that’s at least what my dinner date told me. After recovering from the initial shock, my first reaction was to totally abandon that bile tasting drink! So I did. I order something a little more decent …. coke.

The dishes weren’t that bad and in fact it tasted quite alright. Not as bitter as I expected it to be. The soup was quite tasty and the bitter gourd with salted egg was quite good too. As I was taking it all down, I felt like as though I am going through a detoxifying diet. Yup, that was pretty much it.

And just before settling the bill, I challenged myself to finish my bitter gourd juice. And to my utmost surprise, the drink was bearable. The bitter taste was not as bad as it is on the first time. My theory is that all the bitterness in the dishes may have neutralized my taste bud …..

Looks aside, did you know that the bitter gourd has excellent medicinal virtues. It is antidotal, antipyretic tonic, appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative and that’s why the bitter gourd is used in native medicines of Asia and Africa.

So if you got what it takes, I challenge you to finish that glass of Bitter Gourd Juice ……

Fu Kua Restaurant
Unit 19, Jalan SS23/15,
Taman S.E.A.,
47400, Petaling Jaya
11am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 11pm

  1. uLi Said,

    Visited this restaurant b4, indeed a nice restaurant with good food 🙂
    .-= uLi´s last blog ..Piggy Malacca Trip 2010 – Nadeje =-.


  2. ai wei Said,

    oO, all about bitter gourd?! and there is bitter gourd juice too!? aikss, the juice is something i can’t really take it. but i do love the dishes with bitter gourd 🙂
    .-= ai wei´s last blog ..More in Umaiya @ IOI Bouvelard, Puchong Jaya =-.


  3. Timothy Low Said,

    Hi uLi and ai wei, that’s right, Fu Kua Restaurant, you either love it or hate it !!!
    .-= Timothy Low´s last blog ..Fu Kua Restaurant =-.


  4. jason Said,

    Er… the drink has anything else added to it?
    .-= jason´s last blog ..One Night Only The Jaya One Foodcrawl- Final Part – Muse -amp Brussels =-.


  5. Augustdiners Said,

    I had to say of 24 years of my life ive never really liked the taste of bitter guord, but funnily i think im starting to get a hang of the taste and maybe even like it a little wee bit, hehe. perhaps this is one restaurant to challenge my tastebuds once again.
    .-= Augustdiners´s last blog ..Ms Jazz Shanghai Eats- Zhen Ding Ji ??? @ Fu Xing Zhong Rd =-.


  6. Angeline Said,

    Awesome food blog Timothy!
    .-= Angeline´s last blog ..Cock and Bull Cafe-Bar-Gourmet-Asian Cuisine-Music at Jesselton Point =-.


  7. May Said,

    love bittergourd
    .-= May´s last blog ..Restaurant Leong Ya @ Balakong- Seri Kembangan =-.


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