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Motormouth From Ipoh

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tanjung Tualang - And Its Famous Freshwater Prawns ...

A calming image of serenity
Muahaha ... A funny thought just struck my mind. I'm sure avid followers (if there's any at all) of this blog would've noticed, once they see the 1st photo depicting life in the rural areas, you could've practically guessed what's coming up, no?
Yup, work took us to Kampung Gajah yesterday, a town roughly an hour away from Ipoh. There are a few routes that you can utilise, in order to reach your destination, by the way. Departing from Pengkalan area in Pasir Putih, Ipoh, going towards Batu Gajah, passing by Chenderoh, and Tanjung Tualang (link in Malay language), you'll soon reach Kampung Gajah, in what could possibly be, the fastest way.

The main market in the middle of Tanjung Tualang town

Historically significant for tin-mining activities, this sleepy town may not have regained its flair and stature as before, BUT Tanjung Tualang is widely popularized as a town famous for its large freshwater prawns. This species of the crustaceans family is highly prized by seafood aficionados and tourists alike, and no doubt, THE main attraction of this small town.

The number of seafood restaurants in this town is mind-boggling, thus one needs to play the deciding game, or follow one's instincts ...

The town is strangely shaped like a square box, surrounding the town's main wet market. Of course, you can purchase the fresh catches here, though we arrived pretty late in the afternoon for lunch. Facing the market itself, are at least 5 Chinese seafood restaurants, heavily promoting their main selling point, the freshwater prawns.

KCA, and PTG (Perak Tengah Gal) had eaten at Lung Seng Seafood Restaurant before, a fully air-conditioned restaurant NOT situated in the "square", but a short walk away, along Jalan Besar.

Kam Heong Prawns

Nestum Prawns

Obviously, they suggested the freshwater prawns without us asking, as ordering chicken and pork in a seafood restaurant sounds weird, doesn't it? (But we HAVE to, as Mr. Anti-seafood KYT is highly allergic to products of the sea/river ... Hehehe, kind of defeats the purpose of having lunch in this town, no?)

Anyway, they cook the prawns in a dizzying-ly variety of ways, from steaming to frying in various condiments. We decided on TWO versions of the prawns, half kg of them dished out in Kam Heong style (with spicy/tangy gravy & lots of dried shrimps), while another half kg deep-fried with Nestum oats. (1 kg = RM58)

Both were finger-lickingly delicious, as the sweet, succulent and fresh prawn flesh (rhymes?) with a lot of roes imbued in the prawn heads, was complemented to a tee with both cooking styles. However, I noticed the prawns served Kam Heong style were generally smaller in size, compared to the other half kilo fried with nestum oats.

Sweet, juicy and red prawn roes, a diet freak's nightmare ?!

Steamed Catfish (Pak Sook Gong) @ RM28.80

The steamed catfish (or is that what it's called in English?) was fresh, steamed with soy sauce, Chinese wine, and lots of coriander and julienned carrots. Although, due to an unforeseen situation, the fish was steamed way ahead of serving (a miscommunication somewhere forced FCOE and TallGal to arrive slightly late), rendering the fish with a slight fishy smell. Definitely put KYT off his radar, combined with the many bones to pick, he was practically touching the fish with a pole. Needless to say, he swore by this next dish ....

Steamed chicken with ginger @ RM20

Heavily scented with freshly grinded ginger, the chicken wings (for some reasons, they only claimed to serve half or whole chicken, but the cuts they served were obviously chicken wings mostly) were sufficiently marinated, cooked with the generous amount of ginger. But of course, chicken wings are not known to be fleshy, and consuming the pieces was somewhat a chore. But a small price to pay. Gingers are believed to ward off 'wind' in the body, perfect for the bloated stomach ...

Sadistic instruments of torturous nature??!!! =O

Still remember Joe once quizzed the his readers on the nature and functions of these tools. How cruel of the proprietors of the restaurant to evoke carnage in their own premise, no? =P

Salted Egg Crabs (Rm26.60 or RM38 per kilo)

But of course, children beware, hungry adults may abuse the tools to satiate their own savage instincts. Muahaha .... To crush the crabs, that is. Don't get me wrong.

Salted egg style, an interesting way to cook crabs, prawns, mantis prawns, chickens and even beancurds. But different outlets serve them differently, indigenous to the region/state/influences. Here, at Lung Seng, the crabs are stir-fried with salted eggs beaten to a pulp, rather dry, and without any gravy. You'll have to lick the salted eggs sticking to the shells for extra flavour. But fresh and sweet crabs need no company. Cook them in any ways, and they'll still shine. No laments, thumbs up!

Watch them swimming happily, rejoicing without realizing the fact that someday, they'll end up on your plates ... Oh, the gastronomic world's a cruel one, no?

We ordered a humble plate of green vegetables to balance out the indulging and artery-clogging food (now, where's my statins?!!). Total damage for 6 came to RM148.70. Quite reasonable, for the serving's not skimpy. Though FCOE's shirt was. Whoops .... (that was intentional! LOL)

Location : LUNG SENG Seafood Restaurant @ 10, Jln Besar, 31800 Tanjung Tualang, Perak. Tel : 05-3600735.

20 comments:

TallGaL said...

Yup, there'r many routes to TT, how bout using the way fr Lumut?:P The prawns is my favourite dish.

FCOE said...

thank god we crawled our way to TT.i almost saw no hope after going through a neverending journey...heheh tallgirl was hungry but never gave up on finding the way!we lost many turnings and had to make U-turns!gosh! guess all that was worth it!the food was great.maybe i was too hungry..enjoyed the crab..it has always been my favourite!thought i was going to develop allergic reaction after stuffing myself with seafood!well still look like a human after 24 hours.a good sign i hope..
errr and i so feel like punching you for the last sentence u said!hmm glad had lunch with cpk and 'my wonderland'..it has been quite some time since i saw them both.

CUMI & CIKI said...

we love the seafood at tanjung tualang.. it's like the best! btw, salted egg 'anything' tastes goooood... ! haha

Precious Pea said...

I been here once! Love the place, the prawns, the food....yum yum yum. I like it the prawns pan fried with soya sauce.

backstreetgluttons said...

You ppl are lucky to be here, for this is a historical and gastronomical landmark in Perak !
In the same league as Kellies Castle and the nearby Batu Gajah Clearwater the King and I Golf Course, except that this one is fresher and more tasty !

Jackson said...

wow... the prawn!!! any chance if u can bring me there next time?

CK Lam said...

Heard about this place and always wanted to visit it but can't figure out the directions to go there. Now with your help, I will try to make my way there for all those yummy dishes.

Tanjung Tualang, here I come...

Nic (KHKL) said...

"Oh, the gastronomic world's a cruel one, no?"

how true...hehehe...

btw, i really envy your job lar, dude!

durianberry said...

Wah! I wanna tag along with CK Lam...

xin said...

aioyh.....im so hungry looking at the pictures! sinful!!!

Tummythoz said...

I WANT YOUR JOB TOO!

J2Kfm said...

tallgal & FCOE : the way from Lumut ah? haha, I'm sure both of you are VERY familiar with that now. yeah, crabs were fresh and sweet, though not so fleshy. the prawns were better IMO.

cumi & ciki : salted egg with "most" things are good. agreed! :)

precious pea : thought you'd like the crabs more, being the official CRAB QUEEN and all. haha!!

BSG : the next trip, we'll try another shop, and another, and another ...

jackson: sure thing! :) come for a seafood crawl? (in return, gimme discount at Pick n Brew! LOL)

CK Lam : there are a few ways, this one is easy, following the road signs after Batu Gajah, and another is easy which is before Kampar, using the old trunk road. there are signs as well.

nic & tummythoz : Muahaha ... That's cz I only reveal the positive things, minus the stress and all...

durianberry : haha, tag ME along too?!

xin : sinful-ly delicious! nothing beats an old-out seafood fare, eh?

Hulk said...

This place are known for its fresh water prawns & freshwater fish. But crabs & other sea-foods are merely just to complement thier fresh water product. Note, they are far away from the nearest sea, but near to mining ponds.
My last trip to the place was almost 5 years back. Now, simply lazy to drive that far since I can have my sea foods (feast)almost each trip back to my hometown.
Anyone know that, there is this popular sea food outlet in KL fame for good seafood & cheap Crabs which is RM18.00 per KG. Bet no other restaurant serve so darn cheap crabs.
oooh..boy, Hulk hungry now.

J2Kfm said...

where's your hometown, Hulk?
RM18/kg is VERY cheap, dirt-cheap, if you would.
kindly share your fav? :)

jason said...

I'm sure the KL foodies will like this place :)

JENCOOKS said...

The flying catfish instead and the prawns look so so so fresh.

Happy Wanderer. How far is this place from Ipoh?

Criz Lai said...

Hmm... Pak Sook Gong is called Silver Catfish. It's normally cooked with heavy ginger and wine to kill off the muddy smell. This fish is believed to have the smoothest flesh around.

As for the prawns, RM58/kg is kind of expensive for prawns that are reared. Even the White Saltwater Prawns cost only RM60/kg and they are fresh from the sea.

Since you like prawns so much, let me find a find good day and cook my style of prawns for you to see :P

http://crizfood.blogspot.com/

J2Kfm said...

jason : yeah, if they're willing to come so far for a taste of the seafood. which i think, they WOULD.

jencooks : flying or silver catfish notwithstanding, the fish and prawns were indeed fresh. this place is less than an hour from Ipoh. around 30-45 mins depending on the route.

crizlai : cook for me to SEE only? ha??? how bout taste? =P

Hulk said...

Hiya..u lupa ah..I'm Sitiawan boy (ehem..no more boy-boy)lah. Its famous for Sea-Food not Freshwater food.
Let me locate the business card of this very famous eatery in KL which cook crabs for RM18/kg. It got branch but the place we go is Kepong.

J2Kfm said...

oh ya ... stil rmbr how u recommend so many Sitiawan food! probably wil go that area next month or so.