I always have a feeling that this restaurant has witnessed part of my life journey - from dating days into marriage and now blessed with Zyan, it has probably witnessed some of my finest years.
I don't enjoy driving into Section 14, PJ at all. I dreaded (and still dread) the traffic condition in the area, especially the few streets near Digital Mall. Not forgetting the ultra tiring parking issues, a complete nightmare. However, when it comes to Szechuan cuisine, there is this restaurant capable enough to push me through the awful traffic moments I always know I have to endure. I award myself a medal of honour for this determination.
Cu Cha Dan Fan（粗茶淡饭) can easily be overlooked since it's located on the first floor of this bustling street. With its signboard so imperceptible, it's not surprising that only those careful enough will notice its existence. To cut things short, walk up the staircase next to Baker's Cottage in order to access this humble restaurant.
The restaurant may seem in need of maintenance and refurbishment since the exterior looks old and uninteresting, and the interior is dull and undecorated, but we were not there for the fancy elements. We were there for food! If you can make a trip to Malacca to experience eating cockles while half-squatting on the stool just right next to a longkang (drain), there is no reason why this restaurant should be a problem.
The restaurant owner is a family which moved to Malaysia from China. This might be a solid reason the restaurant is frequented by Chinese students and families residing in the area. We haven't patronised Cu Cha Dan Fan since the enforcement of MCO, so we were glad that the owner still recognised us, especially Zyan, who was given an angpow (yes, by the owner) on the day we celebrated his full moon here. (Hello, don't judge. Billy and I needed to celebrate our hard work after a full month of confinement XD)
Szechuan Spicy Boiled Fish 水煮鱼 （RM32)
This super addictive Szechuan dish is tasty and pungent. I understand that the restaurant had tried to reduce the level of hotness of this dish over the years, as the original version was absolutely unsuitable for those who have low tolerance for spicy food. The marinated fish slices (we tried asking many times about the type of fish used but they didn't reveal the answer) were briefly poached in seasoned water to maintain the tenderness. The real deal was the spices sprinkled (or should I say "tossed") on top of the dish. The fish slices became very tender, succulent and packed with exciting flavour. The use of Szechuan pepper and hot oil in a general amount delivered an intensive numbing sensation to our mouth. Again, super addictive! At the bottom, there was a bed of thick vermicelli and bean sprouts, adding another texture profile to this addictively delicious dish.
Stir-Fried Lamb with Cumin and Spices 孜然羊肉 (RM26)
I like every way of cooking lamb. While some people might be put off by the acquired gamy taste of lamb, I actually think it has one of the best flavours of all meat. Cumin and lamb complemented each other so well in this dish. The lamb slices are coated in bold spice mix that includes (mandatorily) cumin powder, chilli pepper and other Szechuan spices. Tossed in fragrant oil with plenty of aromatics such as garlic and onion, this dish turned out to be a flavour bomb! Highly addictive. There's every reason to recommend this dish.
(Tips: There's no way you'll dislike the onion in this dish. Try.)
Stir-fried Eggplant 红烧茄子 （RM16）
Supposedly stir-fried to a drier finishing, this dish was on the milder side. Despite the amount of red and green chillis used, there wasn't a hint of hotness. It played it role well in balancing up the meal. No complaint, but I prefer their hot plate cabbage 铁板包菜 (RM18) and stewed chinese cabbage 上汤白菜 (RM18).
There are other dishes which we like, but didn't manage to order that day. If you happen to drop by, consider trying Stir-fried shredded pork with vegetables 农家小炒肉（RM24）and Braised trotter with soy bean paste 酱猪手 (RM18). Overall, it was a fulfilling lunch!
What do we think about Cu Cha Dan Fan?
We love it. Although many may question its authenticity after cutting down hotness and numbness level of the dishes, we truly find this place comforting. It's the kind of place that will keep us going back for the sentiment in our heart.
Cu Cha Dan Fan @ Seksyen 14 PJ
📍 Address: 2, 6A, Jalan 14/20, Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
⏰ Opening Hours: Tues - Sun 11AM - 3PM, 5PM - 10PM / Mon 5PM - 10PM
☎️ Phone: +60379320362
🚗 Parking: Public parking is available but we pre-warn you that available spot hardly comes by. Alternatively, park at Jaya Shopping Centre and walk over.
Ambience: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Quality of Food: ⭐ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Price: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐