Ipoh – must eat 3

45 minutes south of Ipoh, we arrived in Tanjung Tualang. A place famous for its fresh water prawns.  Not just the freshness, but the size of them ! When they are at their biggest, apparently costing RM18 each… (I think, need to verify this information with the ones who actually ate the king sized prawns) one is enough. On the day that we were there, the prawns cost about RM9-10 each, so it wasn’t particularly big.  Having two, was a piece of cake for me.

Steamed fresh water prawns, steamed crabs, fried oyster, cuttlefish and kang kung, fried kuey teow

Most people go to T.Tualang for the fresh water prawns and not surprisingly there are many restaurants touting that their specialty is fresh water prawns.  They were alright… fresh indeed.  However, to me, the real star dish that day, was the cuttlefish and paku vegetables (fiddleheads of certain ferns). This cuttlefish dish normally comes with kang kong (swamp cabbage or river spinach….gez, it probably sounds better in French – liseron d’eau) but it tastes even better with paku vegetables.  We managed to get the paku vegetables because we arrived early, approximately 5pm, I believe. Patrons who arrived later than we did, didn’t get this amazingly crispy tender vegetable to go with their cuttlefish.

It looks kinda disgusting and you’d probably wouldn’t give it a second look for fear that it might, make you throw up.  However, it tastes magnificent, to say the least. There is just something about that sauce … that makes you want to lick the plate and ask for more.

The fried oyster was different from the ones I normally have in KL.  Quite frankly, it was a let down.  Teeny tiny pieces of oyster(s) trapped somewhere in the huge mess of deep fried batter.

I didn’t quite like the fried kuey teow either. Mostly because it was fried with sweet sauce. Not as sweet as Singapore fried kuey teow, but sweet instead of savoury, which I much, much prefer.The fried noodles were much much better, in comparison. This dish is not in the pic as I was too busy tucking in to take photo of the late arrival.

I left that restaurant, not with the protagonist in mind, fresh as they might have been. Rather it was the dish that was not advertised that mesmerised and enchanted my taste buds.

Sometimes you may not be the star, but yet, it is you who leaves the deepest impression.

I wish I had taken a photo of the shop….

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